How to Teach Children About Biblical Joy (Not Happiness) (5 Bible Verses)

Is teaching kids to be happy the ultimate goal as a Christian parent?

The longer that I’m a parent the more I’m convinced that teaching children joy is far more important than happiness. That’s because life is hard, and truthfully, happiness isn’t always possible.

Our kids need to know the deep, abiding joy found in God through all circumstances, and that starts with teaching Bible verses to our children about joy.

Why is teaching kids about joy (not happiness) so important? Why must this be a huge goal for all Christian parents?

What’s the difference between joy and happiness?

And what does teaching kids bible verses about joy really look like (in everyday life)?

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I want to share with you my favorite 5 joy bible verses for kids and practical ways you can introduce your children to the authentic joy found only in Christ!

Why We Need to Teach Our Kids About Biblical Joy

Of course we want to give our children good things. God wants to do that too (the Bible even talks about that here).

But we must teach our kids that the “good things” of the world don’t always bring happiness. In fact, teaching kids to be happy (instead of teaching our children bible verses about joy) contributes to the fact that our kids are confused about what true Christian joy is really like.

God often delivers the full, rich, life he promises through very unpleasant—decidedly unhappy—situations. If our kids focus solely on their happiness, they’ll miss many of the life lessons that grow them into godly, confident kids who exemplify biblical truth in the world.

Consider these examples:

Teen depression and suicide rates are higher than ever before. Of course these are complex issues with many contributing factors, but how could these tragic statistics change for the better if we taught kids at an early age that a self-centered life (one focused on happiness instead of biblical joy) is an express pass to depression and unfulfilled desires?

We hear stories everyday of couples who divorce because their partner isn’t making them “happy.” Where happens to character qualities like commitment and steadfastness when a spouse gets sick or no longer makes their partner “feel loved”? How could we save future marriages from divorce if our kids learned to work through the unhappy times in order to discover deep, unconditional marital joy?

We parents have bent over backwards to do everything we can to make our kids lives comfortable and happy and their unique needs met. Did you know that society now labels our kids as “Generation Snowflake”, partially because of their inability to handle situations that don’t make them happy? Stories like this one shock me.

As our world becomes more and more personalized and custom (with constant messaging of how we should always “have it our way”), what are our kids supposed to do when they discover that real life often doesn’t go the way they want?

We must teach our children the difference between happiness and joy, and that starts with teaching kids powerful Bible verses that they can learn, memorize and live out as witnesses to a world desperate for answers.

What Kids Need to Know About The Difference Between Happiness and Joy 

Let’s set the record straight with a few biblical truths about joy (that we must teach our kids).

First, what is the biblical difference between happiness and joy?

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  • Happiness is conditional and based on circumstances; while joy is available at all times despite the circumstances.
  • Happiness depends on emotion and feelings; but joy is a fact based on biblical truth.
  • Happiness is about pleasing the self; however, joy is mainly focused on pleasing others.
  • Happiness is based on comfort; but joy is possible in even unpleasant situations.

Wouldn’t you agree that helping kids understand the difference between joy and happiness can encourage them to be the well-adjusted, confident kids we know they can be?

5 Bible Verses for Children About Joy

P.S. Give your kids the ability to truly understand and connect with these Bible verses! Here’s an easy way to teach your kids how to study the Bible called the 5Rs Bible Study Method™:

 

Joy Bible Verse for Children #1: Psalm 1

Joy Truths from This Bible Verse:

  • Joy is found when we follow God’s ways.
  • Godly joy is discovered a little at a time as we meditate in God’s presence.
  • We can bear the fruit of joy through every season when we stay connected to God.

Joy Bible Verse for Children #2: Psalm 28:7

Joy Truths from This Bible Verse:

  • We don’t have to understand everything about life to experience God’s joy.
  • We can trust God to provide deep joy for us through all of life’s storms.

Joy Bible Verse for Children #3: James 1:2-4

Joy Truths from This Bible Verse:

  • Troubles can be opportunities for life’s greatest joys.
  • Joy is a process and takes time to develop, but it’s worth it!

Joy Bible Verse for Children #4: 2 Corinthians 6:10

Joy Truths from This Bible Verse:

  • Joy is not conditional on our experiences.
  • We can always have joy, even when our hearts ache and life may not make sense.

Joy Bible Verse for Children #5: Psalm 4:7

Joy Truths from This Bible Verse:

  • Joy isn’t based on our possessions.
  • Joy is a valuable gift from God and is more precious than anything we can own.

How to Help Your Kids Learn Bible Verses About Joy

1. Teach children how to study the Bible and how to study joy Bible verses.

Here’s a great post with my free Bible study method that teaches kids how to do their own quiet time (and includes a free bookmark). It’s a great way to teach kids how to apply Bible verses about joy to their life!

2. Encourage kids to memorize Bible verses about joy.

This post has some awesome examples of fun bible verse memorization games and other easy ways that kids can memorize Bible verses about joy.

3. Model biblical truths about joy in your own life.

Share with your kids–regularly–what it looks like to life a joy-filled Christian life. Don’t be afraid to share life’s difficult moments with your kids, because these are often God’s path for us to discover authentic joy.

For example, our family has had to walk the path of unemployment for more than 9 months now, and let me tell you, it’s taught all of us (including our four kids) the difference between joy and happiness.

Other Posts About Bible Verses for Kids

How to Teach Your Kids About Biblical Wisdom

5 Step Bible Study Method for Kids (+ Free Bookmark Printable)

How to Use Games to Memorize Bible Verses

 

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About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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