He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!
This verse shows me a couple things. For one thing, it shows me that God desires for women to be mothers. That is pretty clear throughout the Bible. The Bible mentions over and over what a blessing it is to have children.
This verse also shows me that God wants mothers to be joyful. He doesn’t just make the barren woman a mother of children, he makes her a joyous mother of children. She isn’t a reluctant mother, not a mother who simply tolerates the drudgery of life. No! She is a mother who is delighted with motherhood!
Some versions say “happy mother,” but I prefer the versions that say joyous or joyful. In fact, the word-for-word translations (KJV, NKJV, ESV, Amplified, MEV, etc) all say joyful, while the thought-for-thought versions (NLT, NIV, CEV, etc) use happy. I often use thought-for-thought translations, but in this case, I think the word-for-word translation offers a better picture of God’s design for a mother’s heart.
What is the difference, and why does it matter? I believe there is a significant difference between being happy and being joyful. Happiness is a superficial feeling; it’s an emotion. Joy is a state of the heart. Happiness during difficult times will be fake and forced, but joy can endure through all circumstances. There are definitely times when I do not feel very happy in my mothering. Illness, sleepless nights, temper tantrums – it’s natural not to feel happy in these situations. But even during the times when I may be unhappy, I can be joyful knowing that my child is a blessing from God. I can be joyful knowing that this too shall pass. I can be joyful about the purpose it brings to my life. Happiness is temporary and fleeting; joy is steadfast and constant.
Maybe you read this verse and laugh at the idea of being a joyous mother. The kids are screaming, your house looks like a scene from Twister, the laundry is backed up for weeks, and you are utterly exhausted. Joy seems a long-forgotten thing of the past.
Take heart! If God has called you to it, then it is possible! Lean on Him and His Spirit for the strength and wisdom to renew your joy. He would never call you to something that He does not enable you to accomplish.
If you feel like joy is eluding you in your daily life and you’re just not sure how to get it back, here are a few things you can do to get back on track!
How to Be a Joyous Mother
- Lean on God!
He is infinitely stronger, infinitely wiser, and infinitely more loving than we could ever be. Don’t try to mother in your own strength; rest in the Father and draw your strength from Him.
My theme verse for motherhood is 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness!”
Another good one to remember is 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.”
- Remind yourself that it’s only a season.
Repeat to yourself, “This too shall pass.” Aidan was a very fussy baby. As an infant, he cried constantly. I would get so tired of the crying that I just wanted to scream. But I made it through! And now he’s a very sweet, happy toddler, and the nonstop cries are just a memory!
At the same time, don’t get in too big a hurry to move on! Each season has its challenges, but it has its riches, too. And once you leave a season, you don’t ever get it back – not with that child, anyway! From the day Aidan was born, people started regularly telling me, “They grow up so fast. He’ll be grown before you know it!” Aidan is not quite two, and I can already see how quickly time is passing. I don’t want to be so frustrated by the difficulties of every season that I fail to appreciate the wonders.
- Count your blessings!
Gratitude has amazing effects on a dissatisfied heart. Read more on this subject here.
- Keep the bigger picture in mind.
Have a vision! Don’t get lost in the day-to-day. Know what this is all for. As Michael Hyatt says, “Know your why!” Remembering my purpose and goals in motherhood keeps me going when everything around me makes me want to give up.
- Fill your mind with good things.
Take negative thoughts captive and meditate on good thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:8). What are you constantly thinking about? If you are interested in a list of Bible verses about joy to meditate on, you can find one here.
- Print out a list of Scriptures or inspirational sayings and post them around your house.
God designed you to be joyful. He desires for you to be joyful. If you ask Him, He will give you a joy that no one – husbands and children included! – can take away from you.
If you enjoyed this post, here are more you might like:
- 8 Reasons You’re Losing Your Joy
- The #1 Key to Joyful Motherhood
- 25 Verses to Help You Cultivate Joy
- Why Everyone Should Make a “Happy List”
- 10 Practical Ways to Plan for Peace