Is joy important? Or, do you really understand what it is?
We have found in working with leaders and pastors that it is often undervalued and misunderstood. We, in general, don’t seem to understand what is so big about it.
You know at some level that joy is important. You read about it in Scripture but when you sit down and talk to people about joy it is like, “Well, why do I really need joy? I have integrity; I am a hard worker. I love God…where does joy fit into the whole picture of becoming the people God created us to be?”
Dismiss—You tend to dismiss your need for joy when you don’t understand it or why it is something you should be propagating to your families and the people you serve. You often forget how good joy feels until you experience a good joyful experience.
Joy makes life meaningful and the hard times manageable.
Distract—You tend to distract from your need for joy which is not helpful. When you are not growing authentic, genuine joy you tend to find substitutes — there are artificial substitutes that raise dopamine levels in the body, otherwise known as BEEPS such as:
Substitute by working hard and keeping myself numb. Live to work and work to live. You are not getting the good relational joy you need.
Or you might turn to substances: food, coffee, alcohol or drugs
Or to people or activities like sports or gambling,
When your joy levels drop, expect problems. Low joy levels are most often the cause of most of the train wrecks in leadership for pastors or leaders. The way that it turns into a train wreck is in the form of burn out or some kind of depression on the pastor’s side.
In that weakened condition he/she begins to find joy in some place other than home and that is really where the danger starts. When somebody brings you more joy than your ministry, more joy than your home, more joy than your spouse, more joy than your children…
…that’s when people begin to do things they would never have believed they would do.
When you run out of fuel the plane goes down and when the plane goes down too soon, that’s not good!
Low joy is not good for leaders, nor for marriages.
Solution—Increase joy at home: The Three Minute Solution so you can come home to a smile each night!
The differences between how men and women communicate in preparation for the day…
Women tend to want to have relational moments where they can connect
Men tend to think about tasks and what needs to be done
We think our 3-minute solution helps both men and women regardless of whether you are a man or a woman who is a pastor—whichever way you are leaving the home we still want you to consider these three options together.
1. One minute of appreciation. (This is what it takes to get the relational circuits in your brain up and running.)
It is a moment of sitting down and appreciating something about your partner, your home, your life, your children—something that you share together that you can draw to people’s attention. So, it can be something as simple as appreciating breakfast or the way their hair turned out…something simple … even a view. Like looking out the window and sharing with your spouse the way the trees are blossoming in the back yard, or enjoy watching the snow fall together.
The point is that you are connecting in some way that creates appreciation for the people around you and talk about that and share that and bring that to your spouse’s mind. Appreciate qualities as well. You might say to someone, “These are the things I really like about you. These are the reasons I’m glad we are married. You can think of these things ahead of time and then you share them in one minute.
2. The second minute is a minute of being quiet. This is one that is surprisingly meaningful for men.
Men really like the fact that someone relaxes around them. It is one of the things that make men feel attractive, important and significant—just the fact that you would have a moment of quiet together.
Usually when men talk, especially in the morning when you are busy, they talk about the business that needs to be taken care of. So if a man is talking to his wife he is telling her “here is what I need to do or take care of during the day.”
If she is telling him something, he tends to read it in that same kind of way: “here is what you want me to pay attention to.”
Quiet, especially a cuddly kind of cozy quiet kind of together moment, it is real clear that it isn’t just about doing business. It’s about spending some time together—”I’m just glad to be with you.” Let that feeling of relaxing and sharing a little coziness soak in for a minute. . .
3. The third thing is one minute of blessing. This is where you would actually pray for your partner’s day. You would ask God to be with them and/or you could remember the significant things that are coming up for them.
one minute of appreciating the life you share together
one minute of quiet, glad to be together and rest in a cozy way
one minute of blessing them for their day
The chances are very good that as you leave with those three things in place, your partner will be thinking happy and joyful thoughts about you throughout the day so that when you come home, the chances that you are going to be greeted by joy and a smile and a welcome home are much, much higher.
Please leave a comment regarding how it went!
Blessings, Carol Brown, M.A.C.I
Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive www.fromgodsheart.com http://connectwithcarolbrown.blogspot.com
P.S. Big Announcement!
At the Thrive Applications Training (Oct. 3-5) the new book, Joy Starts Here will be released! Meet the authors. The Beta Version is available NOW! Pastors and Leaders you can get your BETA VERSION here.
This post based on a talk given by Jim Wilder for Pastor’s Weekly