How many parents think that parenting is an absolute joy? Contrast that number with how many parents would settle for even a little joy. The Apostle John has just told his spiritual children that he tells them all about his firsthand knowledge of Christ so that they can think, want, and work along with him, and with God (ie, have fellowship).
What reason would you give for wanting your teen to think, want, and work like Christ, with you? Would you want it for your teen’s peace, purpose, or holiness? In verse four, John revealed his unexpected motive for wanting them to have fellowship with him and with God. John helped them have fellowship with him and with God so that his own “joy may be complete.”
Although John gave many reasons later on in his message (2:12-13; 5:13), the first reason he gave was that he wanted his own joy to be perfected. This reason implied that when his children were not thinking, wanting, and working in unison (fellowship) with him, his joy was incomplete. We all live for joy. We make decisions according to what we think will make us the happiest. John tells us clearly that, as parents, our joy will be lacking if we do not do everything we can to help our teens think, want, and work like Christ, with us. Are you lacking joy in your parenting? Are you working to make your joy full in a worldly way, or after John’s example?