Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Don't Want My Children To Be Happy

Before you start writing my nomination for Worst Mother of the Year, let me explain.  It seems like a noble goal to want our children to be happy, doesn't it?  The problem with the pursuit of happiness is that it's an unattainable goal for life.  If my goal for my children is for them to find what ever makes them happy, then I'm setting them up for a life of disappointment.  Happiness is based upon circumstances.  As I know all too well,  circumstances can change very quickly.  Therefore, pursuing it is a never ending task.  I want them to have joy.  Joy isn't based on circumstances, but on who Jesus is and who we are in Him.  Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.   

Matthew 7:24-27 says, "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was it's fall."  

What's common for the foolish man and the wise man is that the rains, flood, and winds came for both.  The difference is the foundation of each life.  My children need to learn to listen to the voice of the Lord and do what He asks of them.  In James 1:2-4 we're told, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, know that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."  Through the storms of my life, I have experienced God in ways I never could before.  In the deepest valleys, I have experienced some of the greatest times in the presence of the Lord.  He revealed Himself to me in new ways and showed me more of who I am in Him.  If I want my children to be "perfect and complete, lacking nothing", they will first have to walk through trials.  We live in a fallen, imperfect world full of imperfect people.  Bad things will happen.  Difficult times will come.  Instead of teaching my children to run from trials, I want to teach them to run to God through them.  I want them to dance in the rain, to praise Him from deep in the valley.  Even the very Son of God wasn't spared from suffering while on this earth.  Jesus used His times of suffering and temptation to draw closer to God.  So my goal for my children isn't happiness, but holiness.