Yesterday, my husband preached a message about the Fruits of the Spirit of kindness and goodness. One of the areas in which he spoke was on the idea of “being happy.” It seems that much of our energy as people and parents is spent on making sure we and our children are “happy.” Should that be our main goal? I’m proposing a thought that says a firm NO. While we all want to be happy and we want our children to be generally happy, my main goal is to raise children who not only know the difference between right and wrong, but actually do what is right, striving to live a godly life. While this will produce a life overflowing with joy anyways, it’s definitely not the road most traveled. We want things to be easy for our kids, but looking at our present culture, I would like to believe that this hasn’t quite worked so far! With each generation, it seems morals, values, and godly living comes more under attack, and it takes special people to turn the tide.
Unfortunately, life is full of disappointments: rejection from friends, an D+ on a well-studied test, not making the team, sickness, death, etc. It’s healthy that we allow our children to face these things focusing on leading them in prayer for the situation at hand, and gently helping them through life’s struggles, not shielding them from it. (Please note that I never referred to bullying here. Bullying is harassment that will never be tolerated in my home whether on the giving or receiving end. No child or teenager does anything worthy of this incredibly damaging act.) Please don’t misunderstand, I do NOT want my babies to be unhappy or miserable, but I also want children who know how to deal with life!
As I spend time with my children, I pray the Lord will give me wisdom to raise them to be people who love the Lord, love others, and exude the Fruits of the Spirit even when life’s obstacles seem to overwhelm!