Parent’s Job: Ensure Happiness

One of the worst feelings in the world for me for a parent is watching my child absorb the hurts of this world, while I sit in the sidelines with my hands tied behind my back.  Since I like to think of myself as the connection-ninja of all mothers, the heart-wrenching  pain my kids endure is amplified for me when no matter how fast my moves, I can’t dry their tears fast enough.

The hard-hitting reality is that there are pains our kids must suffer that we can’t do anything about–and aren’t suppose to do anything about.  These are some of  the biggest lies we’ve believed as a generation of parents:

  • My child should be happy, and I am responsible for that happiness.
  • The disappointments and pains of this world should not affect my child.
  • If my child is not comfortable, I am in some way failing as a parent.
  • If my child is not content, I must create some sort of distraction in order to calm them down.
  • If I discipline my child, I will suffer the pain of that consequence and I’d rather not.

No where in the Bible does God call us to ensure happiness, comfort, or contentment for our children.  Our jobs include:

  • Helping children embrace all of the emotions that God gave us.
  • Bestowing wisdom that originates from the Word of God.
  • Preparing them for the trials and difficulties that are guaranteed in this world.
  • For pushing them out of their comfort zone so they can depend on God more and me less.
  • And providing loving and appropriate discipline for character growth and spiritual development.

Easier said than done, I know.  But it is necessary for us as parents to challenge ourselves and our kids to becoming more like Christ. So when my daughter’s tears are falling like a waterfall, I can only hug her, perhaps shed a few tears of my own, and offer all the love I can find in my being so that she knows that she is not alone in this world.  But helping her to cover her pain, ignore it, or pacify it so that I can feel like I’m a good parent gets in the way of God teaching her His sovereignty and His grace–two shoes I will never be able to fill, even in all my ninja-ness.

Confession time:  How do you try and pacify for your child into comfort and happiness–in an unhealthy or healthy way?

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One thought on “Parent’s Job: Ensure Happiness

  1. Why on earth do young parents think it’s better to have their children spouting Bible verses and being miniature versions of an adult Christian rather than being themselves the example the Bible teaches? Matthew 18:3. Why waste precious time analyzing our own parenting and that of others when it’s all just small stuff? Why not spend that energy delighting in your children, each other, and in God’s love? Everything else will take care of itself. We can never make our children happy nor pacify them for long. That’s God’s job. We can only show them what happiness and contentment looks like to us. If we’re happy, that’s what they want and they will follow us anywhere. Try to analyze, shape, and direct them into what we think is righteous, and we will drive them away–little by little. God’s image shows us open arms, not arms raise to point to the ‘righteous path.’ Put down the pen and go outside and pick up a football–or a jump rope. Show them what’s it’s like to be a happy child, then love and protect them like a strong parent. God will take care of the rest.

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