“Is it okay to be angry?”. I asked a group of elementary aged kids this past weekend, to which I got an emphatic, “ohhhh, nooo!”. Almost every time I ask this question to a group of kids, whether 5 or 15 I almost always get the same response. I have yet to identify where this lie originates. I could provide my myriad of theories, but I won’t bore you, well maybe a little…
The truth is that God created humanity, and within our human form is a gamut of feelings, including anger–you can ask any woman and she can attest to this. Our emotions live beyond happy, sad and mad, but our society tells us that only happy is acceptable.
We have commercials encouraging us to buy stuff to make us happy.
We expect our marriages to make us happy.
We only want to see movies with happy endings.
We want to buy happy meals and visit the happiest place on earth.
We want our kids to experience pure happiness, even if it is at the cost of personal character or relationships.
I recently visited a restaurant on Friday evening with my family and observed a young family. The two little girls were squirming, their blonde tousled hair bouncing around. They most likely hungry from a long day, and tired from a long week. As the parents attempted to converse, The two munchkins were a tad fussy,and constantly climb up and down on and off the bench as the Jones Family waited on their table. By no means were the girls out of control or even distracting, but they certainly weren’t happy. So immediately the parents pulled out their cell phones and clicked onto each child’s favorite game. Mom pulled one kid on her lap, and dad the other, pacifying the children and ending their conversation.
There is nothing truly wrong with that scene, I suppose. Except, for me the thought of doing everything to please our children–to make them happy– can be detrimental to them as kids and adults…and most importantly, it is not Biblical.
God promises us trials in this world (I Thess 3:3, II Thess 1:4, James1:2, I Peter 1:6) His strength is only shown in times of weakness (II Cor 12:10 ) God wants us to have an abundant life (John 10:10) which means a life of many facets, abundantly dependent and intimate with Christ. He does not want us to aim for happiness, but for contentment:
Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
It is our responsibility to our children not to make them happy, but to teach them how to depend on Christ to make them content in their life.
Do you agree or disagree?? Why? Share your thoughts with me, I would love to hear from you!