It has been said: “A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.” I understand this statement; but I resolve to fight against it. Why? Doesn’t such an attitude reveal a loving and connected heart? I think the tugs in a mother’s heart are very real and very loving. I have them all the time, and I only have four children. (I know a woman who has nine children!) My four children are in good places in their lives; but if I gave into the above statement, I would constantly ride a roller-coaster of emotion—up one day, down the next—as one or another of them hits a snag. And would riding the roller-coaster with them be helpful to them?
When my children were teenagers, I realized their main goal in life was not my happiness. In fact, they seemed to be oblivious to the words of a refrigerator magnet, which read: “If Mama’s not happy, nobody is.” So, the obvious answer to this chicken-and-egg dilemma would seem to be: “Okay, kids! Now, here’s the scoop. Everybody needs to get happy, so Mama can be happy. And when she’s happy, you’ll be happy, too. Okay? Got it?”
We all know the above approach is not going to fly, because it flies in the face of the natural order of leadership. Our children need to be freed up by the witness of our no-matter-the-circumstance happiness. (The circumstance we may need to conquer may be the fact that our children will periodically experience unpleasant circumstances!) To that end I offer this mathematical formula:
b=trust in the Lord
d=grace, which is greater than “a”
Therefore, “d” takes “a” out of the equation, which leaves “b+c.”
Of course, as Christians, we carry each others burdens. We also pray for one another, which will satisfy “b.” And we help in whatever way the Lord lays on our hearts, which will satisfy “c.” Our personal relationship with God will send an important, new message: “Okay, kids! Here’s the scoop. Everybody’s in charge of his or her own happiness, and there is only One Way to get there. Okay? Got it? Good! Now, go with it!”
When we live out the above equation, our children will see the result, which is:
May we all resolve to live the abundant life in Christ this New Year. And to that end, I will close by wishing each and everyone of you a Happy New Year!