Dear kids: I don’t just want you to be happy

Dear Kids,

One of my most favorite things in the world is when you smile, but you will never hear me say in regard to your life choices, “I just want you to be happy.” Of course I would like for you to be happy, but if there is one thing I have learned in life it is that happiness is fleeting. One bad day. A broken heart. Happiness comes and goes. As your mom, I hope (and pray) that your life is filled with happiness, but not at the expense of Truth. The truth is, I don’t just want you to be happy…I want you to walk in Truth:

 Not my Truth. Not your Truth. But the Truth. God’s Truth.

“Truth by definition is exclusive”- Ravi Zacharias

When he left the earth Jesus didn’t say, “And remember, I just want you guys to be happy”. That seems kind of silly actually. So where did we come up with that? The World is on a quest for happiness. So we fill our lives with comfort, pleasures and anything that will make us happy. And then when those things don’t make us happy anymore we get new things, different things. And when hard times come, when bad things happen, we don’t understand it.

The joy of the Lord is my strength- Nehemiah 8:10

This is an interesting verse. Nehemiah says this to a group of people who are “weeping”. Why would you need strength if you have joy? Maybe because you might not be happy. There is a difference. Happiness floats in and out of our lives while joy can be constant in the face of sorrow when we abide in the Lord.

So, part of my job as your parent is to teach you to walk in Truth even when things don’t go your way, even when walking in Truth doesn’t make you happy. To stay the course when things get uncomfortable instead of fleeing to the safety of passing comforts, of temporary happiness. To be happy is wonderful, but don’t let it be your goal. People use happiness as an excuse for making bad decisions. In other words, Don’t follow your heart… Lead it!

 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? –Jer.17:9

I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. (because I see no reason for sickness, abuse, death…) But I do believe that God works all things for the good of those who love him. The problem is that we have a skewed definition of what “good” means. Good, as defined by the world is synonymous with pleasure, comfort, happiness etc. But I think that “good” to our Heavenly Father is anything that draws us closer to Jesus. And that might be something bad. I don’t mean that God sends bad things our way, just that he has a way of healing the broken things in our lives to make something beautiful.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth. –3 John 1:4

God’s Truth is aligning yourself with the person of Jesus. It is keeping in step with his Spirit inside you. It is leading your heart until it looks like His and cares about what His heart cares about. This is my hearts desire for you; for Jesus to be your heart’s desire. I want you to walk in this Truth regardless of how your heart feels.

So if my deepest desire as your mom is that you will walk in Truth with the Spirit, how will I feel about you if you aren’t walking in Truth?

I. Will. Love. You. Forever.

No matter what you do I will love and pray for you. If there is a season in your life that you seek happiness above holiness I will love you exactly the same as I always have. My love is unconditional, because my heavenly Father’s love for me is unconditional. How can true love be anything less than the Father’s love for us?

So now listen to me, my children: live by my ways and you will find true happiness.

Proverbs 8:32 -Lady Wisdom

(& your Mom)