Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happiness Is Not The Goal

As we raise our children, we often make their happiness our primary goal. I know that if my kids are not happy I will try to juggle, bend, and manipulate the situation until they are appeased.
Will this create positive fruit in my children? Just because a child has an appetite for something, is it always in their best interest to feed it?
My daughter wanted to go back to School. She threw a fit when she realized that we would be homeschooling her this year and my first impulse was to begin my child pleasing juggling act. Where would it end? Would I ultimately give in to her perceived agony, and go against God to appease her?
Oh, poor girl needs socialisation. She doesn't get the gratification of her name on the honor role, the rights of passage like prom. Think of the slumber parties she might be missing, the pep rallies, the lunchroom chatter, or the fully functioning science labs! How can I compete?
Thoughts like these are enough to make a tired homeschool mom with a messy house and a grumpy daughter throw in the towel! Then I look out a bit further. Am I raising cheerleaders, or ambassadors for Christ? Do I want to have my child graduate school and say "whew, we made it! They are not drug addicts or pregnant." Or do I dare to hope for more?
I want God's plan for my children. I want to see them grow up to be full functioning Christians. People who serve God, not their own appetites for "happiness" (because we all know where TRUE happiness comes from, and it's NOT from our flesh).
Looking at the big picture makes choosing to continue homeschooling so much easier. THIS is the path God has directed me to follow. THIS will be the path to reach our goal. What is my ultimate goal for my children? To love and serve our Lord! With that in focus... the other things just seem to fade away.


Emily said...

awesome thoughts 'K'. I have to read a post like this at the beginning of each school year and the Spring when I'm burned out. :)

Gombojav Tribe said...


Stick with it! My mom says it gets easier! :-) (She homeschooled us all the way through highschool.)


javamamma said...

"Happiness is not the goal..." So true. I'm finding that, though I didn't realize it, I probably 'taught' my eldest in her first years that that statement was true. Sigh.

Chelle said...

Excellent thoughts! Exactly the kind of thing that should be written down for perspective on those days when we feel like pulling our hair out. :-)

Anonymous said...

You are so on the right track. God never promised that following Him would be easy but it is full of rewards. Dare to dream bigger. Dare to hope for more. Follow God wherever He lead no matter the cost.


Anonymous said...

This is a post that I should come back and read throughout the year! Great stuff!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Thanks for these thoughts. I absolutely agree with you about how happiness shouldn't be the goal.

EEEEMommy said...

Excellent insights!
I am reminded of a post Jeannie Fulbright (Elementary Apologia Science) wrote a year or so ago. Along these same lines she observed how often the first question we ask our kids after something was, "Did you have a good time? or "Was it fun?" It really does set them up for thinking that fun/happiness is the goal. She challenged us to be more creative in asking questions that really matter, "Were you able to befriend someone? or "How were you a blessing?" I admit, they sound a little corny initially, but how much more edifying.

Your blogging hiatus is bringing out the best in you! :)

ConservaChick said...

Eeeemommy, thanks for the nice comment!I'll have to check out the article you mentioned. ~Karlie