I’m Not Happy... A Mom's Lament
- Friday, July 10, 2009
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” (Proverbs 3:13–18)
How about this scenario: You are working all day—you are responsible for homeschooling, errands, dentist appointments, and sick babies to care for while trying to keep some order in the house and put meals on the table. You have many interruptions and crises, but you make it through somehow and even have a hot meal ready. Your husband walks in the door and the first thing he says is: “Why didn’t you get my laundry done today? That’s all I asked you to do! What’s for dinner? Spaghetti? I hate spaghetti, is there something else I can eat? What did you get done for school? Did you have the kids correct their math right away like we talked about?” Boy, am I not happy. I feel like a failure with a capital F. And before you say that that husband is a loser with a capital L, let’s look at the situation objectively.
As a wife, I am constantly trying to prioritize my time in order to accommodate my husband’s desires. But more often than not, I forget to put him first. (Sounds like my time with the Lord too. I think there is a correlation there.) There seem to be so many other voices that are just crying louder than his. After all, he’s a big boy now and can take care of himself, right? Not exactly.
God created a wife to be her husband’s helpmeet. He did not create her husband to be her little helper. He created us in such a fashion that when we marry, we become one flesh—no longer are we two people trying to mesh together. Rather, one man and one woman are becoming one flesh. Do we nourish and cherish that flesh, or do we only seek nourishment for our half of that one-flesh union? Again, it’s a change of focus that will bring happiness. If we are looking to our spouses to fulfill us, we are looking in the wrong direction.
Just one glimpse of Christ could fill our hearts with true happiness. We would rejoice as we get that laundry done first thing, and we would be happy to please God as we listened to that small voice that said, “He doesn’t like spaghetti—make him something else,” and our joy would be full as the children show Dad their corrected math assignments. It just seems that things flow better and we are blessed when we obey the authority that God has placed over us. What if our spouses are still not happy with us? Take up your cross and follow Christ to that place that says: “For the joy set before me I will endure the cross. I will find a way to bless those who curse me.” Yes, it’s a place of death to that dusty self, but what arises from the dust is a God-filled life of joy. When we do things God’s way according to His laws, He says we will be happy.
Keeping the Law Brings Happiness
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)
Mothering can be anything but happy when your once-dry socks are now wet and your once-clean kitchen floor is splattered with cereal and milk and you are trying to get the Cheerios® out of the toaster and the milk off the wall and the children to cooperate in helping to clean it up while the toddler runs through and slips for a good nose dive. You now have a bloody nose and a slippery floor to clean up as well as a toddler to comfort.
Mothering can feel like the piling up of one thing on top of another until you feel like you are just digging yourself out, one disaster at a time. Where’s the joy then? I would venture to say that if you had a song of praise to the Lord in your heart before the disaster struck, that song would still be there as you teach your children how to clean up and how to be compassionate toward a hurting sibling. Don’t let the disasters turn you into a depressed wreck; rather, let them spur you on to a renewed song of praise for these precious children the Lord has gifted you with, and all things will line up with that focus of joy. You could certainly say with the Psalmist that you are a “joyful mother of children.” Things will still keep piling up and you might still be halfway under that pile, but you can dig with more fervor and energy if you have the joy of the Lord as your strength and the realization that your rewards are ever before you.
Happiness Is in Our Rewards from God
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