If that's the case, this will help you move forward in that decision.
The Secret To Happier Households
Let's face it, most of our households have a lot of endless friction going on between our marriage and our parenting friction, as well as our relationship with our children, and that between siblings.
If you are not intentionally and consistently working towards creating a happier household, I guarantee you, you are really chipping away at your joy for the things that life demands us, and it can bring you down really quickly.
What I'm sharing with you is the number one thing you should be doing in your family as a way to encourage and support your family towards adopting the concept of happiness.
Now, before I get started into that, I wanna talk to you a little bit about this thing called happy.
Happy is the thing that we all seek and long for.
It's not just about our marriage, our parenting, our relationship with our children, or even our own life. It is the very thing that we as Christians are said to have – the promise of a life to the full in John 10:10.
What we have to recognize is that just as important as that promises to us, there is enemy working behind the scenes that is attempting and thriving at killing, stealing, and destroying the very essence of the purpose in our life and that thing called happiness.
So I wanna talk to you a little bit about how brands have used happy to actually sell their product and how important it is for us as parents to recognize the importance of selling happiness to our children, and how important it is for us to search and seek and find happiness in our marriage.
Now, in order for us to do that, we have to first recognize that influences are the very things that are robbing us from this happiness.
Allow me to be a little transparent with you here.
In the early years of our marriage, I did not work after I became pregnant because we had a miscarriage and my husband and I really wanted to make sure that we brought this baby into our family safe and sound.
Our thoughts were let me stay home and get some of the rest and what I found is that I got bored really quick.
I was reading 800 page books in a day.
I was rearranging our home like crazy.
We did not have a television when we first got married for the first couple years, and then my husband decided, let's get a television. Not because his life was bored, but because he grew up without one and we enjoyed movies from time to time. So we brought a television in.
The interesting thing is that before I knew it, I became to develop this habit that I saw my mom do when I was a little girl and that was watched afternoon soap operas.
You might know what I'm talking about, but I ended up finding myself getting into this place where romance was filling my mind and was influencing me and changing the character, the development, and the behavior because of my thought lives.
I was thinking, why couldn't my husband treat me this way? Why doesn't my husband do these things for me? Why doesn't my life look like this?
Before I knew, it began to chip away a little at a time.
I began to realize the dangers of what was going on around the time I had decided to Homeschool our first child in kindergarten.
Now, when I came to that point, I also knew that in order for me to break a habit, I had to put something in its place.
For me it was to fill my morning with homeschooling, my afternoon hours cannot be filled frivolously in front of television because I'll then have laundry to do instead of in the morning. I would then have my dinner preps in the afternoon instead of the morning.
So my life took a change of behavior, and next thing you know, I was able to quit that cold Turkey.
But the problem was those influences in my mind actually was chipping away from the happiness in my home. Even though I had stopped doing those things, those thoughts, those desires were still rooted in my mind and in my heart that it took me a good long while.
When I'm talking good, long while I'm talking years to recognize as the damage I had done to my relationships and how unhappy I was. I felt like when I was in public or even in front of my husband, that I was wearing this fake mask on front. You might know what I'm talking about at a masquerade party. You know those things you just wear around and everybody accepts it.
The real you is hidden behind this mask. And what I found is that when I got home, that real, that mask came down and that I was real with my unhappiness.
Before I knew it, I had lost my joy in not only my marriage, but in parenting. And I was literally living the life of my dreams. I always wanted to be be the wife and the mother.
The homeschooling desire was rooted really quick in me, not because of everyone around me was homeschooling, but I loved the philosophy of what homeschooling could do for us. And I was like, why not? Why not do this?
So as we started out, I realized that I was going through the motions of my life, that I really was lacking any type of happiness.
I remember one day sharing with a group of close friends. We were together in my living room. I'll never forget the time that I was explaining what I was going through and how I was seeking in the Bible. I was noticing that everything in the Bible when it talks about joy, talks about shout for joy.
It's an action.
It's where we're actually doing something.
It's a behavior that brings forth something.
I remember when I shared it, one friend in particular said, are you sure you're not depressed? Well, that kind of hit me like a bricks, a ton of bricks.
I went and researched depression. What is depression? And quickly I recognized I was not depressed, but I may have been on the path to depression, if that makes sense to you.
It all started because my joy was being chipped away by my inner thoughts.
Not because my husband was doing the wrong things, he was doing the right things, the things that made me fall in love with him. It was the fact that because he wasn't doing things that I wanted based on other influences, that he no longer was satisfying me for whatever reason. And our children were not those perfectly behaved children that I was beginning to feel all homeschooling families had, and I wasn't seeing the real life and anyone being shared.
So little by little those, those expectations were things that were driving me further and further away from my joy. And so in that time of recognizing the influences and how it was changing and affecting my character, my development and behavior.
I began to then say, no, I got to change things in order to get my joy back.
I loved laughter. In fact, I tell everyone I'm addicted to laughter, and always have been.
In fact, when my husband and I were first dating, he asked me, are you ever serious? He probably regrets asking that question now, but that's because I love to laugh.
I love laughter, and I seek it out.
So when I recognize that in order for me to have that joy, I must shout for joy,
I began to put my music on.
I began to sing all hours of the day.
I wouldn't do my chores without music on. My children to this day love listening to music while they do chores because they were influenced by my own decisions.
What I then found was working to now bring that joy into my family, I needed to do something different.
I had to have an action behind my desire.
It's not enough to just want to be happy as a family.
In order for me to have happier household, I must put an action behind it.
Now, this is the secret.
I'm going to tell you that secret is I had to change my behavior.
You see, at the time, my husband would come home from a long day work and yes, dinner was on the table like it always was. but instead of us sitting down and connecting as a family, I would be replaying the struggles I was having throughout the day with our children.
I was just throwing up over our meal, all the challenges I was facing as a mom, making sure my husband knew my day was hard, and that my child was disobedient in this area and that area, and I needed him to fix it.
Well, you can only imagine how the rest of the evening went. We were not happy over our meals.
After the meal was done, my husband would have to take said child, whichever one it was, aside, and had to work on disciplining and correcting and getting things right.
Before I knew it, it was bedtime.
Then my husband and I would be having issues at night.
Let's face it, the atmosphere of a home had been chaos and friction and not peace.
How am I going to have a happy household if I continued in that behavior?
I was influenced by Charlotte Mason again when she was speaking about seizing happy moments.
Those words just leaped off the page to me, seize happy moments.
That is when I decided that each and every time my family were together, I was going to seize happy moments, which meant that I had to change my own behavior.
I no longer could complain at the dinner table. Instead, I had to begin to praise. I would have to then encourage at the table instead of pushing down or complaining myself, I had to change that behavior, and it started around the table.
At this point in my life, it was very hard because I didn't know how to fix the problems in my every day. But I knew that happiness was something that everyone sold, and I wanted to sell it to my family.
The only way to do that was to get them to want to spend time together as a family.
The only way that could happen is if we could change the conflict of what was going on in our life. The complaining, the pointing fingers, the just the constant conflict going on in the conversations, and switch that to praise and encouragement.
What I found is that we couldn't wait to get to the dinner table.
Before I knew it, the fall had came and earlier nights, darkness settled earlier and our children looked forward to creating this atmosphere of peace. I would tell them that when Daddy walks through that door, we are going to have peace in our home.
Our children recognized we cannot have happiness if we cannot first have peace.
Peace brings along happiness.
So one would put on classical music we were listening to in our homeschooling days. The other one would light the fire fireplace or put candles on, or sometimes both.
We were beginning to change the atmosphere of our home.
We would sit around our dining room table and we would rehash the goodness of our day, the things that made us happy, the things that made us proud, the things that we overcame that was a struggle in our lessons. We would retell stories that we had learned about that day.
Before I knew it, this one action of seizing happy moments at the dinner table began to change in a big way in our family.
We began to then have better relationships.
And wouldn't you know it, that one action poured out in the rest of our days.
Our children began to seek ways to find mommy encouraging and praising them at the dinner table in front of their daddy, and helping them to understand that these changes, this one action of seizing happy moments actually flooded our home and made a huge difference in the friction that we were having in our minds and in our marriage, and in our parenting, and in our relationships with our children and with each other as siblings.
I wanna encourage you to take time today to figure out how to seize happy moments that can flood into your day.
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