The old adage “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” holds true in our house. I’ve noticed that my children’s emotions and attitudes often reflect my own. When I brood over an incident, the kids bicker at each other. When I rejoice over news, the kids gleefully torpedo around the house. When I grow quiet and withdrawn, the kids cling and whine. When I cuddle close to Daddy, everyone piles on top to be close too. Quite simply, my young children gather their emotional cues from me. It’s an enormous gift and burden that requires me to frequently check my own heart. On who or what am I emotionally dependent or where do I gather my cues? And how can I maintain a stable, peaceful home for my children to thrive?
I cannot depend upon myself for emotional stability. When I lose sleep, I grow tired and irritable, and when we run out of coffee, I panic. As the bank account empties, I grow discouraged. When relationships falter, I ache, and as my children cry and whine, I frustrate. When plans fail, I grumble. Left to my own devices, I drag my family aboard a non-stop emotional rollercoaster.
I cannot depend upon others for emotional stability. My loving husband gets tired, and my sweet kids push every one of my buttons. My dear friends grow busy, and my extended family unintentionally offends. Very simply, we are all sinners incapable of perfection, so to pin my emotional state to another imperfect individual or group guarantees emotional unrest.
I cannot depend upon the world’s offerings for emotional stability. Money fluctuates, and smartphones rob my time and affections. Vehicles inevitably break down, clothes wear out, food fails to satisfy and sport teams lose. Sleep eludes, exercise plateaus and health fails. Television series resolve, and laundry multiplies. Career expectations shift. I simply cannot depend upon transient things to keep me emotionally afloat.
I can only depend upon my almighty Father to satisfy and secure my heart. Our unchanging Father alone offers stability in our ever-changing life circumstances. My Father is immutable: I am secure in His constancy. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
My Father is omniscient: I am secure in His inexhaustible knowledge. “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139: 4).
My Father is omnipotent: I am secure in His infinite power. “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).
My Father is omnipresent: I am secure in His boundless presence. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10).
My Father is Agape: I am secure in His everlasting love. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
As my children daily look to me for emotional prompts, may I daily look to My Father for mine. As life threatens to yank me around, I can anchor my soul to my steadfast Savior. Unlike myself, He never disappoints. He is a fortress, a rock, a strong tower and a shield to all who trust in Him.