Monday, May 9, 2011

If Momma Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

While I cringe at it grammatically, I'm sure we've all heard the phrase, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". Perhaps we've all felt justified in dragging down the mood of our homes on our bad days. I know I've certainly felt that way, thinking, "I'm sorry you're probably having a bad day because I'm having a bad day, but sorry, that's just that way it is today."


In  Family Fragrance: Practical intentional ways to fill your home with the aroma of love , the authors state that children (and husbands of course!) have a right to live in and count on an atmosphere in the home that is "fair, consistent, and predictable." They write, "That does not leave out the qualities of mystique that add interest, but it does rule out mood swings that may make children wonder or worry if Dad or Mom is going to be in a bad mood from a tough day at work [or at home]. Family members need to be able to rely on the fragrance in their home to be consistent and predictable" [bold mine].

So how can we turn a bad mood around?

Here's some great advice for "mood replacement therapy" from the book:
"When He sensed the quick downswing of the moods of the disciples after He notified them that He was leaving, Jesus changed the atmosphere with some fragrant words: I want you peaceful, untroubled, and unafraid (John 14:27)."
  • "Be peaceful--by believing He is in control. Jesus did not offer His disciples a worldly absence of conflict. He offered them HIS peace--a peace that has God at its center and His will is in control...
  • Be Untroubled--by dwelling on His peace. We become troubled when we dwell on the unknown and the 'what if's' of every circumstance...A troubled spirit only serves to deepen trouble itself.
  • Be Unafraid--by having a heart of faith. Dwelling on uncertainties and problems leads to eventual acquiescence to fear. Fear rushes to the chair where faith once sat. Fear blocks potential faith and steals our serenity."
Isn't that great? Reading this convicted me that I am not justified in carrying around a bad attitude. For the sake of my family (and certainly my own spirit), I need to snap out of it by putting my relationship with Christ into practice and allowing the Holy Spirit to change my natural response to things. I can pray and focus on Christ's words to essentially be peaceful, untroubled and unafraid. Then, as we better control our moods, we can also model proper attitudes for our children and teach them to become healthy adults by not feeling justified to slip into a sour mood.

Another great quote:
"Creating a soothing fragrance in our homes, we face a multitude of choices that require maturity." So we can choose if we're going to harbor resentment, frustration, irritation, injustice, etc., or if we're going to let it go for the benefit of ourselves and all those around us.

"We who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." (Proverbs 16:32).

For more on this wonderful, practical book, see also: The Fragrance of Beauty in Our Homes

What do you think about bad moods? Do you agree that we should not linger in them for the benefit of all around us? How do you intentionally shed one?

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