The secret to happiness

A couple of years ago there was an article in the Sunday Star Times headlined “What’s the secret to happiness ?” It caught my eye because everyone wants to know that answer, don’t they? After surveying 8500 teens, Auckland University researchers believe they found the answer.

What do you think the answer was?

It wasn’t money or alcohol, it wasn’t sex or drugs, even Church or peers. And it wasn’t rocket science. The answer didn’t surprise me in the slightest. The secret to happiness is ……… “family”.

Your teen’s ultimate happiness is all about having healthy relationships with good old Mum and Dad. Here’s some snippets from what they said.

“being able to talk to family is the most important thing”
“the way you interact with your family influences your mindset”
“what happens in the home has a huge impact on teenage moods”

One young lady talked of how her parent’s divorce affected her in her first year of high school. Her unhappiness at home flowed into her school life, and she believed that parents don’t realise how much their actions affect their kids.

It seems so strange to me that the media presents this material as if it is new-found research and discovery. Yet, you and I know that a strong family unit based on open authentic communication, bucket loads of acceptance and encouragement , and loving discipline produces confident happy young people.

Of course, at the core, your marriage, with Christ at the centre, is what matters the most. (Eccl 4:12)

When will our society, and the Government, realise that the backbone to our country’s success is a strong family life and provide incentives for pre-marriage coaching, for attending marriage events such as a Weekend To Remember, and rewards to couples when they reach certain milestones?

I see it as a much better investment than the buckets of money that pour into the family court when things turn to custard. As the old saying goes…….

“better to be a fence at the top of a cliff, than an ambulance at the bottom.”

And that’s why I’m so thankful that through FamilyLife we get to help couples build their own fence, and play a small part in their kids’ ultimate happiness.


Nikki Bray

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