Why Your happiness matters

3 Reasons Your Happiness Matters: Why you should strive to be happier.

Does your happiness matter?

I believe it does. In fact, I believe that your happiness matters a lot!  I ask this question because many people mistakenly believe that happiness is selfish. I know because I grew up in the church, where the happiness is selfish myth is prominent.

When I was born, my dad was a youth pastor, and I literally learned to walk in at church. I’ve been around long enough to know sometimes Christians feel guilty when they focus on themselves. After all, as Christ-followers, we are called to love and serve others. The inward focus of psychology can make Christ-followers feel uncomfortable.

In the college psychology classes I teach, students sometimes refer to focusing on oneself as “fluff” and “selfish.” This is okay with me, as I appreciate honest conversation and like to know what others are thinking. What I love is their views often change over time. By the end of our class, many students come to realize that their happiness is actually one of the best gifts they can give to others.

What if your happiness matters and is one of the best gifts that you can give to others? I believe it is. Find out why: Click To Tweet

3 Reasons Your Happiness Matters

What if your happiness is more than selfish fluff?

I suggest that focusing on your happiness might be one of the most important things you can do for yourself and others. Here are three reasons why I believe your happiness matters.

1. Your happiness matters because you matter.

You matter… a lot. According to the Bible, you are:

You are valuable because you have been assigned value. Imagine for a minute that you are exiting a bank with a crisp, brand new, $100 bill in hand. As you walk to your car, something on the side of the road catches your eye. In the gutter, you find a muddy, tattered, torn, and crumpled $100 bill. Do you pick it up? I would. So, would most people–which is why we don’t find $100 bills along the edge of the road. A $100 bill is worth $100. This is the value assigned to it by the United States Treasury. It does not matter if the bill is new, used, tattered, torn, muddy, or crumpled. The value of the bill remains the same.

Your value is similar–though much greater–than that of a $100 bill. God assigned your value when he sent Jesus to the cross. Your worth is the price of God’s Son and nothing you do or don’t do changes that. You are God’s prized possession. Because you matter, so does your happiness.

You are God's prized possession. Because you matter, so does your happiness. Click To Tweet

2. Your happiness matters because your mood affects others.

Moods are highly contagious. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Have you ever spent time around someone who had an overall negative outlook on life? If so, do you remember how you felt afterward?

In college, I once met a girl for a blind date who spent the entire time complaining about her health issues. I felt sorry for her. By the end of the date, I was emotionally exhausted. Needless to say, we didn’t go out again. What could have been a fun coffee shop conversation (we met at a Starbucks) ended up being a draining experience.

On the other hand, associating with happy people is energizing. I am convinced that one of the best things parents can do for their children is to take care of themselves. My girls can tell when I’m happy, stressed, or frustrated. My oldest daughter is especially aware of her parent’s non-verbal cues. If she thinks something is wrong, she will ask. Parents who model appropriate self-care and emotional regulation are setting their children up for long-term success. Children will follow their parent’s example. Emotionally regulated parents are more likely to raise well-adjusted, emotionally regulated children.

From a Scriptural perspective, Jesus calls his followers to be salt and light. A burned-out Christian is similar to a burned-out light bulb–he or she is not very effective. Your happiness matters because your mood is not just about you. Your happiness impacts everyone you meet.

Your happiness matters because your mood is not just about you. Your happiness impacts everyone you meet. Click To Tweet

3. Your happiness matters because you alone are in charge of your emotions.  

Years ago, a depression medication commercial on television posed the question, “Who does depression hurt?” The answer was, “everyone.” My heart goes out to those struggling with depression. Depression is painful. But it is not only painful for the person who is depressed. Friends and family are hurt by the depression too. What is especially frustrating for family members is not being able to fix the problem. Family can encourage their struggling loved one to get help. They can cheer this person on, offer support, and do their best to be a part of the healing process. However, if a depressed, angry, or anxious person does not want help, there is little that a family can do. Ultimately, you and I are in charge of our own emotions.

Ultimately, you and I are in charge of our own emotions. Click To Tweet

How Your Happiness Blesses Your Spouse

What if your happiness actually blesses your spouse?

If this were true, then happiness wouldn’t be selfish after-all. I think it’s time to bust the happiness is selfish myth.

There is an old saying, “A happy wife is a happy life.” This saying contains a lot of truth. I am a fairly independent person. I love it when my wife, Jenny, cooks for me, yet I am fully capable of cooking for myself. Jenny also does a wonderful job of caring for our home. However, I am a capable cleaner, decorator, and caregiver for our kids. The one thing that I cannot do is make Jenny happy. I can do nice things for her or offer to help. I can even tell jokes and try to make her smile. Nevertheless, I cannot make her happy, and similarly, Jenny cannot make me happy. Emotions are highly personal, and each individual is ultimately responsible for their own level of happiness.

One of the best gifts that husbands and wives can give each other is to effectively manage their own emotions. The book of Proverbs has much to say about angry men and contentious women. In fact, Proverbs 21:9 goes so far as to say, “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” Living with an angry, depressed, quarrelsome, or unhappy person is frustrating. We can ask them to change and offer support. We can beg, plead, and have a direct conversation about how their mood impacts us. Yet, we cannot directly alter another person’s emotions. Each individual must take charge of his or her own happiness.

Why Happy is Better

Moods matter! Don’t be a burned-out light bulb or a quarrelsome spouse who leaves their partner longing for a peaceable attic room. Happy people make better husbands, wives, parents, co-workers, friends, and representatives of Christ. Happiness is more than fluff. Taking the time to regulate and manage your own emotions is one of the best gifts you give to others. The Bible says it best; truly, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

If you are in a slump and are not as happy as you would like to be, you will want to check out my free happiness report. Be Happier; Now, Introduces ten practical steps to elevate your mood fast. The first strategy takes less than five seconds to put into practice. The report is free with your subscription to my free newsletter. Simply enter your e-mail here, and you’re in! Then, leave a comment below and let me know what you are doing to be a happier person and spread your joy to others.

Be Happier Now eBook

Continue the Conversation

Let’s dive deeper into the happiness conversation. Here are a few questions for reflection and discussion.

  • Have you ever fallen for the happiness is selfish myth? If so, what’s the story?
  • How has your loved one blessed you by being happy?
  • Can you identify specific ways your happiness blesses your partner?
  • Are there other ways your happiness matters? What would you add to this post?

Now that you’ve heard my thoughts, I’d love to hear yours. Let’s continue the conversation on why happiness matters in the comments below!

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

3 thoughts on “3 Reasons Your Happiness Matters: Why you should strive to be happier.”

  1. Great post today, Jed.

    I think Christians get the idea that being happy is somehow wrong through several (erroneous) avenues:

    1. Those who grew up with or adhere to the 1611 KJV version only (which, by the way, I have no particular issue with and still refer to) inadvertently pair what they’ve heard, read or memorized with Elizabethan literature — which feels “heavy” to modern readers / listeners. For those who may still be living as I was taught — that the 1611 KJV is the “only inspired version” — I would ask two questions. First, what was the inspired version BEFORE 1611? And second, do you believe in missions work? If you do, do you believe that all people’s of the world must first learn 1611 Elizabethan English before they can have “the right Bible”? Or do you believe that supplying them with a modern version in their own language is acceptable and ideal, so that they can understand and respond to its message?

    2. I think, due to this adherence to the 1611 KJV, early film depictions of Jesus followed suit, where actors portrayed somber, famished and depressed versions of Jesus in order to match their interpretations of the “holiness” of his speech patterns. Keep in mind that, to the people of 1611, the Bible didn’t feel formal! It was just how they talked to each other: in shops, on the street, at home. And certainly, the original New Testament Greek reflects this casual style, as well.

    Preachers often focus on the times Jesus chastised the Pharisees or shook his head at his friends’ lack of faith. But I’ve always thought, “Children came to him, and children don’t flock around angry or somber people.”

    Committing NOT to be happy, and then trying to “share your faith,” seems ironic: “Hey there, I’m miserable. Want some?” Uh … no thanks. How do we miss the “joy unspeakable” clearly talked about?

    Concerning your final point, one of the pieces of advice in my current book, passed down to me by my best friend’s mom, Carlotta, is this: “If you’re expecting someone else to make you happy, you never will be.” And that is the truth. I add to this: “No one can MAKE you happy.” By the same token, no one can MAKE you angry or jealous or anything else. As you pointed out, Jed, those things are entirely up to each individual. Once we accept this truth, as hard as it might be to let go of blaming others, we open ourselves to the power and freedom of CHOICE. We stop being victims and begin to see real change — and real happiness.

    1. “No one can MAKE you happy.” It’s easy to forget that life does not just happen to us. Although bad things happen, we have a choice about how we respond to them. We can also be happy in spite of the challenges that life throws at us. I love this quote Erik!

      Great thoughts about the Bible too! I’m wondering if the “somber Jesus” depicted in the movies came out of a desire not to add to scripture? By not taking some creative license, and by purely sticking to the text, our image of Jesus came out to be rigid and somber. Yet, Christ must have been real, engaging, and much more lively than portrayed in the movies to have made such an impact in our world. Great thoughts–you certainly got me thinking 🙂

      1. I loved a couple of scenes in “The Passion of the Christ”: where Jesus is chasing Mary around the house a bit; and where he and the disciples pass a fountain in town, and Jesus starts splashing them and laughing.

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