Saturday, September 22, 2007

"I'm not in the mood!"

Ever thought why marriages are failing and divorce rates are skyrocketing? Why there's so much rebellion and so little commitment? Here's what I think is one of the key reasons: our relationships are based on too little duty and way too much 'moods'!

While by no means I mean to undervalue our emotions, just think what we would come to if we only did what we felt like doing. Today I might feel inspired and uplifted and do my work with gusto. I sing while I cook and hang the laundry cheerfully. Tomorrow, I might not be in the mood – and then what? Should I just let the house go?

Some days, we feel like the kindest, most patient human beings. Then the next day, we feel like leashing out on our loved ones. So… should we just 'go with what we feel'? Obviously, not. In the mood or not, we should prioritize and see what we must do – and then just do it, even if we don't feel like it, patiently and preferably without grumbling. We rise above our fleeting little wishes and we do the right thing and give to others – and this is what makes our life meaningful.

You might be asking yourself, 'if I don’t feel like doing something for others, should I still be doing it, even if it frustrates me?' – if you ask me: yes! If it's your duty - absolutely. Why? Because it's giving that builds everything that is important in our lives, and relationships that are based on moods will dwindle and die – they have no firm ground to stand on.

I often hear opinions such as, 'well, if this doesn't make me happy right now, I guess I shouldn't be doing this'. This is fine when we're talking about a trip to the movies, but not when it comes to things that are the foundations of our life. Should we stop praying because we don't feel like it? Should we give up on doing something we know is best for our family, because it doesn't fit what we want to be doing right now?

24 comments:

Mrs. Brigham said...

I could not agree more, Anna!

Whenever I begin to feel these icky sort of feelings rising, I begin to recall situations where I truly had no other choice but do what needed to be done. Take last year on November 1 for example, I was *really* not ready to have a baby that day. I needed to grocery shop, do some cleaning, finish baby shopping, and some other things, but God had other plans than I did that day. ;o) I had no choice but to head to the hospital, give birth to my dear daughter, and then come home two days later and order groceries online while pumping milk. If God could see me through a time like that, he will certainly see me through doing other annoying, unpleasant, or difficult things I might not want to do on every other day. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel if we go against our selfish natures and do what must be done. And while the "little things" may not seem as big & dramatic as something like childbirth, they are still just as important. After all, if we opted not to do what we must do to feel good right now, our entire lives would wind up collapsing down around us, leaving us feeling much worse.

Rebekah S. said...

Wow! Such wisdom, Anna! What an awesome post! I completely agree. Two years ago, my grandmother divorced my grandfather. The reason? Because she "just wasn't happy anymore". We need to start remembering that it isn't all about us all the time!! Her reason for leaving was not a good one!! He was never abusive, he was a great husband etc., yet because she just wasn't that happy anymore, she left.

Rebekah S. said...

So very true, Mrs. Brigham!

Anna S said...

Rebekah: I don't want to sound judgmental, but I think there's an overall trend of taking marriage lightly.

Mimi said...

Anna,
many times after we force ourselves to do the thing needed to be done (even though we were not In the mood)
we end up feeling so good after completing the task that we are no longer not in the mood
God can even help us to pick ourselves up out of a bad mood if we call on Him!!!

AnneK said...

I guess I agree with the gist of the post as in we can't let things go to ruin because we do not feel like doing it. But for me, I try not to do things if I can't do it cheerfully. It is kind of my personal motto "If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing cheerfully." It may sound corny, but I actually sing when I am cooking and cleaning. I would rather not grubmble and grunt and groan when I am doing tasks. If that is how I feel like on one particular day, I just don't do it and I have realized that the sky doesn't fall if I don't do the dishes one day. I can usually get out of the slump the next day.

Obviously I do not use ths thinking for praying, church going etc :)

Anna S said...

Annie: obviously I didn't mean that the roof will collapse over your head if you put vacuuming off for a day or two ;) I meant the general, selfish attitude of only doing what we like, when we like.

Susie said...

Anna,
Usually, after I get around to doing something I'm grumbling about doing the following reactions occur:
1. That wasn't worth sinning against God (when it says "do" and "do not" in scripture it's not a suggestion but a command...even to not grumble and complain).
2. It wasn't as bad as I made it seem.
3. I'm thankful that I finally finished it and replaced the "complaining" feeling with a feeling of "accomplishment".

Rebekah S. said...

Anna,

I know you aren't trying to sound judgemental, and quite frankly, I completely agree! It's so sad that people just aren't taking it seriously as they ought anymore.

Anna C said...

Very timely, Anna, I should go reevaulate a project my husband wants to do but I put off because I wasn't in the "mood."

Thanks! ~Anna C

Anonymous said...

Too true, Anna. It's amazing how attitude can override emotion...& oftentimes that can be a good thing.

Brenda

Kristy Howard said...

Wonderful post, Anna! As usual, you are right on target. Lately I haven't been "in the mood" for much of anything... I'm 9 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child and pretty much tired, queasy, and miserible all day long! :P It's been a challenge to keep up with the laundry, keep the house semi-clean, and still have a smile on my face and a song in my heart! Thank you for the reminder and heartfelt encouragement!
~Kristy Howard~

Becky K said...

I loved your entry today. I have been blessed enough to be married for 3 years now and I can truly say that it is work, but I believe that all good things in life you have to work for. It is truly a travesty of our times that people think this way about marriage. My parents have been married for 34 years this November...I have great role models to look at, we all need more examples like that. Thank you for another wonderful entry!!

brain beats and bits said...

hi ana. i'm hailey from the Philippines.i've been dropping by here for quite sometime now and i agree this time that indeed love is not based on feelings but on commitment. yeah, more than the moods and feelings commitment is way deeper and more sustainable than spur of the moment swings of feelings. Jesus did not just "feel" to save us but really committed himself up to the point of dying on the cross to save you and me. such a Divine example for us to follow, right?
God bless you and your family!

Michelle said...

Sage words, indeed.

Brightest blessings to you and yours.

Michelle

Stephanie said...

That's good... and catchy!

Way too moody... not enough duty!

Andrea Powell said...

Anna,

Amen. I especially liked your reference to duty. I love it in Jane Austin when the man of honor speaks of doing things because it is a duty. I want a man who is more concerned with duty than feelings. I'm happy my husband believes it is his duty to love me whether he feels like it or not, and that it is his duty to provide for his family whether he feels like it or not, etc. I'm sure I can't expect this of him and not of myself. It's too bad duty is such a bad word in our society. I've found it to be liberating. It's certainly preferable to being at the mercy of my passions and their consequences.

Elizabeth said...

I have to agree ... sometimes one just has to do something, even thought one doesn't feel like it, because it's the RIGHT thing to do. Sometimes it's not fun and not easy. But if it's the RIGHT thing to do? Well ... DO it! I'm sure there are times when doing one's duty isn't the most impotant thing, but I think that if everyone did their duty more often the world would be a better and happier place!

Buffy said...

I don't think most children are raised to have much self-discipline these days, and it's a difficult skill to acquire as a grown-up.

Rebekah S. said...

If we were to go throughout life doing only those things which we felt like doing, and which make us happy, then we would probably be disobeying many of the Lord's commands in Scripture!! For instance, in order to obey Matthew 28:19a "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,", we have to step out of our comfort zone! It takes boldness to share Christ with others, and sometimes we may not feel like doing so. So, does that mean that because we don't feel like doing this thing, that we are going to flat out disobey Christ's commands? That's something to think about.....

Terry said...

What a timely message. Especially in our feelings driven world. We grow by doing what's right even when don't feel like it or it's inconvenient. Anyone can do what feels good. That's easy. It takes maturity and a selflessness to do what's right because it's right. Great post, Anna!

Kristi said...

I absolutely agree! I would add only one other thing to what you said. That is: in doing what is our duty to do with a cheerful attitude, whether we feel like it or not, it builds our character, adds to the person that we are.

I read this on a flip calender somewhere:

The test of your character is what it takes to stop you.

I read that years ago and still remember it!

Karen said...

Wise words!

Jordin said...

So true, Anna! Thanks!