I am a single mother who will be forty in a few months. My son is ten and is a great kid. But even though I enjoy his company very much, every day I feel lonely and unhappy for not having a house and a home for him.

I would have liked to do things well in my life, to have married and to have a decent home…. My son wants us to have a house of our own… but my income does not allow me that luxury…. Not a night goes by that I don’t suffer emotionally because I can’t give that to him…. I feel like I’m going crazy because of being so messed up emotionally.

Dear Friend,

We are so very sorry for your emotional anguish! However, your incorrect beliefs are a bigger problem.

You believe that having a husband would make you happy and that owning a house would make your son happy. But these beliefs are not based on reality. If you read our other Cases of the Week at message2conscience.com, you will discover a great quantity of married women who are extremely unhappy because of marital conflicts. And you will see that there are cases that describe how family problems have been caused because of making housing the priority instead of relationships. Read Case 279 for an example of both of these issues.

Happiness is not something that comes from our circumstances, and it most certainly does not come from having houses or money. Some of the people in the world with the largest houses and the most money are the unhappiest. Neither does happiness come from being married. Marriage can be a wonderful thing, but when the two people marry as a way to meet their own individual needs, it can become a prison of despair that lasts for decades.

Due to your unfulfilled desires, it will be difficult for you to accept that your beliefs about marriage and home ownership are incorrect. Those desires lie to you every night and cause your emotional anguish. These lies keep you from enjoying and appreciating all the good in your life. While you concentrate on what you do not have, you are missing all the opportunities to create wonderful memories with your son. In another eight or ten years, he will likely be wrapped up in his own friends and future. You have very little time left to show him by your example that he can find happiness in giving to others, in enjoying creation, and in having a purpose greater than himself.

The Apostle Paul said: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”(1) He summed it up by giving credit to God for the strength to be content no matter what circumstances came his way. This strength and contentment is available to all who follow Christ and trust in God’s perfect will for their lives. Make the decision today to say no to the lies that you have believed and, instead, to trust God and believe in His plan for your life.

We wish you the best,

1 Php 4:12-13