Just Because It Feels Good

http://cdn.planetminecraft.com/files/resource_media/screenshot/1231/lessons-in-life_3121009.jpgMy daughter Jada knows, from a variety of sources, that smoking is bad for you.  One day she asked me, “If smoking is bad for you, why do people still do it?”  To which I replied, “Well, smoking is bad for you, but some people still do it because it feels good.”  She seemed surprised that smoking felt good.  But I continued: “So you see, just because something feels good doesn’t mean that it’s good for you or that you should do it.”  In a hedonistic, anything goes society, this is an important distinction. 

My daughter also knows, from Amy and me telling her, that the way babies are made is by mommies and daddies putting their special parts together, resulting in a baby growing in the mommy’s tummy.  One day she asked us if we had ever put our special parts together.  Since her and Aaron were both adopted and didn’t come from Amy’s tummy, this is a fair question.  We responded by saying that we had, because it’s something that people who are married can do to love one another and because it feels good.  As with smoking, she seemed surprised that sex feels good.   But we continued: “But you know, because it feels good, sometimes people do it even if they’re not married, and Mommy and Daddy believe that God made putting special parts together for just people who are married to one another, and that it’s wrong to do that if you’re not married.  So you see, just because something feels good doesn’t mean that it’s good for you or that you should do it.”

You probably agree with me that smoking is bad for your health.  You may or may not share my belief that sex outside of marriage is immoral and not good for you.  Regardless, the larger point I’m trying to make is the one I’m trying to make to my children, which is that their decisions shouldn’t be governed by what feels good.  Feelings are important, and they are helpful parts of who we are as humans.  But our decisions should be governed by something greater than what feels good.  And our kids are better off if they learn this, from their parents, than if they have to figure out their own way on their own.

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