Are parents trying too hard to make their kids happy? And is that having the opposite effect? These questions introduce an interview with Lori Gottlieb, author of an article on the subject of unhappy young adults. Her conclusion: Yes. Parents who refuse to let their children experience failure or sadness give them a false view of the world and do not prepare them for the harsh realities of adult life. They’re left feeling empty and anxious.

Some Christians expect that the Lord will be the kind of parent who protects them from all sorrow and disappointment. But that’s not the kind of Father He is. He lovingly allows His children to go through suffering (Isa. 43:2; 1 Thess. 3:3).

When we start with the mistaken belief that it’s an easy life that will make us truly happy, we become weary trying to live out our faulty belief. But when we face the truth that life is difficult, we can invest our lives in the pursuit of a good and godly life instead. That kind of life strengthens us for the times when life is difficult.

God’s goal is to make us holy, not just happy (1 Thess. 3:13). And when we are holy, we are more likely to be truly happy and content.