From the Learn To Be Content Series
Y’know I’ve been learning contentment from my kids lately. Yes, from my kids. From their actions and behaviors towards me I can see how we should be towards God. Contentment isn’t about getting what you want when you want but about graciously taking the good and the bad from our Maker and accepting that it is all good.
When my kids cry and grumble at me when I ask them to clean their room or fold the laundry, it hurts.
It hurts because I’ve done so many good things for them that they love! Then I ask them to do something that is not only good for our home but will be a resource for them later and it becomes a struggle. Of course it is a teaching process right now and that’s the part that they don’t enjoy. The process of learning the habit, cheerfully, is the very thing that causes the grumbling and back talk. In the moment it is difficult to them and unreasonable.
So why try in the first place? Why not just shower them with treats and digital pleasures? This would make for delightful children in the short run. But in the long run they would be spoiled brats, lazy and without any life skills. Of course no loving parent would want that for their child. Creator would never want that type of life or eternal life for His children.
But how do we LEARN contentment? Knowing the end result doesn’t change the difficulty of the process.
When we are in the middle of a trial (yes Sunday mornings with children qualifies as a trial and any morning for that matter) we need to find contentment.
Well the best ways to learn is either doing it yourself or by closely watching others go through it.
Looking at our Creator’s Words gives marvelous insight.
At the time when Jesus fasted for 40 days the trial came. When he could have complained or fell prey to the attack, he looked for contentment, not a solution. He could have done something! He was all-powerful, His tempter reminded Him. Jesus humbled Himself to the circumstances He had. He was here to serve the Father and not fulfill Himself, not seeking for Himself – even though He was hungry, He wasn’t going to obey Satan and His flesh. Jesus stated that the purpose of man is to follow God, obey God and to do that He (we) must live on every word of God – the Bible. (Matthew 4:4)
Jesus was satisfied with God’s word, even when His physical state wasn’t perfect. Contentment is learned when we focus on following God, above fulfilling ourselves.
Paul also wasn’t in the best physical position, especially as he was ministering to others! Sounds like a mother’s life. Giving, serving, listening, working for tiny humans, while tired, hungry, bored, and perhaps needing things ourselves. But Paul didn’t complain, Paul didn’t grumble or let bitterness overwhelm him.
Paul “learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Philippians 4:12) He learned through the process of good things, and bad things, but always returning to the sovereign God who enables us to do all things by His strength (Philippians 4:13).
Paul knew that EVERY situation (happy or hurtful) that happened to him was for his good… and was OUT OF HIS CONTROL!
I believe once we come to know, and accept, that our very lives, our daily experiences, are not ours to own but are God’s, then we will also learn contentment.
Contentment with what we are graciously given.
Contentment with what we are loving learning about life, ourselves, and our God.
In many ways we are not unlike our own children. We cry and grumble but that is displeasing to God. He gives us delightful blessings of life, but He is also teaching us lessons. These lessons only come by going through the process.
Let me encourage you to keep coming back to Philippians, even try to memorize it! Reading and re-reading the gospels and meditating on Jesus’ humbleness through the trials set before Him, and apply these to our own lives.
Staying on track, and motivated can be an ongoing battle for anyone and moms can sometimes get the brunt of the battle. I’m there right with you and that’s why I created the SUNSHINE LIST to bring regular connection, motivation and hope as you walk this journey to contentment. Click here and join to bring light and sunshine to your days.