My sweet Sofia is almost three and changing so quickly. Even so, there is a certain predictability when it comes to toddlers. Everything is “mine.” They always want “more.” And, they never want to go to bed. Certainly, they know nothing of what it means to be content. Mommas, it is up to us to teach our children to be content.
We must teach our children how to be content. #contentment #legacy Click To Tweet
What does it mean to be content?
Contentment is generally defined as being satisfied, happy or at ease with your situation or status in life. Others see it as an attitude and more specifically as “knowing God’s plan for your life, having a conviction to live it, and believing that God’s peace is greater than the world’s problems.”
I believe the pursuit and study of contentment will land us somewhere in the middle; being content means I am not chasing the latest and greatest. It means I am not trying to keep up with my neighbors or more aptly my fellow bloggers. Being content means I understand that God’s purpose for my life is different from that of my friends – and being at peace with that knowledge. Even when my life doesn’t go exactly as I’d planned.I can be content because I can trust God. #contentment #legacy Click To Tweet
Mommas, let’s be sure though that we are not confusing contentment with complacency. Let’s not allow ourselves to reach such a state of self-satisfaction that we become unaware of our own deficiencies.
The Bible and being content.
In the book of Matthew, Chapters 5 -7, we read some of the most well-known teachings of Jesus; generally referred to collectively as the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:25-26, Jesus shares the following:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
At first glance we might be tempted to think this is “just” a verse about worry. Look a little closer. If we are overly concerned or worried about our life we are not living with a posture of contentment. When we choose to live a life marked by worry about what the next day will bring, how we will get by or even ahead, we are choosing not to trust God to provide. We are not living content in His assurances. Perhaps the secret to being content is whether or not we really trust that God is who He says He is and will be.
Further in the chapter Jesus reminds us that we are different; that we should approach the affairs of this life differently – as a chosen people set apart.
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Again, if we trust in our Heavenly Father, if we believe that He knows intimately not only how we are knit together but also of our needs then we can rest content in His provision.
This doesn’t mean that things will always go our way or even the way we planned. Living content in His provision means we trust that what He wants for us is better than what we may have wanted for ourselves. When we trust that He knows best and that He is more capable of driving the bus that is our lives we are freed from that burden, that responsibility. Such freedom paves the way to contentment and allows us to invest our energies, abilities and strengths in Kingdom work He created is specifically and uniquely to do.Contentment frees us to live a life focused on others. #contentment #legacy Click To Tweet
Mommas, we know that if we live our lives constantly seeking or working toward that next promotion, bigger home, larger platform or smaller dress size our children will tuck away these lessons like nuggets of truth; a misguided and misinformed lesson they will pull out and reference years after they leave the nest. Is this really the truth you want to guide their days?
Let them see you pray over your decisions; about that next house or a job opportunity. And then, let them see you wait and listen. Demonstrate how you trust God to order your steps. And then, when a door is closed, show them how to be content. When a prayer is answered in the way you’d hoped let them see you celebrate. In either situation they will see you demonstrate your trust in the Father and that you choose to be content in either situation. Let’s not make God small in their eyes. Let’s show them that their can trust their Heavenly Father and in doing so find the path to and a legacy of contentment.