That word makes me uncomfortable, it really does. The only difference is that now it makes me uncomfortable because I now realize that I had a really poor definition of what it actually meant. Until recently, the word content meant that I had to give up my dreams, that if I was to be content, I would have to settle. Contentment for me, meant comfortable and comfortable was and is the last thing I ever wanted to be.
Comfortable. I remember being in pre-marital counseling and my then-fiance, now husband, answered a question regarding finances. That was the word he used. Comfortable. I wanted to run. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a heart full of dreams and I never wanted to just be comfortable. Or content. To me, both of those words were interchangeable. For years I could not understand where my husband was coming from, what he meant when he said comfortable and why he always seemed happy with where we were in life, but I finally get it. It is not that he doesn’t want more. He does. But, he is content where he is, feels blessed with what we have, but still looks for a brighter future. I realized I was missing out on so much because I was afraid to be, dare I say the word? Content. And the worst part about my spirit of discontent is…
It has infected our children.
What we do as parents, how we live and what we believe, does matter. It matters now and it matters for eternity. Now I see how all of my talk about where we wil live one day, what kind of house we want to have, etc. etc. has infilitrated their minds. Of course, there is nothing wrong with sharing my hopes and dreams, but I think there needs to be balance. They need to know that we are blessed where we are because our amazing Lord has shown us an abundance of blessings even if they aren’t in the form of a 2 story house. But just as they have learned how to be discontent, as I have, we can learn how to be content.
Did you know that the apostle Paul wrote from a prison cell, yet he was content? How is that possible? He learned how to be content.
Philippians 4:11-13 states, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.”
Did you catch that Paul was able to do all of this, learning to be content because of Christ who gave him the strength? He didn’t do it alone. He didn’t have the answers, but he knew who did.
The whole concept of contentment has been quietly been surrounding me for the past month and a half. It started when I felt God tugging at my heart during recent sermons. Then I became part of Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s book launch team for Smart Money Smart Kids and finally a sermon I watched on television. It’s funny how a book that is meant to provide parents with the tools to help their children become financially successful, has impacted my life. But I think that is what the book was supposed to do. It made me realize how much my own ideas about contentment were impacting our children. One little chapter in an amazing book combined with God’s stirring in my heart and some well placed words in sermons have helped me realize how wrong I have been about contentment.
Contentment. I want that. I need that. I want our children to know how that feels deep down in their spirit.
So, in following Paul’s footsteps, I think we have a whole lot of learning to do.
If you are interested in reading more about contentment and more in the new book, Smart Money Smart Kids, grab the special pre-order deal before the book hits the shelves on April 22nd!