If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Contentment? Learned? All things?

I have been thinking on the topic of contentment lately as I can say that right now I am at a very content place in life. No doubt much of this is driven by the joy I am finding in having Ruthie, the fact that I love Jack's school situation, work is good, marriage is good, Sam makes me laugh everyday- Life is just good. But I don't think that when God talks about us being content in the Bible, that He means our contentment should be defined by our circumstances, like mine seems to be right now, but rather by a state of mind or a condition of your heart.

I am not a Biblical scholar so know that I may be wrong here, but this is what I see in God's word

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests
content, untouched by trouble.
- The source of contentment here is not stuff or financial security, but a right relationship with Christ

Phillipians 4:11-13
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I 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. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
-This is the verse I think of most when I think of contentment. I believe a key word here is learned. It is indeed a process and if contentment was found in our circumstances then there would be nothing to learn we would either just have it or not.

1 Timothy 6:6-7
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
-Again here we see contentment linked to Godliness and not possessions

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
-Contentment found in the security of our relationship with Christ not in our finances

So today my boys both have a cold and they weren't able to go the beach with the neighbors. Jack spent most of the morning complaining about how boring our house is and that there is nothing to do. The child has his own bedroom and 2 playrooms full of toys but he is not content. He is never going to find contentment in his stuff and I will never be able to entertain that child enough. So how do I train my child in the way he should go? Here are some ideas I am coming up with and I would love to hear your insight too.

1. Model it for him.
I know my life is not going to stay this blissful for long and that the next challenge is just around the corner. My job is to model contentment during that time too and the only way to do that is to go to the biblical source of contentment which is Christ. If my contentment is truly found in Him, then my circumstances should not matter. I know it has to start with me. No doubt discontented adults raise discontented children.

2. Teach it to him
If contentment is learned as Paul says, then shouldn't you be able to teach it? Do you teach contentment by teaching your children about Christ? I don't think it can be that easy because there are a lot of discontented Christians out there. Any ideas?

3. Ok I am out of ideas.

For the record, I don't think contentment gives us license to be complacent. I don't think that is what scripture is saying here. I think it refers to our understanding of who God is and our right relationship to Him when it comes to our possessions and at times our God ordained situation.
Would love your input here.

Because it would be a crime to post without a picture of Ruthie, here is my girl puckering up to kiss us goodnight.


TanyaLea said...

Sweet pucker!! :)

And as far as contentment goes, I pretty much agree with what you said about it. I also know that contentment and complacency are NOT in the same category, and should not be! We are not to grow complacent, yet I think it's one of the areas that Christians have to work on more than anything these days. Especially with the direction that the world seems to be leading. But we need to stay strong in the Lord and in His word, renewing our minds daily as He instructs us to, so that we don't accidentally fall into the 'complacency' trap of life.

Have a blessed week and thanks for the scriptures! <><

kimberlysink said...

maybe a small part of "teaching" contentment to the kids is simply not giving in to their every desire...and we also talk a lot about our compassion boy who is the same age as kyle...being an active participant in this and other things such as operation Christmas child gives them somewhat of an idea about life outside of suburbia. now, my contentment...wow...that could use some re-evaluation! i'm just thankful for God's grace which covers my times of discontentment & complacency!

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