Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Truth About Discontentment

"If only we could have a bigger home, a bigger salary, an extra car, better appliances, obedient children--then I would be happy. It seems like everyone else has these things, why can't I?"

The young mother grumbles under her breath as she attempts to clean her tiny home. She has rehearsed this in her mind so many times and now she is entertaining these thoughts:

"If only my husband would work harder"

"If only I had married someone else"

"I can't stand being around the children" 

"Why is my life so hard?"

Then she becomes depressed and discouraged, often crying herself to sleep at night.

Her husband comes home and they argue about money and she is quite irritable with children too.

But the truth is that this dear mama needs to guard her heart.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23

And she needs to take captive her thoughts:

"and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

We have to check our discontentment---is it leading me to do good and change my life and behavior for the better or is it causing me to sin in my own life, against others and my God?

And when materialistic discontentment rears its ugly head in our lives, we also need to ask ourselves the hard questions..

Am I discontent with what the Lord has given me?

This is a hard truth to wrestle with, but at the end of the day, do I pass the test of thankfulness?

Because if ultimately everything I have is because of Him, I need to acknowledge that. Whether it is good or bad.  I also need to acknowledge that if I am discontent and unhappy with what He has provided that day then that is sinning against Him. Is He and His grace not enough (2 Cor 12:9)? Am I not thankful with the food and shelter He provided (Matthew 6:25-34)?

"Godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Sinful thoughts in us can lead us to tearing down our homes and wives,  Satan as well would love to steal the joy from us and our flesh is weak. He would love for the root of bitterness to grow in our lives. We can become prime targets aiding his attempts to destroy the our homes--and know that he will try to sneak his way in their somewhere! We cannot and should not allow it.

So next time, dear ladies, when you find yourself in the seat of discontentment, ask yourself if you are thankful with what He provided that day.

Examine your hearts to get to the bottom of the motive of your thinking and ask the Lord to shed His light and truth on your situation.


 Do you need more reading or encouragement in this area? We highly recommend Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth:

Gratitude is a choice.  If we fail to chose it, by default we choose ingratitude.  And once allowed into the heart, ingratitude does not come by itself but with a lot of other seedy companions that only succeed in stealing joy.  To not choose gratitude - daily and deliberately - is more costly than we usually realize.  And when we do choose a lifestyle of heartfelt, humble gratitude, we are mindful of the benefits received from our gracious Savior and those He has placed around us.  

By intentionally thanking God and others, bitterness and entitlement are replaced with joy and the humble realization of just how undeserving we really are.  Derived from a popular Revive Our Hearts radio series,  Choosing Gratitude:  Your Journey to Joy challenges and equips the reader to live a life of intention.  A life based on thankfulness - for the freedom Christ has provided and for the blessings of others.

As a bonus, a 30-day plan of journaling, prayer and activities to help the reader on her path to joy is included.

Find this book HERE.

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Gwenda said...

I am very happily married to a wonderful man that God gave me. I truly wish that more women(especially younger women) would understand that God is good and he richly blesses us whether with a small or a large house. Someone out there always will have more than us, but that is not what will make us happy and content.

Holly said...

I am convinced that the Lord led you to write this post for me. Since yesterday I have been struggling with discontentment. I have been praying for a "settling" in my heart. This is the 3rd time this morning that the Lord has directed me towards the verse in Psalms about guarding my heart. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Lately, when I find myself wanting to grumble about having to clean up after my husband and kids yet one more time, I find myself instead thanking God for the wonderful family that He gave me and the home that I have been given the responsibility of caring for.

Our Olive Green Home said...

Thank you for this post. I find that sometimes my world seems less happy when I am very tired--discouragement seems to be the companion of fatigue. Recognizing this helps me "shrug it off." Love your blog!

Jasmine said...

Amen, a very timely word for me too. Thank you for posting.

Rachel said...

Great reminders! "Rejoice in all things" comes to mind. God's will is that we would be a thankful people :). And it truly is a blessing to be able to stay home with your babies, even if your house is small and income tight :). I must hang on to this reminder!!!

Finding Joy said...

This works both for women at home, but also for women at work - for whatever reason they are working - being discontent means coming home from work grumpy and it affects the children and husband. ALL women need to look around and see what they have and make the very best with their situation and not grumble. Have a joyful heart makes a cheerful face:) They will be surprised at how well the family and household will run with their change of attitude.

The Scribbler said...

To guard something, you must be diligent. I have found that I really have to protect myself from negative influences such as decorating magazines and catalogs...even friends and family. Discontentment is a disease in our society which has infected the Christians as well as non-believer. We need to "stick to our guns" and show the world and our children what a truly thankful and contented heart looks like.

ecaterina said...

How could I think that the laziness of my husband is a gift from God? I have 5 kids and I am pregnant and I have been really ill lately, so he was supposed to take care of the children and clean our house (we cannot aford to pay a woman to make all the housework). It has been a disaster!
I am struggling not to blame him for the hunger my kids experienced almost daily, for all the dirt that surrounded us. I am recovering and things are much better now, but I can hardly forgive him for watching TV instead of giving us the support we needed.

Debbie's L'Bri said...

Ihave been trying hard to be thankful this year. Thanks.

fairykin said...

I think a great god assignment would be to fill in the blank after the word contentment:

contentment is______________________

And after we write down what we think it is, what the word of God says, and our agreement with God's word, cut it out and paste it on our refrigerator.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

I think it's important to ask if you are content with what God has given you and where you're at in life...but even more important is to ask, "When was the last time you thanked God for all of your blessings"...and really foster an attitude of grattitude :) :) Thanks for the great post. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

Anonymous said...

The key to happiness is to want what you already have. Great article!

Anonymous said...

He should have helped. He is supposed to love you as Christ loves the church and also love you as his own flesh. If the house is falling apart he should have did whatever it took to keep you & the home & the kids together physically and mentally.


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