“But Godliness With Contentment Is Great Gain.” I Timothy 6:6, KJV
It seems like these days I look around and find young mothers expressing their need for having more things, doing something greater, going somewhere better or reaching for higher goals than being a contented woman. I wonder what makes us so discontent in our lives which are brimming over with the eternal treasures of The Lord as well as Earthly treasures? Why is it that contentment seems so overlooked in the church today? I heard a woman not long ago complaining about the summer break because it meant staying home with her children.
This comment grieved my heart because I knew how much this young mother was missing from spending contented, quality time with her beautiful children. Many moms fill their calendars with busy-ness which takes them to the ballpark constantly, to friends houses, the local amusement parks, all the Bible schools in the area, and so on. After a summer like this, who wouldn’t be exhausted ready to send the children back to school? This is sad friends. And please know, I say this from experience. Twenty years ago I found myself in the same place. Being home was not what I wanted. At that time “today’s woman” had a career, a sitter for the children, and was constantly on the go. And on top of that, the commercials on television sparked us to buy unhealthy, lifeless microwave meals for dinner as well.
I can tell you, in my life, it was only the grace of God that kept guiding my heart to see what true contentment looked like and helped me to make the changes necessary to enjoy my family and my home. God has used the puzzle pieces of life to show me and teach me contentment and how rewarding it truly is.
What changed my heart was allowing the presence of The Lord to lead me in His ways rather than my picture perfect model of the world. And this happened by spending precious time with The Lord without an agenda but simply allowing Him to do the work needed to change my heart. Do I need to remind us that satan works hard to tear families apart? We are his playground. The family and the church are where he works his hardest. I believe contentment in the home must begin in the heart of the wife and then it branches out to her husband and the children. And as Gate Keepers of our homes, we must be continually putting on the armor of God and staying in constant prayer for our family to refute the work of the enemy.
What Is Contentment?
Webster’s defines contentment as being satisfied, easy in mind or placidly happy. Isn’t placidly a fun word? Placid is defined as serene. Ahhh…serene. Whatever season of life you are in right now, I encourage you to close your eyes and picture yourself placidly happy and serene as you go about your duties at home. Placidly happy. Serene. Satisfied. Content.
I remember when I was a young girl my sisters and I would take our Sears Wishbook Christmas catalog and cut people and different rooms of a house out. We would set these pictures up and play paper dolls. How many of you used to do this? This was so much fun! We wanted to be like our parents and have a home and a family. What happens to that childhood dream? Some may say reality, but may I challenge you to listen for God’s reality on contentment rather than the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). The life Jesus brings is the highest blessedness (II Corinthians 4:10). This highest blessedness should keep us in contentment alone. Not to mention all the other many great blessings The Lord gives us.
Contentment Is Learned At Home
I believe as women our main purpose is to be in the home. This is not a slam against working women. This is a heart condition. For even those women who need to work because of their individual circumstances, a contented woman can still have a longing and a joy when time allows her to be home. I believe our main priority and objective needs to be our home and this happens in our hearts & minds first and foremost. Working outside the home doesn’t have to keep us from having this contentment.
God’s word tells us one of the qualities of a virtuous woman is, “she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27, KJV) . This is written for us, ladies. Whatever season of life you’re in, it’s for you. God’s word is always living and active. If it hadn’t been important to God, He wouldn’t have placed it in His word.
Do we find contentment in doing the mundane tasks of laundry, cleaning, caring for the children, and cooking? But, you might say, ‘this isn’t fun’. Well, why isn’t it? Contentment is a choice. God gives direction but it is entirely up to us what we choose to do with it. Are you making a choice to love your job at home? Is this evident in the way you speak to your husband and children? Or when they see you doing laundry or cooking dinner? Do they see the joy of Jesus or an expression of exasperation?
The World’s Contentment Is Not The Same As God’s Contentment
Contentment is not having the biggest house in the neighborhood or the most expensive vehicle in your garage. You won’t find contentment in sending your children to the best schools nor by attending the mega-church in your town. Contentment is a choice and it’s all about what is in your heart and mind, not what is in your pocketbook. Nor is it about the way you appear to the rest of the world. I know we know this but sometimes this thought comes in unaware and takes over our hearts and puts us on a path of defeat and heartache.
God, of course, blesses us with way more than we deserve. But are we so bent on having these worldly things that we lose our sense of true contentment from The Lord? This verse in Timothy is very plain in telling us that contentment along with being in right standing with The Lord is great gain. Great gain, ladies. This is important to God. Let’s not take this lightly.
Is what’s spilling over into your heart due to a lack of contentment? I have on the wall in my bathroom across from my shower the verse, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 KJV). It is placed here so that I can see it daily and know that as important as it is to be clean physically it is crucial for us to have a clean heart before God as well. We all have times where we struggle in wanting to look like everyone else. But if we are constantly reading God’s word and allowing His Spirit to work in us then these times will be dispelled quickly.
Home, A Placidly Happy Haven
I know for me learning this contentment took an effort. We began staying home on days where we once would have gone to the amusement park, shopping or friends across town. Soon being home became a habit that I enjoyed. And the overflow was evident to my family and all those who entered our home.
Contentment is a choice but it must be learned firsthand before it’s meaning and blessings will resonate within you.
There are many things we can proactively do to make our home a spiritual haven.
- Peace-a peaceful home is a clean home. The decluttering of your home creates an environment of peace.
- Meal times-Declutter your time to allow for family meals. Having specific meal times centered around healthy foods is a crucial part of creating a happy haven. Meals don’t need to be difficult or a chore. Make them fun and involve the children. Be creative. We are made in The Lord’s image and He is creative. Try new things and be excited about them so that if you have children your excitement will rub off on them. This excitement helps them to have a good attitude about the food placed before them and actually helps their digestion too. Don’t allow the busy-ness of life to rob your home of this tool.
- Family time-Another aspect of decluttering your time involves having specific family time. This can be centered around the mealtime or could be a separate time in the morning or evening. We all love to talk and share. In our home, we have a game we use to spark deeper conversation. We have even used this game when we’ve had friends or family over. It is called the Ungame-Family version. Even when our youngest was 3 she enjoyed it. We all need a balance of seriousness and fun. The combination spurs us to be content.
- A Smile and a Kind Word-Decluttering your heart makes us better able to focus on what God has chosen for us to spend our time on. Keeping a smile on our face and having kind words on our lips as we interact with the people in our home and in our lives has lasting rewards. And they notice. If our 4-year old granddaughter sees any one of us without a smile will say, “put a smile on your face”.
- Hospitality-Decluttering our fear of having others over is a great way to find contentment. When we have a peaceful home sharing life with others is a great way to find contentment. God set it up this way so that we could encourage others through hospitality. This is a true help in finding contentment, God’s way.
- Prayer-decluttering time to spend with God is certainly the most important. If I can recommend one thing to help you become content, your individual prayer closet time is it. I encourage you not to neglect this time.
A Heart Check
Not long ago I was seeking The Lord’s wisdom for an area of my life. I had been praying for several weeks about this particular topic. It was something I felt led to do. One night, in particular, I prayed for His wisdom to speak to me on this specific topic. Praying for The Lord’s wisdom at bedtime has become something I take seriously. If you haven’t read my post about praying for God’s wisdom at bedtime, I encourage you to do so.
So, remember I had prayed for His wisdom this particular night before going to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night, I awoke with a clear verse on my mind. I scribbled it down on the pad on my nightstand and as soon as I got up that morning I looked it up…
And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:10
I knew this was His answer. And as I began meditating on it and understanding what He was saying I began to repent. My prayer changed from “give me Your wisdom” to “I’ll do whatever You want in this situation”. That may sound like it could be one in the same but it wasn’t in this particular situation. I was still taking control and was discontent where I was. Here is where He showed me what my heart was dealing with.
I am extremely content in my role as a stay at home wife and mom with all this entails including homeschooling, but something came in the back door, so to speak, and made residence in my heart. The Lord showed me that the root of this was a discontentment. I was searching for something bigger and better. Not that I was unhappy with what I had, I just wanted more.
And let me tell you, once He dealt with me on this and I began confessing my completeness in Him above all He confirmed what I was asking Him about in the first place. We serve an awesome God and no one else holds that title in my life. God is an orderly God and allowing His Spirit to do the necessary work in our hearts day by day will keep us in His will and on the path that He has for us.
A Final Word On Contentment
I hope if you landed here looking for answers on contentment you will leave feeling encouraged in this area of your life. As always, I hope you’ll spend some devoted time in your prayer closet seeking The Lord’s help in contentment. I hope the bullet points help you establish a peaceful home that provides a placidly happy haven for you and your family. And may this placidly happy haven ground you in His perfect contentment.
I highly recommend a book by Blanch Rouintree, The Contented Woman. Keeping a book going at all times helps strengthen me in my walk. These resources, I hope, will strengthen you as well.
May God bless you as you seek contentment.