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Learning to Be Content Series

Posted by on June 25, 2012

We’re having vacation envy around our house. My girls’ best friends just found out they’re going to Orlando to go to Universal Studios in the fall, and my girls (and I) are struggling with jealousy. It’s not that we haven’t been to Orlando. We have. We’ve just never been to Universal Studios. And it’s been four years since we went on a big family vacation.

We’ve got a beautiful new basement. We’ve been on a bunch of smaller trips. We get to eat out about once a week. We have two cars. We have more clothes than we can wear. Yet, we’re still struggling with envy. We’re still struggling to be content with what we have.

Contentment is a tough thing. It’s a choice. And it’s a hard one. In the culture that we live in where everyone seems to have everything, it’s sometimes tough to not look at our neighbors and friends and want what they have. It doesn’t seem to matter that we have more than 98% of the world. In the moment, all that matters is that we don’t have what someone that we know has.

I think that learning to be content and teaching our kids to be content is one of the hardest things to do. How do we teach something that we struggle with so much ourselves? That’s why we’re going to spend every day this week talking about contentment. Join me this week for our Learning to Be Content series. Here’s the line-up for the week. You won’t want to miss a day:

Monday: Introduction

Tuesday: What is Contentment?

Wednesday: Contentment is Learned

Thursday: Being Content with What You Have

Friday: Strategies for Teaching Contentment

Contentment is an important character quality for us to have and for us to teach. When we stop striving to gain more and to have things just because everyone else has them, we can focus on the things God wants us to focus on. When we are striving to gain things, tangible or intangible, we take our focus off of God. We become consumed by things that are not from God. 1 Timothy 6:6 says “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

And that’s what I want. Godliness with contentment leading to great gain. If that’s what you want too, leave me a comment to let me know you’re joining me for this series. Then share this with your friends so they can join us, too. Let’s learn to be content so we and our kids can focus on the things of God rather than our own desires.

 

Linking up today with The Better Mom and Graceful.

7 Responses to Learning to Be Content Series

  1. Kim

    Great post!

    This is probably one of the most important lessons you can teach your children. If they can learn to be content where they are with what they have, you will have done them a tremendous service.

    A couple of additional points come to mind:

    When I facilitate the Financial Peace classes for our church, we talk about “opportunity cost.” This is so important for kids (and parents) to learn. We need to be intentional about where we spend time, money and energy, because when it is spent it is not available to be used elsewhere. As facilitators, we help parents teach their children to think more broadly about what truly matters to them rather than just buying to keep up with their friends or buying because something has momentarily caught their eye.

    The other point has to do with finance as well. When we work together as a family to become debt free, we become very intentional about our choices. Our children learn the value of saving for and paying in cash for purchases. Over time, attitudes change about stuff; it loses its hold on us and becomes less important. This is a critical piece for learning to be content, I think.

    • Lori

      Kim,

      Those are some great posts. Reducing the value we place on stuff and teaching our kids the same definitely adds to our contentment factor. Thanks for bringing all of that up.

  2. Jelli

    I am really looking forward to this! Sometimes I think I am content living on little, but then I think about how many wonderful opportunities that my family has had recently, and I realize that we’re actually the people that make others envious sometimes too. I suppose it’s got a lot to do with perspective. I’m sure that there are loads of people who’d love to live like your family. I cannot wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves for this series. I know I’ll be learning a lot from you.

    • Lori

      Jelli,
      Thanks for commenting. That’s a great point. Sometimes we get so caught up in seeing what we don’t have that we forget to count our blessings for all that we do have.

  3. Shari

    Can’t wait!

  4. Becky Boggio

    I am joining you this week! I am jealous as we have never been to Orlando but would like to. We have been to Sanibel though. And if I have told my kids once I have said it 1000 times they never seem happy with what they have. Everything always could be better but they get that from me. Really going to pray and take this all in this week. Thank you !

  5. Michelle DeRusha

    As the queen of discontentment, I need to read this series big-time, Lori. I will be perusing the other posts for sure…thank you!

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