Contentment and Kids

I realized something this weekend.  My children do not possess a spirit of contentment.

Maybe it’s the catastrophe in Haiti, maybe it is reading the Bible in 90 days, maybe it is observing how my kids handle disappointment…I don’t know.  But, I do know that I am deeply convicted that it needs to change.

To be completely honest, it took a near death experience for me to fully grasp what being content truly means, just as the apostle Paul wrote in Phillipians 4:11-13:

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 everything through Him who gives me strength.

I want to teach my children the secret spoken of in these passages.  That being content should not depend on whether you get to go to the skating rink with your friends or whether you have the latest video game in your hands the second it is released.

I am mad (adolescents can push my angry buttons quite well), I am sad (that they don’t have a deeper understanding of this concept) but most of all I am determined.

I am determined to go back to the way we used to do things in our house…before we got busy.

Oh, friends, if only we could see how busyness is a tool of the enemy.

When my kids were small, we had a gratitude and prayer journal that we wrote in almost daily.  We would go back at the end of the year and see how God had provided for us and answered our prayers.

I have a prayer journal but do we continue to do this as a family?  No.

Why not?  Because between homework, sports and general busyness, that time has not been a priority.

I have told myself it isn’t that big of a deal.  My kids are good kids.  They go to church, youth group and mission camp.

We can rationalize anything away, can’t we?

My husband and I discussed this  (in the car, the only place we get true privacy LOL) and committed before the Lord that our focus would change from this point on.

We only have a few years of direct influence on these boys.  I want them to leave our home knowing how to be content, no matter the circumstance.  I need to unwrap the secret that I learned, and that the apostle Paul learned, and instill it in my children.  Will you pray for me?

P.S After thinking and praying about this all weekend, I came across a post that confirmed we are on the right track.  You can read it here.

This post is linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped.

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Comments

  1. We have realized this about our daughter too. Developed a set of core values for our family over the holidays and are working to incorporate that framework into everything … I’ll be sharing more about how that works (or doesn’t!!) over the next few months, I’m sure. But I think the first step really is identifying what the guiding principles or values will be in your home … of course, I’ll be needing you to repeat ALL of this to me in a few years when Casiday is a teenager!! Hugs to you my friend and lots of prayers!!

  2. Amen and Amen! I think we wall need prayer for that! Will certainly add you in!

  3. Prayers are being lifted. Pray for my family also. It's a choice as Emily so beautifully put it on her blog. Thanks.

  4. My kids are grown and gone, and I remember wondering if they were ever gonna get it. Sometimes I still wonder, but I see them changing. The words I hung onto are true: Train up a child in the way s/he should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it…

  5. Oh contentment. . .i only we could read this verse and find it. It sounds so easy, yet we make it so hard. Busyness is a tool of the enemy and we too often let it win out. This is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Found you via SITS. Excellent article. My kids are so similar.

  7. My older children are the same way. I love the idea of a prayer journal but they don't believe (they are my stepchildren). Maybe I can do that myself though.

    I think it is hard to “teach” contentment but showing is a big step in that direction. I wish you luck. Kids today often have the “right now” attitude about life. I wish they would just step back and see what life has to offer them.

    Thanks for linking up today! Oh, and we only get privacy in the car too! haha!

    • You are so right, Stefany..it is a “right now” society we are living in.
      And thanks for the reminder that kids learn by example! Was glad to find
      your linky

  8. My husband and I just had a 1 hr talk with our 14 yr old last week concerning contentment. He buys something and is envious that someone else has something better. He has this perception that kids who “have it all” don't appreciate it as much as he would if he had their stuff. I was floored and dismayed. My husband and I tried to explain the pitfalls of discontent, how he would spend is whole life unhappy. I think we need to go volunteer at a food pantry or something.

  9. Learning to be content is sometimes a difficult process. And teaching contentment to our children even harder. I will pray for you and your family as well as all of us to find true JOY in spite of what is going on around us!!

  10. oh, this is so good!! thank you for your comment this morning and i'm so excited to have found yours!

    i feel this exact same way! i've never thought of a prayer and gratitude journal with the girls … i'm determined to start one today!

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