There’s beauty in contentment. It’s the ability to express gratitude in the moment, in the season. It’s a choice to look at what God is doing, what God has done, and find joy in Him alone.
I’ve met so many people on my walk with God who are waiting for something to happen to enjoy life. If only I could, “Have a boyfriend or girlfriend.” If only I could, “Get married or have children.” If only I could, “Have a best friend or tons of friends to do things with, then I’d be happy.”
The problem with this type of thinking is it negates that every blessing brings a new set of challenges. Adding people to our lives reduces the amount of free time we have. We have a new level of sacrifice that is required if we want to be good, quality friends and not deadbeats. We have to learn the other person’s strengths and weaknesses.
The movies often do a poor job of expressing the reality of real relationships. They don’t show the seasons, the learning, the growing, the akwardness, the suffering, disappointment, or sorrow. What is painted is non stop Magical Kingdom. Who doesn’t love adventure, fun, good times all the time? The reality is anything worth having takes effort.
Healthy relationships are also based on two people having their own lives and identies. Unhealthy relationships are codependent. When relationships are used as a means to find identity and happiness it leads to heartache.
I’ve had long term relationships. My happiness did not come from that person. It came from God. So when God let me know that relationship wasn’t headed in the right direction I could step away and still live a fulfilled, joyful life.
People don’t complete us, God does. Any source of identity or fix for contentment outside God leads to pain. People are not God. God never intended for others to fulfill us.
Contentment in God is the best place. God does not change. God is stable. God’s love and affection is not wavering. He doesn’t love one minute and then withhold love another. God’s love isn’t shallow, based on our appearance or what we can do for Him. God’s love isn’t selfish. He’s not simply looking out for Himself. God’s love isn’t based on merit, it’s independent of our behavior.
An identity rooted in Christ is rock solid. An identity rooted in relationships with people is like the shifting sands. It can fade away. Spouses can pass away, children too. Friends can come and go. Dating or courtships can end. No one can separate us from God’s love.
Joy rooted in God grows with relationship and abiding in Him. Joy rooted in what’s happening is simply happiness and can be taken away or shifted based on circumstances.
Contentment rooted in who God is lasts for eternity.
I’m unmarried…so I continually give thanks for the following.
- God’s unfailing love and friendship.
- As much time as I want with God.
- The ability to truly invest in people’s lives without distractions.
- The ability to be present without wondering what a spouse or children need.
- Sleep and rest.
- Traveling wherever I want to go, whenever I want to go.
- The ability to be involved in and lead multiple ministries.
- Time with my family that’s undivided-there’s one not two families to keep up with.
- Serving others by opening my home, giving of my time.
- A clean house.
- Money to bless others in need. The ability to sow into others without checking in with someone.
- The ability to work and go to school.
- Learning more of who I am in Christ and my individual destiny with God.
- Feeling loved and cherished every day by God.
- Being under God’s authority which is always used to love and protect, not out of selfishness or control.
- Being loved for who I am not what I have to offer or my physical appearance.
- Growing in Godly confidence and wisdom.
- Writing and lots of time to write/create.
- Adventures with God and friends.
- Building a business with God.
- Time alone with Holy Spirit to be taught by Him.
- Having my heart, mind, body protected.
I also give thanks for the basics: food, water, shelter, and clean clothing. I give thanks for everything! God is good all the time. In every single season, God is good.
Whether you are married or single, theres something to be thankful for and contentment can be found in God. I encourage everyone to make a list of things they are thankful for and thank God.
God bless you!