Content with a Little

When Joe and Maggie were first married, they loved their home. It didn’t matter to them that it was a small one-bedroom apartment and that there wasn’t much inside–they were together. They enjoyed decorating on a shoestring budget, finding deals at yard sales, and saving up for the occasional meal out. It was fun being creative with their money, going on bike rides and walks instead of spending their precious few dollars on movies or amusement parks. But they started to dream together, on their walks. Looking at the little brick ranch homes dotting either side of the street, they thought about the day when they might become home-owners. They agreed that if someday they could just own a little home of their own, with a small yard for the dog, or future children, THEN, they would be perfectly happy and content.

A few years down the road, they had their first child, and their financial situation had improved just enough that they were able to buy one of those little brick ranches with three bedrooms and a bath and a half. The wife joyfully did laundry, being thankful for her own laundry room and no more saved quarters or trips to the laundromat. The husband was proud to tinker around the house, fixing leaky pipes, updating lighting fixtures, and painting the walls of his own home. They were even able to eat less 33-cent pot-pies and grilled-cheese sandwiches for supper as their budget allowed for more nights of pot roast and pork chops. They thought they couldn’t be happier.

A few years later some of their friends moved into a brand new home. It was in a fancy subdivision and had lots of square-footage, a hot tub in the master bathroom, a manicured lawn, and a neighborhood pool. Joe and Maggie started to feel disgusted with their own home. “We need another bathroom!” Maggie would complain. “I’m tired of everything breaking around here,” Joe would mutter. Maggie longed for new furniture and more clothes to fill her closet. Joe longed for the latest electronic equipment and membership to a prestigious golf club. If only they could live like the So-and-so’s, THEN, they agreed, they would be perfectly content.

Charles Spurgeon said, “You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”

I have to admit that I’ve seen the truth of this statement in my own life. Though I’m not rich by American standards, my life is filled with wonderful material gifts from the Lord. Yet, I’m always wanting more. More stuff has never made me more happy. But I can be just as happy in a tiny apartment as I could be in a million-dollar home. Or I could be just as miserable in a million-dollar home as in a tiny apartment. It’s all a matter of contentment.

I Timothy 6:6-11 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (KJV)

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Published in: on May 27, 2008 at 4:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Weddings are Good for a Marriage

I love going to weddings for lots of reasons: seeing the distinctive decorations, ornate gowns, fresh flower arrangements, and listening to the beautiful music. I love seeing the sparkle in the bridesmaids’ eyes, the uncontrollable smiles and the barely controllable tears in their eyes. I love watching the groom’s face as he awaits his bride. And I can never (ever!) hold back my own tears as I watch the bride march down the aisle on the arm of her uncharacteristically emotional father. It’s an enjoyable experience. 

But I love weddings for a much more personal reason too. Weddings remind me of my own Special Day, May 8th, 2001. In my day-to-day living, I often forget what a great, long-anticipated treasure in my husband I gained that day. We had dated for five long years and could hardly wait to be together forever, to not have to say goodnight and part ways ever again. And I thought I would never lose the wonder of it once we became One. 

Older married folks would chuckle at us and tell us that we’d stop hanging all over each other, that we’d get used to being married and that we would even stop serving and preferring each other so often. But we shrugged them off and said, “Not us!” 

Well, 7 years later, I’ve got to plead guilty! There are ways that I’ve taken my wonderful marriage and my amazing husband for granted. And the wedding I attended on Friday night helped me to remember the treasure I have and the promises I made to reverence, honor, and submit to him.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Philip Thompson, and thank you for sharing your beautiful ceremony with me!

Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 2:40 am  Comments (2)  

Modesty Link

If you’re interested in further reading about modesty and the Christian woman, here’s a 6-part (relatively short) series from C.J. Mahaney, of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Proverbs 15 and Parenting

Today I was searching for verses that address specific struggles my preschool children face as they’re learning to obey and show kindness to others. I’m assembling a document that Dan and I can use when teaching and disciplining. We’d much rather use Biblical language (“When your brother yells at you, use a soft answer in return.” than “When your brother yells at you, don’t yell back.”) when we can.

Well, my study took a bit of a detour, because I kept finding verses that apply to ME! (So now we have a “Mommy and Daddy” document going too…)  Look at these verses from Proverbs 15 in the context of parenting, and see if you aren’t as convicted as I am!

Prov. 15

1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly… 4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.…17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.… 22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. 23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!… 28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Published in: on May 4, 2008 at 5:08 am  Comments (3)