“If I am contented because I have what I desire, perhaps I am contented in that one thing, but that one thing does not furnish me with contentment in another thing; perhaps I may grow more dainty and nice and froward in other things. If you give children what they want in some things, they grow so much the more coy and dainty and discontented if they cannot have other things that they want. But if I have once overcome my heart, and am contented through the grace of God in my heart, then this makes me content not only in one particular but in general, whatever befalls me. I am discontented, and would fain have a certain thing, and afterwards I have it: now does this prepare me to be contented in other things? No, but when I have got this grace of contentment, I am prepared to be contented in all conditions. Thus you see that contentment brings comfort to a man’s life, fills it full of comfort in this world; the truth is, it is even a Heaven on earth. ” p.79
All I can say is this passage is SO true!
When we set our hearts on that ONE thing——-that ONE “if only…….”——-and we get that ONE thing….we are content in that ONE thing.
But what about all the other “if only’s”?
Will we really be contented with that ONE thing? Or will we want all the rest of our things?
I know this too well……..Getting just that ONE thing we had our heart set upon—thinking it will make our entire life better and make us content.
MARRIAGE—-a BIG “If only….”
Marriage for me was that BIG “if only…”.
And for years and years I thought that if only I could JUST have this ONE thing, then I will be happy!!!!!
Then I will be ok! Then I will be content!
Then my life will be complete, all my problems will be solved, and I will lack nothing.
- If only I could be married, then I could be the woman I always wanted to be!
- If only I could get married, then I could be loved like I always wanted to be!
- If only I could get married, then I could be a housewife like I always wanted to be!
- If only I could get married, then I could be a stay at home mom like I always wanted to be!
- If only I could get married, then I will never be alone like I always feared I would be!
- If only I could get married, then I will be able to have intimacy like I always wanted to!
- If only I could get married, then I won’t have to bear the mark of single mother anymore!
- If only I could get married, then I would feel better about myself!
- If only I oculd get married, then I would be protected like I always wanted to be!
I didn’t have the eyes to see that this thing in my right hand was a lie!!!!!!!
I placed my ENTIRE happiness and hope for love, worth, security, and contentment all in getting married!
What I failed to miss was that I was unknowingly setting myself up for major disappointment, brokenheartedness, further pain and loneliness, and a lot of discontentment!
Not to mention, this was MAJOR sin, and God would not allow me to continue in such a thing, but would bring discipline and chastisement into my life like never before!
At the end of the ceremony, I was still Amanda, with all my faults, self-protective ways and mentality, disrespectful attitude, empty black-hole heart that can’t be satisfied, controlling behavior, and yet I had gotten that ONE thing.
And for a minute I was content and happy!Glorying in my special day at the court house.
Marriage did NOT magically:
- make me the woman I always wanted to be
- give me the love I always wanted
- make me into a peaceful, quiet housewife that was content to stay home
- make me a loving, patient, kind mother at home
- make me NOT experience loneliness (some of my most loneliest times have been since I’ve been married)
- give me the intimacy I always wanted
- make me lose my past and the fact that I have an illegitimate child
- make me feel better about myself (it actually only exposed more and more of my sin over time and brought me through some very rough times of depression and having to overcome shame and guilt, etc.)
- give me the protection I thought it would
I was blind and I didn’t understand anything 2 years ago. I really truly believed I would be content in life if ONLY I got this ONE thing 🙂 (I hope some people might be able to learn from my failure in this area)
By the grace of God, He has opened my eyes to discover over these 2 years that actually, marriage is not the answer to my deepest heart problems, only Jesus is. He alone can forgive my sins, and He alone can satisfy my longing soul. He is the only true protection I have, and He alone is the only source of my worth, security, and love. He is the One who will never leave me, and He alone is able to be as intimate as my heart needs to be. He is the one that covers my sins and gives me a new identity! He alone has the power to change hearts, and thanks be to God, He is working in me to teach me TRUE contentment!
TRUE CONTENTMENT IS IN ALL THINGS
I suppose this can be a test to our hearts as to whether we are truly on our way to learning to be content in ALL things.
If God be gracious and grant us even just ONE thing we might have desired—-can we still be content if we never have it, or it is taken away?
Do the things we think we NEED the most actually have the power to satisfy our longing souls?
I pray God show us the truth in this!