**Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.** Philippians 4:1
Easy to say, hard to live.
In any state, on any day, in any situation, in the best of times and the worst of times we are to be content.
Impossible. Sorry. Not possible.
In the past week..
my washing machine broke,
my oven is only working at half power,
our house is infested with bugs,
the windshield on the car is cracked,
we received bad health news from friends,
a sister in the Lord lost her husband….
That’s just the beginning of the list.
Contentment has not been my go-to emotion, reaction, or thought process, well, ever..
It is taking me a lot of work to find things to be thankful for today, and to accept the sovereignty of God. I’m in a better place about it , but let’s just say I’m thankful for covid-19 restrictions that prohibit me from seeing anyone besides my husband in the past few days! I’m trying to hang on to my “good” name.
I am learning that contentment comes from a lifetime of experiences on mountain tops and in deep valleys. Through all of the different seasons of life, I have seen God be faithful, no matter what situation I am in. I am not content because my life is good, or calm, or peaceful or going my way. I am content because God is God.
Putting unreasonable expectations on others to live at an exceptionally high standard that no one can possibly live up to is a recipe for failure. The minute we think that our spouse can fulfill all of our needs and desires is the beginning of trouble in our relationship. There are no perfect Hollywood Dream partners. They and we are intrinsically flawed.
Life is not a fairytale.
So how can we be married and be content? By taking our eyes off of our spouse and looking in the mirror. That’s where the problem lies. Once I realized that I and my perspective needed to change, my marriage improved drastically.
Once I understood that only God would never, never, never, never, never, never fail me, it took the pressure off of my marriage.
My husband is going to make mistakes, and so am I.
We have learned to be more patient with each other, to close our mouths when communication fails, to step back and pull ourselves together when emotions are running amuck, to ignore the small problems and keep them small.
We know that neither of us is perfect and we’re okay with that, because God is.
So my advice for you today is don’t look for contentment in your marriage. Look for grace and mercy and learn how to love unconditionally. The way that God loves you.
That’s the only way I know how to be content in all things.
I have to run. I have more laundry to wash by hand.
One of my favorite songs in Spanish to keep me content on the tough days here.