“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content…”
Children at the close of summer sometimes begin to lose their contentment. Well, maybe parents too. Your family has been swimming, biking, hiking, reading, camping, vacationing, visiting, and now everyone is beginning to look forward to getting into a different routine or just getting back into a routine. Some children may even say they are bored. They ask us, “What is there to do?”
As moms we sometimes try to fix things to bring contentment. We may suggest activities that the child could do. We may invite another child over for a playdate, ask the child to select a piece of paper from the jar in the kitchen with activity ideas, or ask a family over for a cookout to spice things up. These all are great ideas yet, is that the ideas given to us from Scripture?
While studying Philippians 4:10-20 the word “learned” jumped out at me. Paul says, “for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to be content.” To learn something means that it had been taught. How then does one teach contentment? By looking at Paul’s life we can see what to emulate in our lives so we can teach to our children, the next generation.
- Paul made cheerful sounds from a jail cell. While Paul and Silas were in prison, they sang praises to God (Acts 16:25) and God miraculously freed them. God will free us from our sadness and give us happiness of soul when we focus on him. We need to help our children focus on things of God rather than circumstances. Use the Psalms and put a melody to them and teach your children God’s Word. Examples of Psalms set to a Melody (A free pdf)
- The book of Philippians uses the word joy or rejoicing every few paragraphs. The word JOY can be used as an acronym meaning: to think of Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself third. Once a child has made a profession of faith this concept is easier as their love of Jesus grows but the words can be taught as a reminder that true JOY comes with thinking of things in that order.
- Paul takes evil and turns it into good. Bad and sad things will happen. It is important to point children to Jesus and not our circumstances. In Philippians 2:1-11 Paul shares the Gospel message with us. Jesus did everything for us. Share that unwavering confidence with your children so they too at times of heartbreak or fear will know that contentment will come.
As a parent we have had our lifetime to learn contentment. Our children are just starting out. With much patience, great love, and heartfelt prayer we can teach and guide our children toward true contentment. As our relationship with Christ grows so does our contentment.
This season of summer is about to end. Maybe that is why God created seasons, He knows we like change. May we learn contentment from God’s Word and share what we learn to our children.
Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,
Cathy Jo Johnson
Photo of children from the Herald Sun