I almost can’t believe it, but the impossible has happened, and The Ohio State University will play for the National Championship for college football in a few days. In an amazing game against the University of Alabama, behind their third string quarterback, Ohio State managed to pull off an incredible upset and will play in “the game” that hundreds of teams dream about.
Sorry… I had to get that out! Due to the nature of this three-part post on marriage and football, I could not let this moment pass!
Today’s post is about another one of those “X’s and O’s” for how we can specifically build a strong marriage that will endure the challenges that any and every married couple will face. While there is no shortage of advice when it comes to marriage, my hope is that this simple yet profound truth yields fruit in your life and in your relationships.
Regardless of their career, their income, the number of kids they have, it seems that every couple I know, every couple I’ve counseled, every battle I face in my own marriage comes back to a massive issue we all face in life. What is it? The issue of contentment! We live in a culture that breeds discontentment as it relates to our bodies, our homes, our cell phones, our kids, our coffee, our churches, our relationships, and especially our marriages. One battle that it seems every young couple faces is the issue of comparing their marriage to their friends’ “perfect marriage.”
So rather than fighting and battling against a culture that encourages comparing and discontentment, many of us refuse to fight and we never make forward progress in our lives because we’re trapped by the onslaught of “never having enough.” So, how do fight for contentment?
There’s a well-known preacher from the 17th century who gave us a wonderful, profound, and yet simple definition of contentment that we can carry around all day long:
“Contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious, frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and Fatherly disposal in every condition.”
(Jeremiah Burroughs, Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)
The next time you find yourself saying… “If I just had….” STOP running that route! The next time you’re utterly convinced that “they” have it so much better… STOP running that route!
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said this: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
John Stott, reflecting on this verse writes: “In the end, there are only two kinds of ambitions: one can be ambitious either for oneself or for God. There is no third alternative.”
What’s Jesus saying is this – OCCUPY YOUR ATTENTION with what is right in front of you! DO you want to get free from the “IF I JUST HAD ________” Syndrome?
The secret of contentment is not gritting your teeth and trying harder.
“I’m just going to be content today… NOW!!!”
Contentment is more like coming up from under water after you’ve been holding your breath for several minutes.
Contentment is coming to that place of simply humble and joyful gratitude.
Contentment is coming to that place of resting in the Father’s Love.