We are all trying to convince each other we’re content by saying:
“I’d love to be dating but, i’m good right now
I’m not looking for a boyfriend
God will bring me my prince charming
I’m just really content with my life
I’m too busy with school, this would not be a good time to have a boyfriend”
Who are we trying to convince?
Each other or ourselves or maybe God?
Maybe you really are content with your station in life at the moment. A lot of times I feel like I am trying to persuade those around me that I really am okay with not having a boyfriend. This sounds a lot better than being honest and saying “Ya I’d love to be dating someone, do you know of any people?” or “Ya I’m so looking forward another valentines day alone!” or even “Somedays I just feel really sad and it feels like nobody notices me, I put effort into looking good and being friendly, but nothing is happening.”. It’s hard to be real with people because I don’t want them to think I’m jaded and overly emotional. At the same time, I want their support and encouragement. I can feel all these different emotions but at the end of the day I know I have too much to be thankful for to wallow in self-pity.
Obedience brings blessing
Multiple instances in the Bible show that obedience brings blessing. For example, when God is preparing Joshua to lead the Israelites he instructs that if they follow his commands their way would be “prosperous” and they would have “good success”. In the story of David, even when those around him encouraged him to do wrong (1 Samuel 24:4-7, 26:8-11). He was steadfast in his faith (1 Samuel 30:6), he looked to God for strength in times of distress. He became king of Israel and God richly blessed him. Gods blessings aren’t always what we desire, but if we obey God he will give us good gifts. He also looks at our hearts and can see our motivation for obeying Him. Whether it is out of love for Him and in thankfulness for all He has done for us or out of selfish ambition.
Reject the clichés
Aahh I cannot stand clichés. First of all, they set up false hope. They make getting what you want a formula. They can be good if they offer encouragement, but they are not applicable to every life situation. I find it more helpful to study God’s word for encouragement than read another relationship book on how to be Dateable or how to stay sexually pure.
Study God’s word for what He has to say
Having a quiet time or devotional each day is imperative to standing strong during temptation, growing closer to God, being able to discern truth, and staying encouraged. Personally reading my Bible each day helps me have a right view of the world, of others and it teaches me how I should be acting. Most of all when I’m stressed about life or just feeling sad, I feel so much better after spending time with God. My perspective is flipped around. I begin to see life from God’s point of view again. I remember everything will happen in God’s time according to His plan.
Honestly, I am at the point in my life where school is very important to me. On a personal level, this means surrendering my plans and my life to Him. I want to go where He leads me. I know his plans are best for my life, better than I could ever dream or want for myself.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones Proverbs 3:5-8
Formulate opinions based on truth
I’m constantly being inundated with opinions not based on a biblical worldview. Social media shows a never-ending stream of what I should look like, aspire to or accept. I despise this. It is so important to surround myself with the truth. Practically this means, avoiding movies with blatant sex scenes, listening to music that talks about sex or other inappropriate content. I try to make it a priority to surround myself with images and messages that proclaim a biblical worldview.
I strive to set high standards in order to prevent my mind from drifting to thoughts and places it shouldn’t. One reason I don’t like watching romantic movies, reading novels that focus explicitly on romance or listening to songs about relationships is that this breeds discontent. I don’t want to let myself focus on what I can’t or don’t have now. I’d rather concentrate on my present circumstances and be thankful for what is going on now. I want to aim to enjoy today without worrying about the future or what could be.
Discontentment begins in the mind, with one thought of “I wish…” or “why can’t my life be like…”. I want to leave you with a challenge you to change your thought pattern. I’ve found it really helpful to memorize the following verse and repeat it to myself when my mind begins to wander into ‘what if’ land. If my thoughts don’t fit into the admonition below I know this is something I should not be dwelling on. Also, another great verse to remember if you’re having trouble curbing your thoughts is 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8