I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content.
Contentment is not a natural thing we do. Weeds grow, we don't have to plant them. Covetousness, discontentment, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to the earth and so, we need not teach our children to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. I believe I have helped the weeds grow at times. Instead of picking the weeds, I've watered them and scattered them by not training my children with great intentions and by just "letting whatever happens happen".
Gardens have to be tended and the Lord has made me the earthly gardener to Taylor, Tucker, Cooper, Cullen, Chandler, Jo, Josie and Ellie.
The precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we want wheat, we must plow and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener's care. If we want thankful, grateful, contented children we must first be willing to work in the heat of their hearts garden.
Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; we must teach our children the heavenly art of contentment in all things. Paul says, "I have learned..to be content" Paul was old when he learned this, we have to start early.. I can almost see him in prison saying, "this.. all of this, has nothing to do with me but much to do about Him." We have to teach our children it's not about them.. We are training up a generation that reeks of selfishness and men and women who won't "stick it out" during hard times.....We have to train our children to stick it out. To know hard times comes to all of us..We don't do this. We treat our children as if they're the center of the universe instead of Christ. Oh, may we repent of indulging our children...and put Christ back on the throne instead of our children's selfish desires.
The older I get the more I realize that I'm learning slowly, not much different then Paul I guess. The day belongs to the Lord and whatever He chooses for me to do then I do without too much complaining. I see the clock, I've lost a precious child, I've been given second chances. Over the years I've complained a lot but now, years later, I see the Lord slowly teaching me my place. My contentment. I see Him in the garden of my life slowly weeding out the brier patch over the years. He still is walking my rows and, as painful as it is, tills up things that's been in my garden for a while.
I weed my children's attitude when I see a spirit of discontentment. We have to be willing to work. To train and teach. In our house if our children complain about the food, they are asked to leave the table. I don't buy all of them treats at the same time. Oh, I know, so unfair. but try it..Only buy two or three treats and tell the rest their turn will be the next time. I'm weeding.
Be happy regardless if you got a treat or not.
Teach them...hard lessons.
Weeding is a lot of work and some days I don't want to work in the garden of my children's life. I want to sit in the swing and hope the weeds of discontentment don't smother them out... but really? I can't and you can't either. I have dirty feet and dirty clothes from time spent in the eight gardens the Lord has given to me and when the sun is hot and the weeds are tall I want to walk......but He says, "stay a little while longer and I will help you" and as the sun goes down on the day I realize that training is not easy work but I'm not alone in the garden... I have the master gardener right beside me.
Thanks, C.H. Spurgeon for the inspiration.