Contentment

Contentment means realizing that God has provided everything I need for my present happiness. Wow! There is nothing that I lack. Although God has given me everything I need, He leaves me to choose whether I will be content with what He has provided for my life, or constantly crave for more.

As a single Christian woman in my mid-thirties, I often hear comments such as, “When are you getting married?” or “What’s wrong with the guys around here? You’re such a catch,” or (my personal favorite) “Why are you being so picky?” Our society is geared toward couples and the quest for finding that perfect person who will usher you into that blissful state of “couplehood.” Many a Christian woman, buying into this world’s philosophy, has compromised who she is and what she believes to find that all-important person to make her complete. What’s wrong with this thinking? God commands us in Hebrews 13:5 to “be content with such things as ye have: for…I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” What a comforting truth for the single woman’s heart.

Now, you may wonder how I answer those awkward questions that people ask. I usually reply with something like, “My man is off making his millions, and I’m just giving him plenty of time to do it.” Although I get a few laughs from my silly banter, the truth is that Christ is all I need. Looking back on my life, I see God’s gentle guidance when I followed his leading, and His divine protection when my steps strayed from his perfect will. My faithful Lord has never left me; therefore, I can be content.

A common misconception among single women is that contentment comes from self-indulgence or self-focus. A self-focused life can be the downfall of a Christian woman. When we are self-absorbed, it shows in our actions and attitudes. The self-focused person seeks to better herself outwardly for the sake of being noticed and ignores the inner beauty that a truly godly man would cherish. She seeks to advance her own cause rather than the cause of Christ. She puts her own needs before the needs of others (Does any of this sound familiar?). Yet contentment does not come from focusing on self.

The apostle Paul, the greatest example of a Christian single, lived an outward-focused life. Though he suffered many hardships and struggles, he learned to be content (Philippians 4:11). There is no greater fulfillment than knowing that God has used you to minister to others’ needs. An outward-focused person does not have time or energy to wallow in self-pity. Rather, she rejoices in the ministries that God has given her. Truly, an outward-focused life is a content life.

Contentment in the single state is not a one-time event or action. It is an ongoing process of accepting God’s divine plan for your life and knowing that in His goodness and love for you, He has given you everything that you need for your present happiness. Ever aware that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Timothy 6:6), the content woman is a Christ-centered, outward-focused woman who ministers peace and love to the lives of those around her.


 

Written by Elisa Cancel. This article was published in the Fall 2006 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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