Wednesday, August 20, 2008

C is for Content

This week, I’ve been sharing some of our family’s values – made in the form of ROCK.
Respect
Obey
Content
Kind

There’s nothing particularly special about this acronym. It works for us because it’s short, simple, and four character qualities that are continually being honed in our home. Make no mistake; Mr. Intensity is far from perfect. His parents aren’t perfect either.

The letter C in this acronym could stand for a host of other words – like cheerful, confess, or courageous. I wanted to use “content” for two reasons.

  1. It’s helpful to use biblical vernacular when possible so that when memorizing scripture, the child has a framework of experience to sift this new head knowledge.
  2. Our family learned a Bible verse on contentment earlier in the summer – mostly because a certain someone was struggling with being content.

Of the four character traits in the acronym ROCK, contentment is the one with which I struggle most. Unfortunately, my son struggles too.

For me, it means not coveting the zippy Mini-Coupe beside me at the stoplight. Or being jealous of my friend's new shoes - or wanting a nicer house neighborhood - or wishing my hair was curly instead of straight.

God knew that his people would struggle in this area. "Thou shall not covet" is the 10th commandment.

Contentment takes self-control. Of which, children sometimes greatly lack. Countless times a day I say, "I don't understand whining. Could you say that with self-control in your voice?"

A verse that our family memorized earlier this summer was the second part of Philippians 4:11 ...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Another good verse is Hebrews 13:5a Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have... Just a few verses later in 17b ... do this with joy and not with groaning.

Sometimes when Mr. Intensity isn't satisfied with what he’s been given (whether it's the size of dessert or reading a book - he wants MORE!), we have been known to take it away completely. Sounds harsh, doesn't it? Well, it is the one way that’s been effective in teaching him what it means to be content with what you have. Or, more accurately, that there are consequences when you’re not content.

When opportunity presents itself throughout the day, I try to point out ways I am trying to be content with what I have, or confessing when I selfishly want something I don’t need. I want him to know that I identify with his weaknesses.

One of the reasons Christ came to earth was to identify with my weakness. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:15-16

Oh the importance of pointing our children to the cross! It is impossible to be content in our own power. The Spirit helps us in our weakness – Romans 8:26.

Speaking of weakness, this character quality is lacking a song. Can anyone help me out with a kid-friendly song for contentment? Tomorrow I'll write about K is for kindness.

5 comments:

MerrandaVK said...

Have you heard the Fruit of the Spirit song? We sing this song every week at AWANA, my kids love it! (although contentment isn't an official FOTS)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1t8MVZRNb4

Sadie said...

This is an area we REALLY need to work on in our home. I have been known to take things when they aren't happy (like the ridiculous fits over a pink cup when they wanted green??) Your posts have been an inspiration...I think I may take a break from some of our curriculum and focus on values soon...

Julie said...

Merranda - I am familiar with the FOTS song...tried to get JI to sing it today, even bribed him for the video. I'm thinking of using it for tomorrow's post on kindness.

Sadie - thank you for letting me know you are encouraged. Until recently, I've not blogged much on the "spiritual" aspect of parenting.

Julie said...

Julie please feel free to always share your heart on here.. you are loved and we love hearing about what God is showing/teaching you in his word with your little man!!! Thanks for sharing and letting us take this journey with you. HUGS...

MerrandaVK said...

I agree! I love that you are sharing so much of what you are trying to teach your lil' man. It is so encouraging, and I think I am going to do what Sadie is.. Take some time off of activities to work on vaules next week. You've been a blessing and an inspiration to me.

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