Is Your Family Content?February 6, 2022 Save Article
A spirit of discontentment is warring against the family. The culture tells us, “You deserve the best!” And if you buy certain things, you will be gloriously happy like all the pretty faces on television.
But we have a picture of a contented family in Psalm 128:
Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!
Contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace, in spite of outward circumstances. When he was in a Philippian jail, the Apostle Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:11b-12).
If there is not contentment in your home, you have industrial-strength problems. The devil would rather hurt you at home than any other place, because if you hurt at home, you hurt all over. There are three things you need to learn if you are going to have family contentment.
What Destroys Contentment?
The last of the Ten Commandments is: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).
God said, “Fathers, teach these commandments to your sons and grandsons, so that you will have a happy family.” (See Deuteronomy 5-6.) The first nine commandments deal with deeds, but the last one deals with desire.
Covetousness is an unlawful desire that comes out of discontent.
It is deceptive.
You may look so good, so holy, but you may have a heart eaten up with covetousness and not even know it.
It is debasing.
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). Notice the company that covetousness keeps. Satan become Satan because he coveted God’s place. (See Isaiah 14:12-14.) He encouraged Eve to sin through covetousness. (See Genesis 3:4.)
It is destructive.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:6-11).
Anything you love, serve, desire, fear, and value more than God is an idol. "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5; emphasis added).
What Defines Contentment?
- Faith for the family.
“Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways” (Psalm 128:1). The secret of satisfaction is God Himself. These are great verses for your children, your family worship, and your refrigerator door:
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).
- Fellowship for the family. “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table” (Psalm 128:3). Children don’t make a rich man poor; they make a poor man rich. You can’t take your riches to Heaven, but you can take your children.
- Food for the family. “When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you” (Psalm 128:2). The psalmist is not talking about luxuries, but about necessities. If you would be content, let your home ring with love and laughter, conversation and fun, and be content with the simpler things of life. “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred” (Proverbs 15:16-17).
What Develops Contentment?
Paul shows in Philippians 4:11 that contentment must be learned.
- Learn to trust God. “Blessed is every one who fears the LORD” (Psalm 128:1a). If you don’t trust the Lord, if your family is not God-centered, then it is no wonder you are discontent.
- Learn to thank. “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD” (Psalm 128:3-4). Thank you, Lord, for this food, for my wife, for my children. Get a family diary and write down the blessings of God. Sit down day after day and rehearse with your children the things God has done for them.
- Learn to love. “The LORD bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life” (Psalm 128:5). This is not just for your own family. Lift up your eyes, look at others, at people who are in need, and learn to love. A contented person loves people rather than things.
- Learn to give. God has given us blessings, and when He asks for a part of that blessing, we say, “Hey, that’s mine!” May God have mercy on the spirit of greed in our hearts, and make us understand that all we have has come from God! “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness” (Psalm 24:1a).
If you have a contented home, you are blessed indeed. If you do not have a contented home, it doesn’t matter what else you do have. “Blessed is every one who fears the LORD” (Psalm 128:1a). Fear of the Lord doesn’t mean slavish dread. It means reverence, love, and awe for Almighty God.
Pray now that God your Father would cultivate a spirit of gratefulness in your heart, and root out any covetousness. Be content with little, if the Lord has given you little, or be content with much, if He has given you much. Thank the Lord for His goodness to the sons and daughters of men!