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How Some Ladies Are Causing Problems For Themselves With Discontentment

To be “discontent” means to be “dissatisfied with one’s circumstances.” It’s such a simple little word with such a simple little definition. But I think the definition for this word is deceitful.
Discontentment is so much more than this simple definition suggests. The fact is, discontentment ruins friendships, marriages, and lives. 
And while I don’t like making blanket assumptions, and I know I can’t speak for everyone, I believe that (for the most part) this is one of Satan’s most powerful weapons against women, in particular.

You see, I think the Father of Lies and Deceit has a way of taking this simple little word and turning it into a HUMONGOUS problem. The simplicity of it is what makes it so easy for him to use discontentment against us. It always starts out so small, doesn’t it? Maybe your job took a pay cut and you had to downsize, maybe your husband took a promotion but it’s in another city, maybe your toddler decided to become Pablo Picasso all over your brand new cream-colored sofa cushions. The seed is planted, and now you are not content with your life as it is. You want a new sofa, or a new job, or a new car.

The Power of Discontentment 
Your husband comes home from work one too many times and doesn’t bother to ask you how your day was, so you start feeling discontent in your marriage. You sit and watch as your friends get married until you’re the only one left and you start to feel a little bit like Katherine Heigl in that movie about the bridesmaids dresses, only there’s no James Marsden ready to swoop into your life and give you the romance you’ve been craving. You cry in your bathroom every month when you realize you still aren’t pregnant. All of these things are devastating to varying degrees. All of them are worthy of your sorrow and concern. No one expects you to be happy when you are not.

But we have to be on our guard, because Satan knows what we want and he knows when we don’t get it. He knows when we aren’t satisfied with our lives as they are. He uses those tiny grains of discontent and he irritates us with them over and over until you’ve got a clam/pearl situation and that tiny grain of discontent is all the sudden the size of a Volkswagen. He irritates us with it until it’s the only thing in our lives we can focus on; until everything else no longer matters. This is when our discontentment becomes dangerous. This is when it is capable of destroying us.

1. Discontent causes your life to never be settled. 
Regardless of where you are in your life, discontent is a poison that makes you believe your life isn’t enough as it is. It makes you feel like you have to keep reaching; keep searching; keep running after whatever that elusive thing is that will all the sudden make everything better. You can never just stop and rest because you are too busy searching and chasing. This isn’t me telling you that you should never chase your dreams. By all means, go after what you want. Just be aware that discontentment is there, it’s hiding in the corner, and if you aren’t careful it will take over. If it takes over then you will always be looking for something better, you will always be moving, alwaysbe changing, and you will never give yourself an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy the life you have right now. You will be too focused on what could be, but isn’t, and you will look into the future so much that you forget there is a present.

2. Discontentment can ruin your marriage and/or relationships. 
One of the most dangerous things for a marriage is discontent. A woman who is discontent with her marriage looks at her husband and is constantly disappointed. She married this man for who she hoped he could become someday instead of who he is right now and she is always disappointed when he doesn’t live up to her expectations. Or maybe she no longer sees any evidence of the man she married and she wonders what happened to the spark? Discontentment causes us to forget that humans are fallible; that we are not perfect and neither are our husbands. At best, it causes dissention and at worst it least to that constant searching for something better — a search that could potentially end with you in an inappropriate relationship with another man. All this because discontent forces us to focus on what could be instead of what is.

3. Discontentment can lead to low self worth. 
If you aren’t satisfied with your life then it makes sense that you could blame yourself. Blaming yourself and constantly looking down on yourself is a good way to forget your worth. You were created by a God who “knit [you] together in [your] mother’s womb,” a God who is worthy to be praised. God sees your worth. He believed you were worth creating and he believed you were worth dying for. A low sense of self worth is not in his plan for you and it never will be. Depression and self loathing are just the tip of the iceberg, and discontentment will never provide you the relief it promises.

4. Being discontent is essentially telling God that you don’t trust him. 
I completely understand how it is next to impossible to avoid all feelings of discontentment. But one thing that we can do is to catch ourselves when we have those thoughts; the thoughts that sneak into our minds when we aren’t paying attention. The ones that say, “What if?” or, “This is fine and all...but…”

The truth is that it is hard to trust God 100% with our lives. It’s so crazy difficult to just “let go and let God.” Actually, I’ve always hated that saying, mostly because I always wanted to scream back, “OK, but what in the name of all that is holy do you mean?!” I don’t know that I know what it looks like to truly give my life into God’s hands. I don’t know what it means to allow myself to lose control. I don’t like losing control. Losing control gives me vertigo. It makes me feel like everything in the world is wrong and nothing will be right until I have everything figured out again. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work within our control. When we are not content with our circumstances, we need to recognize exactly what we’re doing. We need to just go ahead and voice to God the truth in our hearts, “I’m not satisfied with what you’ve given me right now. I don’t trust that this is your plan for me. I’m afraid that you’ve got it all wrong.” You are allowed to feel that way. You are allowed to be upset about your circumstances, but the most dangerous thing you could do is ignore the way you feel and refuse to acknowledge that you are not content. The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one, and even though it feels awkward and wrong, sometimes the best thing you can do is tell God that you aren’t happy with the way he’s handling things. It doesn’t mean you’re right, but it makes you honest, and I’m a firm believer in the idea that God likes it when we’re honest. Once you are honest with God, that’s when he starts a work in your heart.

5. If you demand control of your life long enough, God will give it to you. 
I’ve said this already, but I like being in control. The problem with that is that I know that when it comes to me being in control or God being in control - it’s much better for me if God is in control. We have free will, and free will means that if we persist long enough, God gives us what we want. Usually, it doesn’t take us long after that to figure out that we didn’t really want it.

If you want control of your life badly enough — if you fight for it hard enough — God will give it to you. Maybe that sounds like a sweet deal, but it’s not.

6. Discontentment hardly goes away. 
This is Satan’s foothold into women’s lives. It’s so easy for us to become discontent. And even when we recognize it and acknowledge it and pray about it and fix it, it ALWAYS comes back. It never goes away. This is not a one and done deal. It’s constant. It’s continuous. We can never let our guard down because the minute we do; the minute we think we’re in the clear; it will rear it’s ugly head again and we will be unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled in our lives. We will be ripe for Satan’s interference and he will devour us. This problem never goes away. We always have to be on alert. Always. This is what God meant when he said to guard your heart.

So, guard it. Guard it with everything you have. When you start to feel the small twinges of discontent, acknowledge it. Don’t bury it or ignore it. Bring it straight to God. Don’t let it fester. Satan wins when it festers. Don’t use it as a weapon against your husband or your friends or your family. Don’t hold onto it like a precious jewel or a talisman. Take it to God. Leave your life at his feet, throw your hands in the air and say, “I GIVE UP! Take my life! Please! I don’t know what to do with it anymore.”

God thrives on our desperation for him. Satan hates it. So, turn your discontent into desperation, and turn the tables on Satan’s most potent weapon against you.

[written by Rachel-Claire Cockrell, a contented wife and teacher]