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Contentment vs. Desire

with

Kait Tomlin

Contentment vs. Desire 

For the last 50 years or so in the church we have seperated desire and contentment. In doing so we’ve created we’ve redefined the terms in a way that has made both indirectly at odds with each other. We can’t seem to wrap our heads around the idea that these two things can co-exist. 

Let’s look at the difference between the two…

Desire has been framed as this active word that needs to be pursed and at the same time contained. When it comes to singleness and marriage especially, we’ve been molded into thinking that it’s a dangerous feeling that needs to be closely montiored or else it’ll quickly consume us.

Contentment on the other hand is seen as a passive reality. A marker in a Christian life that’s distinguished by kind of a reluctant acceptance rather than a deliberate, life-giving choice or experience. Making that seen fragile or difficult at best, and boring and ineffective at worst. We’re taught and told to being completely content in God, but instead of showing the appeal of contentment… it’s often made out to be a consilation prize in singleness and relationships.

These straight forward and sometimes harmful narratives have allowed many of us to make assumptions about our own hearts and our own situations that have ultimately led us to a disempowered and limited view of what is actually possible with both. Especially when God is at work in our lives.

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What are they really & can they coexist?

Believe it or not, desire was and is an essential part of our design. It’s a HUGE part of us. We see desire playing out all the way back in Genesis, from our very beginning. Desire wasn’t a impulse, it’s a key part for how God wants us to know him and experience what’s around us. Hear me out, desire is GOOD. If desire is FROM God then only God can fulfill it. Our design informs our desire and our desire informs our destiny. This should take the pressure off of you feeling like you should fulfill your desire for yourself. God has given you certain desires and Psalm 37:4 says that He so desperately wants to fulfill those desires if they are in align with His will for you life. So take a second to breathe, it’s okay to have the desire to be married. It’s okay to desire a family. It’s okay to desire a partner to spend your life with. That’s not a bad thing.

Look at contentment as a state of happiness or satisfaction. This does make sense but as we desire it has a farther reach. Contentment can only be found when our desires conform with God’s desires. 

You may be wondering why you feel like you’re lacking contentment then? You can feel lacking in this area, if you don’t believe Jesus is enough. Contentment despite our circumstances seems so far out of reach. How could I ever be content when I so deeply want all of these things and I don’t know if I’ll ever get them. The cost of hope is trust. This will demand a dependence on God. It is a lack of surrender that leads us to a lack of contentment. Friend, surrender your desires to God if you want to start walking towards contentment.

‍If you want more on this topic and how to move through the tension of the two, check out one of our latest episodes with the incredible Bethany Allen, Will God really grant the desires of my heart for a spouse?!

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