It’s so hard! It’s so stinkin’ hard! 
It’s so hard not to become jealous when you see someone else who has something you want. It’s so hard to be genuinely happy for them. So hard to smile when you’re heart is aching.

Currently, in this phase of my life, it’s hard for me to be happy when I see cute couples who are dating. It’s hard for me to see strangers who are smiling, holding hands and walking to class, because I want that. {Well… I don’t want to be dating a stranger. That’s not what I mean ;) } I want to be able to hold hands with the guy I like. I can’t wait to date.

But more than that, I want to be content.

And honestly, I am content with being single. I love being single. Being single rocks. As I’ve said before, I realize that life has more to it than boys. We are made to glorify God and make him known…. not to date and eventually marry a boy.

It’s still hard though. Even though I know this and am {usually} happy with being single, it’s still hard to see others in a different stage than I am.

But I want to learn how to be content now, while I’m single. While my friends are starting to find boyfriends that they foresee themselves one day marrying. I want to be content now.

{Note: as I’m writing this I’m kinda laughing at the irony of that statement. It’s as if I’m saying, “I want to be patient right now!!!” *Stomps foot like a toddler.* That sentence is such a paradox.}

But all irony aside, I really do have a strong desire to learn how to be completely content and how to completely trust God here in this stage of singleness. Because if I’m not single now, I imagine I’ll have more of a tendency to be discontent and jealous later in life.

When I am dating someday {or even still single}, and all of my friends start becoming engaged, why wouldn’t I become jealous of them and discontent with simply dating? When I’m married and my friends start having children, wouldn’t I become jealous then too? And then so on and so forth?

That’s not to say I wouldn’t be truly happy for these friends- I would be. But you know that twang of jealousy that happens even when you’re happy? The one you wish wouldn’t exist?

I think all of us experience this jealousy in some way. And all of us wish our envy would go away.

Rachel and Phoebe of Friends are great examples of wanting to be happy for a friend, but also wrestling with jealousy. In the following clip, they talk about how they are completely happy for their friend, who recently got engaged, and how they “aren’t at all jealous.” …well, maybe only 2% ;)

As the episode progresses, Rachel has to deal with how she feels jealous and discontent and she has to learn to put her friend’s happiness before her own.

I believe all of us truly want to be happy for our friends. When they have exciting news, we want to jump up and down and squeal with them. And when we start to feel jealous of them, often we cave to this temptation, wishing our lives could mirror theirs and feeling guilty that we’re “a bad friend.”

We must learn how to be content.

Thankfully, Paul of the New Testament has learned the secret to being content, and he so generously shared this knowledge with the church in Philippi.

Struggling with contentment? Yeah, me too. Thankfully, Paul of the New Testament has shared with us the secret to being content.

Paul writes, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in  whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:11-13, emphasis added).

I have heard Philipians 4:13 so many times through out my life. Often, I think we misquote this verse. Here, Paul’s not talking about how “with my God I can scale a wall” (Psalm 18:29), or something else along those lines. Paul is talking about contentment.

We can be content by learning that we can face any circumstance with Jesus who gives us strength.

Here’s the thing: we have an enemy who does not want us to be content.

And the enemy of our souls wants to steal our happiness. The enemy wants us to break the tenth commandment by coveting our neighbor’s relationship status. Because when we’re focused on them and what they have that we don’t have we lose our focus on Christ and what He has given us.

Jesus died on the cross so we can have eternal life with God. As Christians, we have eternal life. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We have a hope and a future.

And if that future includes a boyfriend -> fiancé -> husband? Great! But if not, rest assured that our future includes the BEST guy ever, Jesus.

And don’t you roll your eyes at me, saying, “Kara, I know that. I know Jesus loves me. But I want a guy to love me here, presently.” Honey, if you can’t be content with Jesus, you won’t be content with a diamond ring on your hand.

It’s a hard truth, one I’m struggling with right now too, but even though it’s difficult to accept doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Struggling with contentment? Yeah, me too. Thankfully, Paul of the New Testament has shared with us the secret to being content.

We must find contentment in our Savior.

Otherwise, our life will be filled with envy and unhappiness. In order to be truly happy for others and content no matter what happens in life, we must find our satisfaction and joy in the Lord.

It’s so easy to say “God’s a master at writing love stories,” but so difficult to actually trust him with our own love story.

That’s why I’m so glad we don’t have to rely on ourselves to suddenly become content. Remember, we can be content because Jesus gives us strength. In fact, without Jesus, we can kiss the very idea of contentment goodbye.

So as we long for the next chapter of our lives to begin, let’s learn more about Jesus as we wait. Let’s find our contentment in Him.

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10 thoughts on “The Secret to Being Content

    1. Kara Beth Post author

      That is great advice, Alyssa! So true.
      Yes! There IS such a rush to move forward into the future, and this is something that I’ve been struggling with for pretty much forever!
      Thanks for sharing!

  1. Joy

    Way to admit your own discontentedness and call it out as the devil working to break you. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the LIFE! If we’re being real honest though, it stinks watching everyone be all cute around you and you’re just holding your own hand and chewing on your twizzlers. Hahaha (I was picturing myself doing this in college… all my ‘couple’ friends around me in a movie theater). “Honey, if you can’t be content with Jesus, you won’t be content with a diamond ring on your hand.” <— ABSOLUTELY!

  2. Maeve

    Kara, you are wise beyond your years lady. I just love this – so much goodness and truth and honesty packed in this post. Thanks for being so raw and vulnerable here – it matters, truly! Learning contentment is something I am constantly striving for – I wrestle with restlessness [phew, that is a mouthful!] I wrestle with God’s plan and total surrender. It is a practice lady – you have to choose it and fight for it. Thank you for sharing your heart! xoxo

    1. Kara Beth Post author

      Aw thanks Maeve! And yeah, wrestling with restlessness and God’s plan and total surrender is really tough, and it is something we have to constantly work at. I’m so glad we can rely on God’s strength and not our own!! :)

  3. Allie Ducote

    Hey kara! I loved this post and I think I’m going to use it as a topic for my bible study soon (with credit to you of course!). Another member of my Christian Sorority told us “we shouldn’t be looking for our soulmate in a man, but rather in Jesus.” I think that really helped put my physical love in perspective with my spiritual love.

    Great post!
    Allie
    http://www.thebackallieway.com
    Allie Ducote recently posted…Work Appropriate MakeupMy Profile

    1. Kara Beth Post author

      Hey Allie! Yay that’s awesome :) Let me know how the Bible study goes!

      Yes! That is so true! And it’s so important to realize that we can only truly find fulfillment in Jesus.

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