Do you wish your kids would be more happy and satisfied? Do you wish they would stop whining and be content with what they have? In this episode of Redeeming the Chaos, I’m going to give you some practical tips and resources to help you teach your kids about contentment.
WELCOME TO EPISODE 34 OF REDEEMING THE CHAOS WITH LAURIE CHRISTINE.
Hey everyone, thanksgiving is right around the corner! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I heard a rumor that you better get your shopping done sooner than later, or there will be no toys left to buy. Who knows if this is just a self-fulfilling prophecy because someone started a rumor and now everyone is rushing to buy presents.
LET’S TALK ABOUT CONTENTMENT
I want to talk today about a topic that I feel is very important and relevant this time of year. We are going to talk about contentment.
I have talked about this topic before and I just want to circle back around in case you missed it. This is a perfect topic for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas. In fact, if you talk to your kids about contentment in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, you may just find that your kids head into the Christmas season feeling more content.
I know the months of November and December can often be a time of anticipation for kids, making their Christmas lists and drooling over toy catalogs that come in the mail. (yes, there still is such a thing!)
Now, this episode is NOT about bashing gift giving. I am not suggesting foregoing Christmas presents altogether. But I do think there are some ways we can help our children to be content with what they have, even in the midst of looking forward to gifts at Christmas.
Contentment is a heart issue. It’s not a stuff issue. Stuff is neutral. Stuff is not evil. But it’s our attitude towards the stuff in our lives that determines whether or not we are content.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT CONTENTMENT
The Bible has a lot to say about contentment.
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.‘”
Notice, the verse doesn’t say, keep your life free from money. Money is not evil in and of itself. Money is a tool that can be used for wickedness or for great good. What we need to guard against is the LOVE of money. This verse instructs us to be content with what we have. How? How do we do it? God has promised never to leave us or forsake us! When we have God with us, we have all we need.
Philippians 4:11-13 “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.
So, the apostle Paul says in this passage that contentment is a learned skill! This is good news. If you feel frustrated that your kids are never content, always wanting more, don’t despair. Contentment is a heart quality and we can train our kids to be more content.
And here’s the solution. You may be familiar with the verse I just read about learning to be content in every situation. You may have also heard the verse,
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
But did you know that these verses are in the same passage? They follow one after the other. When Paul says “I can do all things through Christ,” he’s not talking about the strength to climb the tallest mountain in the world or the strength to have a successful business. He’s talking about being content! He has learned that with Christ’s strength, he can be content in any and every circumstance. Whether he has a lot of Christmas presents, or very few. Whether he gets invited to all the parties, or none at all. Whether he’s the star football player, or gets cut from the team altogether.
THE SECRET TO BEING CONTENT
But why am I talking about contentment in November?
Because I believe that the solution to discontentment is gratitude. The secret to a happy heart is thanksgiving. When we focus on God’s greatness and the blessings he has given us, we begin to develop a heart of thankfulness. When we fix our thoughts on God, we can’t help but express thanks for who He is and what He has done for us. When our hearts are full of thankfulness to God, there is no room for thoughts and feelings of discontentment to creep in.
ACTIVITES TO TEACH ABOUT CONTENTMENT AND THANKFULNESS
I have several resources that I would like to share with you that will help you teach your kids about contentment. Remember, contentment begins in the heart!
1). Blog Post / Podcast Episode – How to Teach Your Kids to be Content
In this BLOG POST you will learn about the ROOT of our discontentment problem, as well as the SECRET to teaching your kids to be content! You will learn practical ways to model thankfulness, encourage thankfulness, and experience thankfulness with your kids.
2). Grumbling in the desert – A Story About Contentment
In this story, Grumbling in the Desert, ten-year-old Ephraim and his family have been traveling in the desert for weeks, and he is sick and tired of eating manna every day. After his mom reminds him of all the ways God has blessed their family and taken care of them, Ephraim realizes the importance of being content with what God has given him. The story is based on the account of the Israelites wandering in the desert in the book of Exodus.
3). Printable verse cards
I have several sets of printable, illustrated memory verse cards that you can download and print and read with your kids.
- “Learn Contentment – 12 Bible Verses about remembering and giving thanks.”
- 12 Bible Memory Cards for Thanksgiving
4). Contentment Activities
I have created a collection of 7 fun, interactive activities that you can do with your kids to help teach them about thankfulness and contentment.
5. Character Challenge for Kids – Contentment
A few summers ago, I participated in a Summer Character Camp for Kids. My topic was contentment. I included a lot of the same resources and activities listed above, but you can check out the Character Challenge HERE. There are links to the other bloggers who participated, each with activities to help teach a different character quality.
WILL YOU HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD?
Hey, momma, real quick before you go… I need your help to spread the word about my podcast. I want as many boy moms as possible to benefit from the information in this podcast. I want you to think of 2 friends or family members that you know would benefit from this episode and share a link with them. It would really help out the show and I would be super grateful.