The Beauty of Contentment

After reflecting the past few days on God's creation of woman and bringing her to Adam, I just viewed the announcement of Robert Wolgemuth's engagement to Nancy Leigh DeMoss after the passing of his first wife, Bobbie.

I believe that when Nancy wrote, "I have found myself in the most settled, contented, healthy, fruitful place of life and ministry ever" as a single person, she was revealing one of the aspects of inner beauty that makes an individual so attractive as a marriage candidate—contentment. Discontented single persons make for discontented marriage partners.

"Sanctified" Discontentment

To speak this way is no dismissal of a single person's legitimate openness, desire, and even longing to be married. Yes, there is a righteous kind of dissatisfaction with the status quo, prodding us to strive for better things, more sanctification, greater accomplishments in the strength He supplies . . . the kind of discontentment that says to self, "God help me, I can do better, write better, play better, etc." or "This messy garage must be cleaned up!" There is a place for sanctified discontentment, unaccompanied by grumbling, grousing, or whining. Or, in other words, "he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD" (Prov. 18:22).

Discontented single persons make for discontented marriage partners.

Meanwhile, however, the single person who feels cheated by singleness, instead of feeling undivided, unleashed, unencumbered by the responsibilities of marriage, reveals a festering spirit of ingratitude for "what is," coveting instead "what isn't." Discontentment of that sort produces ugliness, not beauty.

A Necessity for Both Sides of the Fence

Contentment is a key to health in both singleness and marriage. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. Single persons who out of desperation have "settled" for the first candidate who would have them live to rue the day, hauling their grumbling spirit right into the marriage. And married persons who think the solution to their marital frustrations and disappointments is to jump over the fence and get out of the marriage, to be single again, or find somebody else discover that they drag their disgruntlement right over the fence with them.

Contentment in what God has provided is one of the ingredients in the glue that enables a man to hold fast to his wife.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24).

Contentment is a key to health in both singleness and marriage. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.

Adam has no mother or father. By giving verse 24, God is giving Adam and Eve a heads up that their future children will be leaving them, and it is God's good design. Contentment in the parents and in the children will enable healthy leaving. And contentment enables holding fast to the wife given.

A Heart at Rest

Contentment is not a reluctant acquiescence, but a faith-filled acceptance of God's plan. Contentment is not a hesitant, squeamish capitulation to something not truly welcomed deep down in in the roots of the soul, but contentment is peace. Circumstances have been met with decisions, and the heart is at rest with it, truly.

This is all good, because God is good.

This is not all easy. God has not created an easy universe, but a good one. A very good one.

About the Author

Sam Crabtree

Sam Crabtree

Sam Crabtree is a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he has served for over twenty years. He is a former public school teacher and currently the chairman of the board of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Sam … read more …

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