Godliness with Contentment…

…is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).

I’m going to tell on myself.

I am, in some key ways, very high maintenance.

It’s never really been an issue, because I’ve always been happy to take care of myself, happy to maintain whatever high level of personal expectations I have.

But I admit, this can close me off from bonding with others, since what I am, what I like, and what I expect tends to make some people feel like I’m a little aloof and hard to please.

I try to be accommodating and assuring to others that they are under no obligation to personally please me. I don’t want anyone to feel offended if I undertake to content myself according to my own standards.

And while this system works pretty well with the people in my life (church, work, and etc.), there is one place this doesn’t always work.

At home.

I’m pretty adaptable and can go with almost any flow, if I need to do so. But the home is a different matter. Home is where the shoes come off. Home is where the many hats of life get hung up on a hook. Home is where relaxation occurs. Home is a private environment different from all other places.

My wife takes her responsibilities seriously. She has wholeheartedly embraced the Biblical concepts of womanhood, marital submission, her role as a mother, and the chief keeper of the home.

This comes in many forms. She happily does them all. But sometimes, at least in one area, I’ve been known to get difficult.

Told you I was telling on myself!

It’s not an overly big thing. It doesn’t cause WWIII, or anything.

It’s just that sometimes, whether recently, or going back further in time, I’ve not always been accepting of my wife’s culinary decisions.

She cooks, bakes, and prepares wonderfully. Some of the items she offers are fantastic. But I am picky. And stubborn. And hard to please. At least occasionally.

Please understand. I was a single bachelor for 10 years, living on my own, taking care of all my own needs, including diet and nutrition, before I married. I like what I like. I refuse what I don’t.

My wife might make ten different dinners in ten days, and I will enthusiastically enjoy 8 or even 9 of them.

But then, one day, I will ask her what’s for supper, and she’ll say __________.

And I’ll say “oh”. And without much contemplation, I will either just wait to eat at work from the employee cafeteria or take a quick drive up to Subway. Or whatever. Just so I can suit my own tastes. She has become more patient with me, but there was a time that any refusal on my part hurt her feelings. A rejection of her efforts was seen as a rejection of her person.

I tried to assure her this wasn’t the case. Sometimes I succeeded, other times not so much.

But this is changing.

Financial circumstances being what they are, I can’t just go dropping $10 -$15 on myself twice a month or more. Or, even when I occasionally can, a conviction has come upon me that says “$10 or $15 at the grocery store will get you 5X the food than a one-time 12-inch sub and meal deal. Are you going to only provide for yourself, or are you going to use the money to provide for your family?”

This all came to a head just about 10 days ago. I was out running errands. It was on a day off, and it was close to lunch time. I thought about Wendy’s. I considered Dairy Queen. Maybe Culver’s. I wanted a burger. I knew what my wife had made at home. I didn’t want it. I also knew how my wife feels about fast-food. My head knows the truth: it’s unhealthy, even damaging. But my heart doesn’t always listen to my head in such matters.

But this time, for some reason, I just felt like the right thing to do was ignore my heart, follow my head, and be content with what my wife endeavored to make for us as a family.

I went home, dished up, and thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

The other night, after I got up (I work third shift and sleep during the day), I asked my wife if she had made any supper. She answered in the affirmative, and upon my prompting, began to say what she had made.

It all sounded good, until I heard peas. I asked if they could be separated out. She said not really. I said okay. She dished me up, and I ate. It was good, peas and all.

It may not seem to be a big spiritual breakthrough. It’s not like I was receiving the Holy Spirit or some other dramatic miracle. But it was still life-changing.

Godliness with contentment IS great gain.

It may not seem like much to anyone else. It was seemingly, only a small step. But it is an indication that I am learning, and still heading in the right direction.


~ by votivesoul on 11/24/2013.

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Mark Showalter's Blog

Always seeking to know God more

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A collage of theological and philosophical musings

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