Marilyn and Charles had been having trouble for several years. The trouble was not fights or noisy arguments, but playing cat-and-mouse over Marilyn’s changing moods.

The couple would plan to go to a Sunday school class party or a family gathering, but Marilyn would beg off at the last minute. She just wasn’t up to socializing. Charles would feel sorry for her, change the evening’s plans and stay home. After several weeks of staying home, he would become blue. Then she would feel guilty for causing him to give up his social life and she would start going out. But he knew she was doing it just for him, so he would feel guilty and stay home more. It was a vicious circle, actually a battle of wills, his versus hers. [Read more…]

Finding Contentment

A gentleman came to see me who was extremely mad at his wife. “I hate to come home from work,” he said, “because I know that when I turn into the driveway, if my wife got there ahead of me, she will have her car parked smack in the middle of the carport. I have asked her time and time again to please either park her car to the left or the right of the carport, but no, she always parks in the middle! We have two cars, and there is room for both in that carport. But if she comes home ahead of me, her car is parked in the middle of the carport. She makes me so mad.”

Every night he has a decision to make. Either he will simply leave his car parked in the driveway, or he will back her car out of the carport, move it over, and drive his in. According to him, you see, his whole demeanor, peace of mind, and joy depends upon a choice that his wife initially makes.

Is this true? [Read more…]

Experience Contentment

Do you realize the Bible holds the keys to happiness? Do you read your Bible, or does it just sit on a shelf? The Bible is a very important book, and it contains a lot of good, solid Biblical principles for living. If you pay attention to those principles you will be on the pathway to contentment.
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The Key to Contentment

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).

We tend to chase that golden pot at the end of the rainbow, that something in the future that will bring us contentment. Hopefully, some new experience, some new success, some new degree of cooperation or obedience from the people around us, or meeting someone new will make us happy.

I’ve listened to many people describe their hopes with excitement in their voices; their eyes sparkle, and happy smiles light up their faces. Generally, such optimism consumes us when there are prospects for something new in the future.

I’ve listened to the same people who have been in pursuit of something new for a while–perhaps years. Their hopes have turned to ashes. As they recount what happened, their eyes are slits, the corners of their mouths are turned down. Their voices tremble.

We all know people–perhaps our own children, parents, or close friends–who have spent many years in pursuit of education, wealth, power, social life or religious life. Their goal was a fulfilled, contented, productive life. But they ended up depressed, sour, bitter, frustrated and empty, with broken friendships and marriages. They didn’t learn “to be content in whatever circumstances” they were. [Read more…]

Steps to Contentment

Almost everyone who comes to my consulting room has been in pursuit of the advantages of life, but something or someone went wrong. Their contentment and sense of self-worth or self-respect has been shattered. If their self-respect and self-worth is intact, then the loss of contentment is attributed to the behavior of an offending person or to circumstances that have shifted to one’s disadvantage.
[Read more…]