Finding contentment with your home has everything to do with your perspective.
Encouragement

Becoming Content With Your Home

It’s easy to be critical or focus on what you don’t have. But by changing your attitude, becoming content with your home is possible.

It's easy to be critical or focus on what you don't have. But by changing your attitude, becoming content with your home is possible.

Not everyone lives in the home of their dreams.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that most people don’t. (That’s why they’re called dream houses and not reality houses.)

I have all sorts of pictures in my head of my dream house. It’s filled with character and has plenty of room to entertain guests.

But now that I’m middle-aged, I’m coming to the realization that I may never get to live in the house of my dreams. 

And, as uncomfortable as that makes me feel (completely in a me! my! mine! I want it my way! sort of selfish desire), I’m wrapping my head around the fact that this possible reality needs to be OK. 

As much as I’ve bought into the fallacy that I should choose a home that will make me “happy,” its simply untrue.

I have a roof over my head and heat to keep me warm on cold nights. I have more stuff in my home than I have room for. I need to be thankful for this.

Dealing with discontentment

If you’re feeling stuck with a home that’s less than your ideal, it’s hard to feel content.

Maybe it doesn’t seem like there are enough bathrooms. Or bedrooms. Or your kitchen could stand to be larger … or updated.

The list could go on and on. Maybe it feels like your house is too small … or too large. Maybe it’s so old and needs more updating than you can afford. Maybe you feel trapped in a soul-sucking space instead of flourishing in a haven.

Whatever issues you may have, it can become easy to focus on them and dwell on what you wish you could change.

Learning the secret of being content

Contentment doesn’t come naturally. But we can train ourselves to become more content.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-12,

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Did you catch that? He learned the secret of being content. Whatever the circumstances. In any and every situation.

That means there’s a secret to it. And it can be learned.

So what’s the secret? It’s found in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

Our contentment comes through Christ.

Without Him and the strength He alone gives, we might as well resign ourselves to wallow in discontent.

But if you’re following Christ, stretch yourself to be content and at peace with your circumstances. Surrender your desires to Him and watch what He can do in your heart.

A contentment challenge

I have a challenge for you … and me. If we’re serious about becoming content in any and every situation, let’s think about what’s right with our houses when we’re tempted to think about what’s wrong.

You may not feel like you have a haven.But when you’re ready to dwell on what you don’t like, think about what you do like.

For right now, you don’t have to do anything else. But replace your negative thinking with positive thoughts – even if it’s being thankful for a roof over your head or running water or the luxury of a washer and dryer.

Sometimes, it takes me a while to look for the good in my annoying places.

  • I think about how it’s difficult to jockey four people around one bathroom – until I remember how my grandparents raised seven children sharing 1½ bathrooms.
  • When I look at the vintage purple tile and bathroom sink in my own bathroom and wish we could spring for a remodel right now, I try to be thankful for indoor plumbing – because it’s a luxury many people in this world still don’t have.
  • A few years ago, I was very disappointed in our dated kitchen. I wasn’t crazy about the storage space, the 50-year-old countertops, and the basic layout. Then I saw a picture of a woman cooking in a Third World kitchen. When I saw the dirt floors, crude cooking space, and couple pots and pans stacked and stored in the middle of everything, I stopped complaining. Right away.

Now, whenever I’m tempted to complain, I visualize that kitchen – and I’m thankful for my own.

If you struggle with contentment in your own home, start changing by remembering - and being thankful for - the things you do have.

Contentment without pride

You don’t need to think of your home as better than other homes to puff yourself up with pride. But it is possible to become content with your home by remembering to be thankful for what you do have.

Thank the Lord for the way He has blessed you and where He has placed you in life.

Ask Him for a heart of gratitude and contentment, trust Him for it … and start living each day searching for things to appreciate.

How do you work at becoming content with your home?

Finding contentment with your home has everything to do with your perspective.

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All images courtesy of Unsplash.

Hilary
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8 Comments

  1. I’m so glad to see this blog post! This is a particular struggle of mine. One thing I have done is turn off HGTV! It builds unattainable expectations in my heart. Also, I have started evaluating what the purpose of the undesirable item is. My countertops may be not so attractive 80’s era wood look laminate but are they suitable to serve in their intended capacity? Finally I am hoping to surround myself with more people who share the desire to find contentment in what God has provided. Thank you for speaking up!

      1. No my husband and I stretched and bought a large beautiful home… We were happier in our old home with our long time friends Hang on to what God has given you and be thankful for the little things… Still learning after age 60 lol

    1. I absolutely love HGTV but find myself constantly irritated at How spoiled people are. NO, we don’t NEED those types of homes

  2. So true! Currently, I live in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 624 sf cabin in the mountains and absolutely love the downsizing that has come with it. I’ve lived in much larger homes and truth be told am much happier with this place than I ever thought I’d be. Yes, it’s a lot of work this new lifestyle we have but I no longer can handle living in the city-I work there but live in peace, beauty and quiet. In our neighborhood we share our lifestyle with brown bears, mountain lions, fox, deer, coyotes & wild turkeys which makes for some interesting adventures to say the least! Never boring around here! Chopping our own wood to be our main source of heat, packing guns when we go on walks in case we meet a wild critter, drying clothes on the line (not having hot water to my wash machine either), well water not gross city water, snow drifts that pile up to 4 feet in the late winter/early spring & not having a true dinning room to eat are all challenges I deal with-and am thankful EVERY DAY.

  3. I randomly found your post on Pinterest. So grateful I did. I often wish for a larger home for having people over. We are having a Passover dinner on Thursday and we simply couldn’t have all the families we wanted to have over. I realize thought at it’s only once or twice a year I really wish we had this. Currently, we have a single mom and her son renting an apartment in our basement. One day, we’ll have that space back again when they outgrow it, but for now it’s a blessing, even if we need to be crammed for a season. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed it.

  4. So grateful for your wisdom! I’m currently 70 and seemed to have struggled most of my life wanting “things” and a home I “could be proud of.” Now that I have had to retire, my income has so drastically changed that I’ve had to let go of that fictitious source of happiness and look to the one who provides for all our needs including true contentment and happiness despite our “dreams!” I think back to an old cabin my husband and I spent time at with our three young children. Swept the wood floor each morning of the sand brought in by barefoot little feet, warmed up water on the wood stove (so graciously stoked earlier by my husband) for dishes, emptied the “thunder jug” from the night before, and began to cook breakfast for the 4 people I loved most in the world playing and working busily outside. I never had a thought of what I would like to make better those wonderful mornings. I just enjoyed the song God placed in my heart those mornings. That’s true contentment that no “thing” can bring!!

  5. This is a beautiful piece. I have learnt to be more appreciating in all that God has given me. Should not grumble at all but to be always thankful.

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