Contrasting Lives

How can two people have so much in common and lead such different lives? I have two friends with young families. Both of them are younger than me (about age 30) and married to caring, devoted, hard-working men who are attentive to their wives and work hard to ensure their happiness. My friends both live in nice houses and enjoy incomes that are well above average. They each have two children and are financially able to be full-time, stay-at-home moms. They are also blessed with husbands that are great fathers who love their children and are actively involved in their lives. But that is where the similarities end.

One of my friends knows of God but does not yet acknowledge his presence in her life. In spite of her idyllic circumstances, her life is filled with strife and unrest. She is easily and frequently upset, never satisfied, and rarely appears to be happy. Much of her frustration and anger is directed at her husband and two children, who work diligently to please her and appease her anger.

My other friend’s life is a complete contrast. She knows, loves, and serves God actively, with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength. Her life radiates a powerful sense of joy, peace, and contentment. I have never seen her visibly upset and she exudes a constant and unending attitude of gratitude for everything in her life – especially her husband and two children, who work diligently to please her and make her happy.

My second friend chooses to be a stay-at-home mom who works very part time from home (10-12 hours a week). She goes to great lengths to create a loving and peaceful atmosphere in her home and provide her family with a safe and welcoming place of refuge and retreat from the battles of life.

She demonstrates sincere respect for her husband and expresses her love for him in word and in deed. She is kind and loving to her children and enjoys spending time with them - playing games, reading to them, engaging them in conversation, and teaching them about life. They are a tremendous source of blessing that bring deep joy. The love and unity she creates in, for, with, and through her family is evident, constant, and growing.

A life full of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, love, gratitude, and contentment is something we all desire. Both of my friends want and need these things in their lives. My first friend is frantically searching – desperately looking for these things in all the wrong places. My second friend has them. The difference lies in their relationship with God, the creator of life and sole source of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, love, gratitude, and contentment.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:33 (NIV)


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