We have all seen it. We are at the mall and we see a kid complaining to his parent about not being able to buy something. The kid complains, pouts, and sometimes has a temper tantrum. I know when I was a kid, I complained many times when I didn’t get something I wanted, or didn’t get my way. I even had a few temper tantrums.
Complaining is not just problem with children, but also adults can fall into that mindset. We complain about our jobs, our financial situation, our car that always seems to break down, our overall lot in life, or any number of other things. The root of our complaint often times is discontentment. We compare ourselves to others; what job they have, what house they have, what car they drive, how many likes they get on Social Media, how their kids are so well behaved and smart, etc. We then feel that we are not where we should be in life, and that’s when we become dissatisfied and complain.
God said many things in the Bible about complaining and being content. Here are just a few to reflect on.
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. Philippians 2:14-16 NLT
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLT
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 1 Timothy 6:6 NLT
As parents, we are a model for our children to follow. Whether our children are 2 years old or 25, they are always watching how we react and behave. Our children must learn from us how to be content, and how not to have a complaining spirit. If we model it correctly, they will follow suite.
We are not perfect, so we are going to mess up from time to time. When we do, we just need to acknowledge it to God and our children; asking their forgiveness.
Around Christmas time, complaining can happen when we receive gifts. Maybe we didn’t get what we wanted and/or asked for. Maybe it was the wrong color or size. Maybe your spouse spent too much money. Whatever it is, lets make sure as parents we are modeling the behavior we would want from our children during the holidays.