A few weeks ago we talked about the well-known 1 Corinthians 13 verses about love (check it out here). With facets like a diamond, each tiny little phrase is packed with meaning. We already dove into “Love is patient” and “Love is kind”. Which means that next up is:
When Paul wrote the famous love chapter, he was talking to the Corinthian church and addressing issues he saw there. These principles weren’t written specifically for marriage, although I think they absolutely apply.
So I confess that I had to sit and think about this for quite awhile. I mean, what ways would we be envying our own spouse? I can easily see how it applies to our relationship to others. In marriage? It’s a team effort here, and jealousy just doesn’t seem to fit.
Once I started thinking past the obvious, I saw how envy can quietly twist its way into even the marriage relationship. I don’t think it’s always very obvious – and that makes it even more dangerous.
Have you ever held your spouse back from something good because of what you wanted for yourself? It looks like selfishness on the outside, but it has a definite smattering of envy in there, as well.
Have you ever been jealous of his work trip to a really cool place? Secretly resented all the “girls nights” she has while you’re at home watching the kids? Felt like you do all the work while he watches football? Think she spends too much money so you’re forced to say no to things you want for yourself?
Many years ago, I remember a co-worker driving up in a brand new car. Of course, everybody commented on how snazzy it was and congratulated her. I’ll never forget the toss of her head:
“My husband went out and bought a new truck without asking. So you know what I did? I got myself a new car, too.”
Kevin Thompson wrote an article titled “Is Envy Hindering Your Marriage?” earlier this year, and he made a spot-on point that show how complex this envy in marriage thing can be. He talks about how envy of other peoples’ spouses drags that sense of envy into our own marriage:
“Envy is often sourced in our jealousy of another person’s spouse. Seeing just an aspect of who they are, we compare our limited understanding to a fuller picture of who our spouse is. We then write the story that the other person is better than our spouse. We believe that our marriage would be better if our spouse was like the other person.”
Who thought that envy could slip its way in so easily?
Envy is one of those things that isn’t very obvious at first, but it hurts a lot when it rears its head.
Are you truly your spouse’s biggest cheerleader? If you find yourself resenting good things that come their way, remember that you’re a team. A team worth fighting for.
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