If you knew my husband, you would know how completely in love he is with me. He makes it so obvious to everyone we meet. He thinks it’s ridiculous that I get upset when he talks to other women, because he’s so focused on me, he’s not even looking at them. Unfortunately, the past experiences I’ve had make it difficult for me to trust him around women. That is why true love involves putting away envy and taking up contentedness.
Contentedness takes form in multiple ways in marriage. Here are the top three that I’ve seen.
Love Does Not Envy One’s Spouse
Even though I’m on the same team as my husband, it’s tempting to compare myself to him. He’s never been in a relationship, and I’ve been in several. He is making more money with me, and he is living his dream as a Desktop Support Analyst (IT). He had a pretty easy life growing up. Although he is everything that I’ve ever wanted and needed, he also has everything that I ever wanted for myself. Love says that I should be happy for my spouse, and I should be content with the things that God has given me.
Romans 8:28 says that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. That does not mean that we’re always happy; rather, God in His sovereignty uses our circumstances to grow us and make us more like Christ. My husband and I have both had unique experiences that have drawn us to Christ and have paved the way for us to be more like Him. Instead of being envious of my husband, I should be thankful for what God has given me and should surrender to God the things in my past that I don’t like.
In your own marriage, appreciate each other’s strengths, while remembering that you both have something to offer in the relationship. You are not less than your spouse; you are partners, co-workers, and friends.
Love Does Not Envy Other Women
My husband had a situation where he needed to speak to a representative from an insurance company. It so happened to be a woman. If I let my envy of other women get in the way of my husband living his life, I would’ve had to take the phone from him and speak to the woman for him. Not only does my husband not want to be controlled; I also don’t want to have to do everything for him. So ladies (and gentleman, because men are also jealous of other men talking to their women), I have three words for you: get over it. You have to trust your husband enough to realize that he’s not going to leave you for the customer service rep on the phone. He made a vow to God to spend the rest of his life with you, and God will help you both stay faithful to each other.
Love Does Not Envy Other Marriages
Because every couple on the planet is different from one another, it is so easy to compare. One couple you know just bought a house. One couple is excelling at work. One couple has no problem having kids. One couple never ever fights. While you want to be happy for all these couples, maybe you’re struggling with financial difficulties, work problems, infertility, or intense fights with your spouse, and you find yourself wishing that you had what they have. If you truly are discontent, you may even find yourself wishing they didn’t have what you want.
However, love does not envy other marriages. When your relationship is centered on Christ, God will provide what you need when you need it. If you don’t get something that you want, it is your opportunity to surrender those desires to God and to trust Him to provide them. God will also use the circumstances that you and your spouse face together to grow you closer to each other.
Conclusion: Contentment in God
Even though it clearly states it in Scripture that God is a jealous God, it’s hard to explain what that means in such a short context. God is committed to us, and He does not want anything to come before Him. When we realize that God’s desire is to have us fully and completely rely on Him, then our envy of other things suddenly fade. When you accept God’s love, it doesn’t matter where you live with your husband. When you trust in God’s faithfulness, your work situation isn’t as bad anymore. Allowing God’s love to lead your life will help you be more content in your marriage and in your life. May our desire for love ultimately lead us to the Savior, who loves us with an everlasting love.
(I looked up “envy” on Unsplash and a ton of flower pictures popped up. I like the representation in this picture of the flowers blooming despite their different sizes and classifications.)