“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13 : 4-8
This is the first guest article of the What Is Love Series! Jen Schwickerath gives us insight into the next part of defining love. Enjoy!!
Love Does Not Envy
There is a lot of what love is and what love isn’t. In 1 Corinthians 13:4 it says that love does not envy.
Envy is a resentful emotion that builds up when one wants what someone else has.
WOW~~the times that I have failed in this. All of the times that I wish my husband was more like “so-and-so” or I wish I had the qualities of other wives. When I have envied other marriages, I have wanted what I don’t have. This is the ugly face of envy.
The time I think when envy or jealousy became a bigger issue was when I joined Facebook. Now, I love social media. It has benefited me greatly and has had more positive than negative in my life. But where jealousy becomes an issue in my marriage is when I see posts from other husbands posting about their wives. It can be encouragement, declaration of love, or saying how much they appreciate their wife. It makes me envy those wives because my husband Matt rarely does that. I get upset even though I know he doesn’t feel comfortable doing so because he says he feels he is “putting himself out there.”
What do I need to do?
I need to appreciate the way my husband tells me he loves me, appreciates me, and the other ways he encourages me. Instead of bringing my husband down and discouraging him, I need to appreciate him and build him up. God has given me the privilege of being his wife. I KNOW that I am blessed with the husband that I have and I need to stop comparing him to other husbands. Comparison leads to envy and envy leads to resentment and bitterness. All of this can lead to a destructive marriage.
Another way envy has been an issue in my marriage is the way that I envy qualities that other wives have. When I see the wife who exercises patience a lot easier than I do or who has a spirit that is so sweet that you can sweeten your tea with it, it makes me wish I was more like her. I feel I have inadequacies that prevent me from being a better wife and it makes me jealous. It also, at times, has made me wish God made me different. Now, I am not saying that there isn’t room for me to improve, but I can ask God to strengthen me where I need it instead of bringing jealousy into my marriage.
I truly believe that God has made me and my husband for each other, so I should not envy other marriages. God made my marriage and that is the one I need to work on, cultivate, and serve God with. To protect our marriage, I need to not wish for someone else’s, but focus on mine and praise God for what He has given me, not for what I think He hasn’t.
Despite what you may hear, envy can do no good for a marriage. When I have this sin, it puts a barrier between me and my husband. It puts a barrier between me and God. Instead of choosing envy, I need to choose love.
- Jennifer Schwickerath
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30
When you feel envy or jealousy building in your heart fight it off with thankfulness! If you sense you are becoming envious of other marriages or other wives, immediately write down things you are thankful for in your marriage and reasons why you appreciate your husband. Then take what you wrote down and share it with God and your husband!
Thank you for my husband, thank you for the way he loves me, and thank you for the many blessings you have given to me. Lord, I do not want to harbor envy in my heart. Please help me to be aware of my emotions and help me not to compare my marriage in a way that would lead to envy. I pray for a heart of thankfulness, happiness and contentment. Change my thoughts and change my heart to be a wife who appreciates all that I have in Jesus name AMEN!
Questions to discuss in the comments: