There were those days, too many of them in fact. The days were every married couple around me seemed so very connected. I noticed the inside jokes or references. I noticed glimpses of affection and courtesy. I would envy the opportunities for connection: Sitting together at church, worshiping and studying together, shopping together, dining together, ect. These were not just tasks done at the same time, but and honest time of connectivity. Either an opportunity for new ties, or old ties strengthened. They are living life together. I couldn’t help but begin to feel hopeless. I saw everything that my marriage lacked, blinded to what my marriage had.
I have been studying and observing how offense has such an impact on our relationship with the Lord, and with others. One of the most common, overlooked trap is comparison. When we are busy comparing to others we are no longer focused. In almost ALL cases of offense, wheither we are offended or happen to be the offender, we are not focused 100% on the Lord. Yes, 100%. Do you actually think He would actually require less? If we keep our focus on Him, are no longer concerned with the affairs of others, what they may say, or what they have or have not done. We look for Him in all aspects of our lives.
I should be focused on how He works in my own marriage. I will never see the blessings if I am busy counting what is lacking by comparison to others. I have a husband that would give us everything he has. He is loyal, and he loves me unconditionally. We have challenges that most other marriages do not have to contend with. He is home only a few days a month. Our only source of connectivity is the phone, almost 90% of the time. Fatigue, bad service, and general communication failure happens daily. Even more reason to remain focused on the Lord, who saw fit to bring us together.
That being said, wives — If you have your husband home every night, love him. If you have the joy of serving the Lord with him, praise God. If you have your husband there to pray when you pray, you are very blessed. Always have his back, and speak highly of him. So forgive me if I do not always seem so eager hear stories of all the wonderful things that your spouse is able to do. But do know that I praise God that He is working in marriages around me. He is working to take that sting away, a little at a time. I can not afford to be pricked by a thorn of jealousy, for it is a huge stumbling block in my relationships with my friends that are happily married. We are called to share in praises and blessings with in the body of Christ. Jealousy, or the act of comparison gets in the way of being able to wholeheartedly take part.
There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecc 4:8-12