Envy in Marriage: The Hidden Source of Many Problems

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your home be the envy of the neighborhood? How about your wonderful husband? The behavior of your children? In our culture, making people envious seems to increase our self-esteem– or that’s what we tend to think.

I wrote a letter to my mother this week and found myself copiously bragging on all of my (or my family’s) accomplishments. Why wouldn’t I? Wouldn’t she be proud of me?

A wise man once said ” If you harbor envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, watch out!” Why?

  • The initially good desire to work hard and accomplish much may actually mask a lurking root of envy.
  • “I need to work out and keep myself looking good for my husband,” you say. Such endeavors may actually be for another audience. Me? Other wives? The adored but critical grandmother who has been dead for 15 years. * Envy produces an inordinate awareness of our own accomplishments, thus, diminishing the importance of our husband’s.
  • Since denial is usually an aspect of negative behaviors, we need to constantly be looking under our problems for the “green eyed monster” that we so easily dismiss.

James 3:16 says, “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” EVERY? Yikes!

When I take a moment to consider the areas in my life where I experience strife, tension, irritability or fear, I can usually link it to selfishness and jealousy.

Can you be happy for someone who lost 30 pounds?

When your husband is praised for something that he has accomplished do you want to step up and present what you have done lately?

Are you generally discontented because things are no longer like they were in the good old days?

What’s the antidote? Wisdom, understanding, and humility.

 WISDOM: the ability to apply knowledge or insight with regard for the nuances and complexities of life.

 UNDERSTANDING: empathetic, discriminating, discerning thought

 HUMILITY: not thinking too highly of yourself; not thinking less of yourself, but THINKING OF YOURSELF LESS!

May we all grow in these areas this year! I know I need it, and so does my poor husband!

It all starts with thinking too highly of ourselves…but it comes so easily, doesn’t it?