Your Spouse’s Wins Are Your Wins
By: Amanda Idleman
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4
How many times have you read this verse in the context of marriage and just skipped on past the part about love does not envy? Envy isn’t something that is talked about when discussing married life but is one of those sneaky deadly sins that can squash love.
Marriage means working together as a team but assuming different roles or jobs. Each person is gifted with different talents and abilities. Each family has different needs that requires unique sacrifices from each person in a marriage. A couple becomes one when they say “I do” and that oneness is a merging together of two very different individuals.
On top of our differences, life comes with many crazy seasons! Some call for more sacrifice by one spouse than another. Your partner may become ill and you have to take up the slack to care for them and all the other needs of the rest of the family for a season. Often times the years of pregnancy and nursing can require more of a sacrifice from Mom than Dad. Your spouse may be working towards growing a business or is going back to school, requiring extra work on the part of their partner. Whatever the scenario, there are times in marriage when life and its responsibilities are not divided equally between a man and a wife.
For me, the time I spent pregnant and nursing were filled with moments. I bought into the lie of envy. I became envious of the man who seemed so much more put together than me. He didn’t have ten more pounds of baby weight to lose. He is Super Dad and is greeted with shear joy from our kids when he comes home after work. He isn’t wrecked with worry for our kids. He laughs freely, dresses well, and has a plan for what his days should entail. In comparison, I felt like I was struggling to keep it together. The lie of envy brought me to a point that I actually felt hate boil up in my heart for my husband.
When we walk through these “uneven seasons” the enemy of our souls loves to plant the lie of envy into our minds. It is easy to see the success of our partners or our personal sacrifice as cause to let the sting of envy steal our affection for our spouses. The lie asks “Why do they have it so easy when I’m struggling here on my own? Why can’t I be the one to go back to school or find success at work? Why is it so easy for them to lose weight, while I struggle to lose just a few pounds? When we compare ourselves to our partners, it is easy to let your mind accept the deception that they have it better.
I had to confront this lie head on to overcome its power in my life. I had to repent for not seeing that we have different roles, different gifts, and different challenges. I was quietly seething against the man whose only aim was to love me well. With God’s help, there had to be a shift in the story I was allowing to be played out in my mind about how much better his life was than mine. I needed to be reminded that true love does not envy.
Be honest with your spouse and with God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the places envy has stopped you from joyfully loving your spouse. Prayer and repentance have the power to end envy’s grip on your mind. With kind words share your struggle with your partner, so they can offer their support and assurance that you are on the same team in life. Your spouse’s wins are your wins, so there is no room for envy in marriage, only love.
Amanda Idleman is a wife, homeschooling Momma to three amazing kids and is passionate about encouraging others to live joyfully. Amanda also loves to write as a freelance writer and on her blog (when she finds a spare moment for it). You can find out more about Amanda at her blog rvahouseofjoy.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
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