In our entire marriage, I don’t remember a time that Nancy was envious of me or I was envious of her. We are good at celebrating each other’s successes. We are good at complimenting each other and bragging on each other. It’s when we look away from our marriage and all the blessings God has given us that envy can be a problem.
We have always had a nice home to live in. Our first home was perfect for us. Today you might call it a “starter” home. Realistically, we could have lived in that home our entire marriage, but we didn’t. Other couple friends that married around the same time we did began moving from their “starter” homes. We began looking past our front yard to others’ front yards. They were bigger and so were the houses that sat on them. I don’t think we saw it as envy then but looking back, it was. We had everything we needed in that first home; besides, a “starter” home is completely a first world concept anyway.
Then there was the Christmas that our next door neighbor got a brand new foreign-made sports car. This time there was no doubt I was envious. It was one of those cars that guys dream about. At least I did. It was also more money than I ever needed to spend on a car, so I didn’t.
Now there is nothing wrong with moving to a new home or buying a sports car. At least there is nothing wrong on the surface. The key is being honest with yourself and your spouse. Is it a purchase born out of envy? If so, then it is time for a heart check with God. If not, I still think it is important to take it before God in prayer. Let Him guide both of you in these important decisions. God will never give you an answer that is not the best for each of you and your marriage.
What are some of the ways to enjoy who you are, who you are with, and what you have?
1. What are some of the ways that we can envy others?
2. Contentment is being satisfied with what you have. How difficult is that for us in our culture? Why?
3. What are some ways to “water your own grass”?
4. Is envy controlling your life today? If so, will you bring it before God and ask His help?