No Two Marriages Are the Same (So Stop Comparing)
By: Amanda Idleman
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. - Proverbs 14:30
Have you ever heard another couple talk about their lives together and wondered how come they have this thing figured out so much better than you and your spouse do? Have you ever entertained the thought that maybe you and your spouse are just not as capable as others? According to Proverbs, these thoughts only lead to rot.
In my experience, as you grow in your marriage, you also grow in the understanding that you and your spouse are more different than you ever imagined possible. If you aren’t different, then your sameness may become more annoying than your ever imagined possible. Either way, as your get to know each other, familiarity can lead to frustration. Frustration leads to disappointment and many times we can start to envy those we don’t know as well. Believing the lie that what we see on the outside must be better than what we are experiencing in the inner life of our very familiar marriages.
The reality is, there is no combination of two people that function in quite the same way. Your marriage is truly one of a kind! This is a beautiful truth that can lead to a healthy pride in the gift of marriage that you have been given.
When we understand this, we see that comparing to others is futile. Another couple may deal with conflict more calmly. They could be a dynamic creative team, or maybe they parent with such ease. That’s the strength that God has given their union shining! Rather than putting ourselves down because we don’t match up in that area, we should celebrate the gift God has given them and you.
Let God open your eyes to the ways He wants you to be proud of what you have together. Cast off the shame that comparison brings to your life. It’s the lie of the enemy that wants us to get caught up in all the ways we are blowing it. When we get caught up in this negative cycle we miss out on seeing the amazing ways God is and wants to use your one-of-a-kind union.
Writing a list is one practice that can help refocus your mind on the positives of your marriage rather than negatives! Write down 10 strengths you see in your marriage and/or partner. Talk them over with your spouse, letting them know you see the ways they are shining in their life and the ways you are proud of your marriage.
Many times, we zero in on the places we need to grow in our lives and completely miss out on celebrating our wins. Growth is important but we should not be walking around with our heads down filled with shame for not getting it right. God took our guilt and shame from us when he died on the cross (Romans 8:1)!
Be proud of each other. Own what you have been given as a couple. Don’t let the lie of envy eat away the joy that God wants you to have in your marriage.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She creates devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, is contributing to a couples devotional for Crosswalk, and is a regular contributor for the marriage/family/homeschool/parenting channels on Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda at rvahouseofjoy.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
Originally published Thursday, 08 June 2023.