A beach honeymoon on the Riviera — sounds romantic, doesn’t it?
Not so much . . .
On the morning of our second day in Mexico, my new husband had a boating accident while we were snorkeling. He lost part of his right index finger. We spent most of our costly trip in a Mexican hospital while he underwent surgery. When we did return to our suite, it rained the rest of the time. No beach, no hot pink swim suit I’d purchased, no sunbathing while listening to the sound of the waves at my toes – and no sex, either. The vow I had just made “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” came into play quicker than I thought it would.
Yes, I was disappointed. But what surprised me more was that I felt jealous of my friends whose honeymoons were blissful. While outwardly I celebrated, my heart seethed with envy.
Unfortunately, I notice this streak of jealousy often rears its ugly head. For example, when I walk into a friend’s house and see her beautifully decorated home, I immediately think, I want that. I must have this. This looks like a happy life. When I see photos on Facebook of vacations and honeymoons, I want those too. And lately, when I hear of a friend who absolutely loves her job and has found her passion in life, I’m jealous of her as well.
Jealous is such an ugly word. It sounds very unattractive. I hate what it means and what it says about my heart: “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).
When I looked up the word jealous, the first synonym that popped up was “anxious.” I never would have related jealousy to anxiety. What am I anxious about? I’m fearful that if I don’t have these nice things, the perfect honeymoon, the home, the dream job, I will not have a happy life and a good marriage. Ultimately, I’m insecure with where God has me and the circumstances he’s allowed me to endure.
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load” (Galatians 6:4-5).
When jealous thoughts pop into my mind, I try to take those thoughts captive and remember the blessings God’s already given me. Often I find it helpful to write down in my journal a list of what I currently am thankful for in my life. When I focus on my blessings – instead of the things I don’t have – I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and joy.
Although my husband and I didn’t have a dream honeymoon, we grew closer to each other and learned how to really be there for each other during a tough time. I know we’ll face more tough times in the future, as any marriage does; I now know we can get through them together if we rely on God. I have a devoted husband, a home near friends and family, a sweet little dog, and we both have great jobs. That’s a blessed life.
We all are in different places in life. Some couples make more money than others. Some couples have more children than others. Some couples suffer health problems, and some enjoy good health. Some have large homes, and others have small, quaint homes. Someone will always have something you don’t have. And Satan will always be there, whispering lies in your ear, tempting you with jealous thoughts. Although God blesses each of us differently and works differently in each of our lives, his ways are perfect – and more than enough.
Used with permission. This blog originally appeared at www.authenticintimacy.com