If only she looked like that. If he would just treat me that way. If she were my wife, I would make her feel like a queen. She doesn’t deserve him – if he were mine, I’d… You get the point – coveting, and it’s deadly. It will rob you of living your life and it will murder your marriage.
When are you most vulnerable to comparing your spouse to another person? Is it after a fight with your wife or when your husband speaks or acts in a way that is insensitive? Has your spouse let their physical appearance go? Are they run-of-the-mill? What makes you compare your spouse to that old flame or an acquaintance, friend or coworker? It’s important to uncover these patterns in our lives. When we recognize and understand our weaknesses, we are better equipped to prevent ourselves from walking to the edge of a dangerous precipice. We then know to not approach or if necessary, back-up before everything crumbles beneath our feet, causing us to fall and be destroyed.
It may very well be reality, that your spouse isn’t attractive, doesn’t excite you or that they don’t always treat you very well but comparing our spouses to others begins with a problem deep down within our own heart and mind. It begins with a lack of thankfulness and contentment. Discontentment most likely stems from a belief that we are somehow entitled to something better. What is the solution to this very human problem? In my own life, I must continually work at cultivating a thankful heart. A thankful heart becomes a contented heart. Learn to count your blessings. Look for the many things in your spouse that are good and be honest with yourself about your own faults. In short, I must accept that today, I have exactly what God in His ultimate wisdom, wants me to have.
That other person may look pretty good to you but they are not yours. God will never bless something that He has defined as sin – in this case, coveting or adultery. However, He will bless your efforts to find contentment in your own marriage, with the person that you chose. You chose them – for better or for worse. In my own marriage, I have experienced real change when I choose to do the right thing. Look for the good in your spouse and thank God for it. This is the anti-venom of discontentment.