Love is patient; love is kind; it does not envy … hmm, let’s stop there. If you are a woman who is in a blended family and have never felt the twinge of jealousy from your husband’s past relationships – then I believe you might be a saint! Of course, I understand Dan’s past marriages have taught him many lessons and that’s probably one of the reasons he is such a great husband today, but the ugly, two-headed, green monster still rises from the darkness to do some damage periodically.
This small, four-letter word can ruin relationships by causing conflict, kindling resentment and making you miserable. James 3:16 says, “For where you find envy” … “there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Envy opens a door of doom. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones”. Envy will destroy.
So as a woman married to a man who has been married before, how do you not allow envy to creep into your mind? As a woman with stepchildren, how do you quit feeling envious of them? Let’s look at what God would say to help us walk in truth and love.
The first thing to do is quit comparing yourself to others. Galatians 6:4 tells us, “Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work done well, and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.” God created you unlike anyone else. You are a one of a kind! Focus on doing what God called you to do – and that is to be the best wife and mom and stepmom you can be. It won’t be the same as others, and it shouldn’t be! God created you in such a way so you can give something special to those He has placed in your life.
Then I want you to walk in recognition of the fact that you are unique. Psalm 139:13-15 has been a precious reminder of this to me. “You [God] made all the delicate inner parts of my body, and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” “You saw me before I was born and scheduled every day of my life before I began to breathe.”
Next, stop and reflect on what you have been given. So many times we chase what everyone else has and forget we are blessed beyond compare. Ecclesiastes 6:9 says, “It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to always be wanting something else.” Philippians 4:11 says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul is telling us that being content isn’t just a virtue that appears, but one that can be learned. When you find yourself in a fit of jealousy, remember the old hymn, “Count your blessings; name them one by one; count your many blessings, see what God has done!”
Once you have stopped comparing yourself to others, have recognized your uniqueness, and taken the time to be thankful for what you have been given, then you will be able to reach out to others in love – without the envy. Matthew 22:39 tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Your neighbor has a ton of problems of his own. In fact, your neighbor may be envious of you!
Lastly, and most importantly, refocus on pleasing God. Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.” The drama of this life will pass away. The desires of attaining the material will melt. What you are left with is the relationships you took the time to build, nurture and love.
Blessings in Your Blending!