It is a simple fact that truly appreciating what you have often includes not wanting something else. I truly am grateful for the blessings in my life. A few nights ago while I was picking out my clothes for the next day I heard my favorite sound coming from the living room, the sound of Lisa’s laughter. She has a wonderful laugh (especially when she is laughing at one of our children), a laugh filled with joy and delight that is truly infectious. As I was ironing my clothes later that evening I reflected on the blessing she is to me and how special our relationship is. I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who appeared to have a better marriage. Ours is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good!
When I think of other good marriages I realize there are some common traits. One of the most important is contentment. When I hear happily married men talk about their wives I get the sense that they have no thoughts of anyone else, no interest in anyone else, and see no reason to even consider anyone else. I get the sense that like me, they would say that they have never met anyone who had a better marriage.
When I think of some of the troubled marriages I have encountered I see the opposite. I see men and women who wish things were better, who talk about what is wrong with their spouse, and about what needs to change. Sometimes they even sound resentful of those whose marriages are happy, occasionally to the point of mocking the happiness of others.
These good and bad marriages illustrate what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “love is not envious.” The Greek word translated envious refers to a strong desire, or a longing. In this case a longing for something someone else has. True love doesn’t want something else. True love is content.
The love of which Paul wrote is not limited to marital love, it encompasses much more. It is the type of love that should characterize the attitude of Christians towards one another. Paul was implying that we should be content in the gifts, blessings and position we have in life, so much so that we do not long for the life or circumstances of anyone else.
While I think I am truly content and devoid of jealousy in my marriage, I have a long way to go when it comes to my love of God and my fellow Christians. How about you?
This is the third post in a series about the qualities of love. You can have future posts delivered to your inbox by clicking on the subscribe button, and you can always share any post with your friends by clicking on the share button below