In our marriage, for example, my husband works outside of the home as a pastor, counselor, and author. I work inside the home as a homemaker, homeschool teacher, and writer. Both of us do things around the house as necessary, and of course we work together to raise the kids.
We each have our jobs that God has prepared specifically for each of us and we also have jobs that we do together. This should make for a very harmonious and productive marriage. Well, that is until comparison creeps in.
I am going to guess that if you are married, you have played the comparison game in your marriage at least a few times. I know I have.
“Oh, it must be nice to be able to take a nap on Sunday afternoons while I have to watch the kids and clean up the kitchen.”
“You think your job is harder? You got to spend the day with adults.”
“How tired are you? Well, I’m 10 times more tired because I had to get up in the middle of the night.”
Some of us may not say these things out loud, but we think them. We compare who slept more or better, whose day was longer, whose week will be more busy, who feels more sick, whose headache is worse, and who cleaned up more. It sounds ridiculous but many, if not all of us, are guilty of it.
It is a dangerous road to be on because this kind of comparison within marriage will lead to a whole host of ungodly attitudes.
Comparison within marriage breeds resentment.
He gets to rest and I don’t? He got to go out for lunch and I had to eat the kids leftover PB&Js!
Instead of being happy for the other person we resent them. We become miserable and we want our spouse to be just as miserable as we are. The petty attitude of “If I can’t rest than neither should he” is one that we then pass on to our children.
Comparison produces complaining and kills thanksgiving.
The more we look at what the other person is doing or not doing the more we become discontent. We begin to feel like we deserve certain things and are saying that what God has for us this day, or this season, is not good enough.
Comparison works against God’s design of marriage.
A married couple is suppose to be on the same team. They have been put together to help one another mature in godliness, bring joy to each other’s life and glorify God in the relationship. Comparison undermines this design.
It doesn’t matter whose job is more difficult or who is more tired or whose day has been longer. What matters is that God has gives each one specific jobs to do for that day and we must be faithful to work for the glory of God and the well-being of others.
We aren’t called to compare ourselves to each other, but to uplift each other. Encouragement and cheering each other on raises people’s spirits. It gives birth to motivation, makes you more thankful, kills complaint, and makes for a happier marriage.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.