Love Does Not Envy

Often it’s easier to see a negative than a positive.

As I wrote in my last blog, “Love is Patient and Kind” is a positive statement about what love is, as stated in verse four, of first Corinthians chapter thirteen.

Somewhere I’ve heard it said, “Love surpasses great generosity of things and self, and is supreme in its position and particular in its display.”

Let’s take a look at a few “Don’ts” about love, or what love is not.

Verse five of the same chapter says “Love does not Envy”. It’s a phrase you don’t expect to see when you’re being encouraged to love.

You might say, “How could I possibly envy the person I love?”

As I have coached and counseled couples, I’ve found that envy can be concealed and difficult to recognize.

It has been said that jealousy is how you feel about another’s possessions/qualities, but envy is flush with emotion and displeased at seeing a person have it. In other words, you’re thinking, “I’m not just upset because I don’t have WHAT you have, I’m upset because YOU have it.” The focus has moved from a thing to a person.

Tensions arise in a relationship and present as bitterness, jealousy, frustration with one another, or a lack of fulfillment. These underlying feelings may be coming to the surface, born from envy.

Envy is an insidious emotion. It could start because someone gets a raise or promotion and you haven’t, or it can come by comparing their positive history, to a negative history such as tragedy or abuse. I’ve seen friends; travel and other life experiences become sources of envy for some couples.

If you find yourself letting your thoughts linger or focus on something your spouse or significant other has that you don’t have, and you begin feeling negative toward them, you must arrest that thinking. Tell a trusted and supportive friend or counselor, and protect your relationship.

Love rejoices for and with your spouse because they have what they have, and because they have decided to share their life with you.

You have a history to be shared and a future to build. Enjoy it together.

Solutions
1. Be aware of lingering thoughts
2. Arrest negative thinking
3. Talk to a trusted person who supports your marriage
4. Celebrate your positive history
5. Maintain open communication
6. Use the Ten Step Conflict Resolution Tool (provided in my pre-marital and marital counseling sessions)

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