“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)
Every week, my friend would share with me how absolutely wonderful her husband was.
Each evening, when her husband came home from work, he would help cook dinner, wash the dishes, bathe the kids and put them to bed. On the weekends, he would mow the grass, trim the bushes and even rub my friend’s back, for goodness’ sake!
Honestly, it made me sick to hear about her perfect husband. Resentment toward my husband, Dale, started to fester. I wondered why he couldn’t help me in the same ways. I wanted him to be just like my friend’s husband and serve me. It’s not that I coveted her husband … I coveted the ways he helped her.
God gave the Israelites specific instructions in Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet.” Covet may seem like an old-fashioned word, but it still applies to us today. We aren’t to greatly desire or set our hearts on anything that God has not given us, even if it seems like a good thing — like the way an amazing husband serves his wife.
Have you ever desired for your spouse to be like someone else’s husband? If this temptation hits you — and it probably will at some point — don’t entertain the thought, even for a second! Coveting leads to frustration, unfair comparisons and bitterness.
I know. I spent a few weeks (all right, maybe a month) desiring my imaginary husband until I realized I was wrong. I asked the Lord to forgive me and help me be content with my husband’s level of service. God answered my prayer by changing my perspective.
The truth is Dale was an amazing husband and father. He loved me and served me by working 15-18 hours a day, six days a week, at our family business to support our five children. I had to see — and accept — that even though he didn’t have the time to do all the things my friend’s husband did, Dale greatly helped by providing for us. I needed to learn to be content with the ways he served our family … even if they were different than I’d once hoped.
First Timothy 6:6 reminds us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (NIV). So, I followed God’s instructions from Exodus 20 and stopped coveting my friend’s husband’s acts of service. Instead of wishing and hoping Dale would mow the grass, wash the dishes, get the cars inspected and put the kids to bed … I gladly did all those things, day after day, year after year. And I loved him as he was and for how he served us.
How do we go from coveting to content? It helps to focus on the fact that as husband and wife, God has made us one. If our husband’s time is limited, we fill in the gaps. That’s not to say we shouldn’t ask for his help when he does have time, but if he’s busy, let’s do what he can’t.
Part of godliness is choosing to selflessly serve.
Part of contentment is resisting resentment toward our husband.
Will there be days we’re exhausted from managing our homes, kids and the rest of life? You bet. But we’ll be physically tired from serving our family, not mentally and emotionally drained from coveting something (or someone!) that isn’t ours.
Satan wants us to desire our husbands to be more, different and better. God wants us to love and appreciate our husband for who he is and what he does.
Our husbands’ expressions of love, commitment and service will look different than other husbands. Our humble and consistent gratitude and respect for them will change our perspective in such a way that honors the Lord … and them.
If you’re tempted to covet the helping hands of another man — don’t entertain the thought, not even for a second! Instead of longing for what isn’t yours, choose to love what is. Rather than desiring your husband change, change your perspective and honor him with a contented heart.
Dear Lord, thank You for my husband. Help me love and honor him. Guide me to take every thought captive when wrong thoughts about him assail me. Protect our marriage, and help us to live as one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)
Ephesians 4:2-3, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Write a prayer to the Lord thanking Him for how He made your husband. Detail all the ways your husband serves and blesses you.
Do you wish your husband helped you more like a friend’s husband helps her? Has this created bitterness or resentment toward your spouse? If so, ask for the Lord’s forgiveness. Then, ask for His help in being content.
© 2017 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.