The Harm in Idolizing Other Marriages (and Divorces)


You see blended families on social media where parents and step-parents wear matching shirts to baseball games. They are labeled "mom","bonus mom", "dad", and "bonus dad". You wonder where you went wrong in co-parenting as you think of the explosive fight you just had with your ex over book rental fees. Doesn't God know how badly you crave peace in those moments?

You see a couple holding hands in line at the store, laughing and smiling...and you feel pain wondering why your wife isn't that happy around you. You feel guilty thinking back to those nights you were hoping she'd be asleep before you got home. "Just one night this week I'd like to not be criticized," you think. "Why doesn't God fix her?"

You go to church and see the former single mom who was divorced and remarried in less than two years. God brought her a partner so fast. Doesn't He see that you are close to drowning in the waters of single-parenting?

All of us have fallen victim to envy in one way or another. I personally had a really hard time with the fact that my co-parenting journey was far from perfect. I had a lot of hope that things would flow together once the marriage was over. I was envious of other people who seemed to have "picture-perfect" co-parenting relationships. I was annoyed with other people who didn't understand that sometimes, regardless of how hard you try, co-parenting with your ex spouse isn't any easier than being married to them was.

Co-parenting has improved over time (including my attitude and grasp on reality), but it wasn't easy. It took realizing that I was spending more time thinking of other divorced couples instead of focusing on my blessings. While envy may have been new to me, it wasn't new to God.

Envy goes all the way back to the book of Genesis. Cain reacted quite harshly (where are my murderinos at?) when he saw his brother being shown favor in ways that he wasn't. Instead of staying in his own lane focusing on his own relationship with God....he was focused on what God was doing for his brother. He then gave into his emotions instead of looking at the situation honestly, which led him to even more destruction.

In the end, God protected Cain and provided another son for Adam. I would say that His response was ultimately one of favor and grace.

I could write dozens of examples from the Bible (or TMZ) of envy and the harm it leads to, but you get the idea: envy is dangerous. It puts a wall up between the favor you have received from God and the favor that is still to come. Your situation may not measure up to someone else you admire, but that doesn't mean His work is done or that He hasn't shown you favor in the past.

God says in Jeremiah, "I'll show up and take care of you. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out -- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen."

That doesn't sound like a God who has forgotten about you or me or a God who doesn't have prosperous plans for us.

LM ACTION: Begin by thanking God for the favor you have seen in your life recently. A great verse to meditate over is Psalm 20:4, "May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose." Pray just that...that He will help you fulfill your own purpose and guide you through your journey.


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