I am at a point in my life where I think I have honed in on most of my weaknesses (fear of failure, quick to anger, stubbornness), but it never occurred to me until recently that one of them might be envy. There is a series being given at our new church about creating the best relationships in our lives. For about four Sundays now, it feels as if the sermon was meant just for me. Now, if you don’t go to church, don’t stop reading; we all need a little spirituality in our lives.
A few weeks ago the subject was envy and boy, did it hit home. Point number one: How envy ruins relationships. First, it causes conflict and then especially in my case, kindles resentment. I have made a big choice in my life to spend at least five years of my life focusing on raising my son as my full-time job. This is often challenging and not just because a three year old is not always easy to reason with, but also because I am used to having a job outside of the home. On my most monotonous and challenging days, this resentment is on fire towards the most important adult human in my life, my husband. He gets to work outside of the home, has lively discussions with other adults and even sometimes plays board games during the day that require strategy! To a stay at home mom, this can sound like heaven. So, I lash out with comments like, “you love your job more than you love me!” Now, you must understand, I am a Gemini and I joke that there are two Kathryn’s, evil Kathryn and nice Kathryn. Nice, quirky, lovable, unenvious Kathryn would never say this. But in the heat of the moment it feels so good. I am working on it.
Point number two of the sermon focused on four ways to overcome envy in relationships.
- Resist comparing myself to others. Jeff and I both have important, but very different jobs. We would both be a wreck if our son was being raised by someone other than ourselves, so it is a united decision. I also sometimes compare myself to other stay at home moms who are amazing women. They do awesome crafts with their children, sew amazing clothes, cook delicious meals, etc. I do none of these things. I do however dance in the living room with my son, show him classic movie musicals and have made him into a life long Star Wars fan at the age of three. And I am working on the cooking thing.
- Recognize my uniqueness. I have something special to offer my son, that is unique to me and I am trying to embrace that and apply it to my daily life.
- Rejoice in what I have. I am a blessed lady, with only first world problems. I am extremely thankful for that.
- Respond to others in love. There are many ways that I am trying to currently do this in my life, starting with this blog post.
So remember friends, the grass is always greener on the other side. And it can be full of envy.
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