Boasting about your acts of service doesn’t promote thankfulness; instead, it creates feelings of guilt or pressure to appreciate them. It also causes the person on the receiving end to wonder if your motivation was love, or just a need for recognition.
Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2
“Who was that man you were talking to at work today?”
Jealousy and insecurity are a form of controlling your spouse. Jealousy can be so strong that it causes people to hide things, even things that are not necessarily wrong, only because they don’t want to have to face an interrogation over them.
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Proverbs 27:4
“At least I haven’t done what you’ve done to me!”
Comparing yourself to someone else in a way that diminishes their choices, thoughts, or behavior is pride. It begs to overlook your own faults and thoughts, as it shines a spotlight on the faults of others. This is a cruel reaction the pain that we feel; it’s a way to build up our own character to someone else, but it actually achieves the opposite.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4b
Showing your spouse true, Christ like love means changing these responses, even when we are hurting. It means that even if every kind thing we have done is overlooked, we say nothing, and continue to love and serve. Christ like love means that even though we are jealous, we look at things as reasonably as possible. Only God can change our spouse’s heart, no amount of controlling or checking up will stop their actions. Showing real Christ like love means resisting the urge to point out how low someone else is, and how elevated or superior you are.
I’m not suggesting that everyone struggles with these, but every now and then the opportunity may come up that you can choose not to react outside of genuine love. Even when our spouses are not acting out of love, we can choose to show faithfulness to our marriage, and to the covenant we’ve made with God to honor and love.
Have you struggled with any of these reactions?
Has your spouse used any of these against you?
How can you respond to those negative behaviors with love?