Thursday, 13 June 2013

I Don’t Covet (Much)

“It is impossible to covet what you don’t have and work on what you do have” Paul Friesen

T
here are things I want but I am not likely to get.  For example I’d love to have a younger body.   Over my long life I have been blessed with very good health.  All of a sudden I have aches in places I didn’t even know I had places.  I have no desire to be younger, I just covet a younger body.    I have an addiction – to sweets, particularly chocolate.  I work hard at resisting the temptation to go on a binge and I resent those people whose metabolism enables them to eat whatever they want without gaining an ounce of weight.  There are certain cars that I could see myself driving but since they would cost two times my annual salary it is highly unlikely.  I would love to be able to play the piano, but that would probably require that I practice.  I am jealous of people with great singing voices and I would love to be able to carry a tune.  I love golf but shooting a round of golf that was within 20 strokes of my age seems like an improbability.
Much of what I covet is frivolous but it has not always been that way.  There was a time when I desperately wanted a marriage that was filled with warmth, laughter, unity, understanding and love.  When I would see couples who appeared to have such a relationship I wanted what I thought they had.  Such thoughts did not help me to appreciate the wife that God had given me.  Sadly she was plagued by bi-polar illness and schizophrenia much of our married life, until her home-going in 2002.


As you might appreciate, as a counselor I hear a lot of versions of “If only …”  If only my husband was a better communicator; if only my wife wanted to be intimate more often; if only we had a bigger house; if only we had more money; if only my husband wouldn’t spend so much time playing video games; if only my wife would stop nagging me.  Behind each of these statements is the implication that the “right” person would be different than my husband/wife.  The more “if only’s” we have the more we covet a different relationship.

Paul & Virginia Friesen
Paul Friesen’s point is simply the more time we spend dwelling on what our marriage isn’t like the less likely we are to focus on all the positive aspects of our relationship.  Our culture sure doesn’t help.  The number of divorces makes it seem as though trading in a spouse is not a whole lot different than upgrading your iPhone.

I challenge you to make a list of the top ten things you absolutely love and adore about your spouse.

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