" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' " Jeremiah 29:11
I have lived a "Childless" life not because that is what I desired, rather because it just happened that way. I was married in my mid 20's and then everytime we thought we were getting settled in - a crisis would arise: health issues including cancer and cardiac disorders, parents-in-law getting ill at the same time (one with cancer and the other with Alzheimers), etc....and now I'm in my 40's. I did NOT plan for all of this to happen - it just did.
You see, God has been in control of my life all along! God knew that I would not have been able to handle taking care of children when my husband was going through chemo therapy. And - God also knew that we would not have been able to move into my in-law's house to take care of them if we had had children. God is in control and has a purpose for everything - even a "Childless Life."
This post begins a Series on "Living a Childless Life" and today we focus on "dealing with jealousy." I don't know how long this series will be, but on the second Sunday of every month we will focus on another issue of "Living a Childless Life."
No matter what season we are in, I am always reminded that I am "childless" - it could be the constant commercials & movies at Christmas time about gifts for children, or back-to-school supplies in September, Easter egg hunt in the spring and costumes in the fall for Halloween. And of course "Mother's day" when I am reminded that I will never be referred to as "mom" or "grandma". It's not surprising that those who are "childless" will at some point envy those who are "childblessed".
It took me quite some time (years really) to learn that jealousy/envy is a horrible sin. Look at the verses below - "envy" is lumped in with "theft, murder, adultery, greed" etc. I used to think that envy was a less serious sin but sin is sin - a little lie is just as much a sin as a huge lie.
"You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere man?" 1 Corinthians 3:3
"For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance & folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean." Mark 7:21-23
"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." James 3:14
Envy is "selfish", envy is bitter and bitterness only hurts the one who is being bitter, and this is the most serious part: "where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice" - DISORDER & EVERY EVIL PRACTICE!! Wow - that's some heavy stuff! When has something good ever come from envying someone else? - I can't come up with an example.
You see, when we envy someone it's as if we are saying to God: "I know better than You", or "I don't trust You" or "I'm NOT thankful for the blessings that You have given me." That's an awful reality isn't it? Envy is an insult to God.
As we see in the verses below - conceit or arrogance seem to go hand in hand with envy. When someone is bragging or prideful, there will always be someone else who is envious of that person. Conceit is never truthful - we see it in our society all the time. For example - Many people are jealous of the so called "rich and famous" but truthfully many of our rich celebrities are always looking for something to make them feel good - they are miserable and often commit suicide.
We need to rid ourselves of envy & conceit.
" Therefore, rid yourself of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind." 1 Peter 2:1
"Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." Galatians 5:26
Our focus needs to change from what we don't have to what we do have & to what God has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ our Savior. We have nothing to be jealous about because we have been justified by His grace & we therefore have eternal life.
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7
Finally, God is love. We are to love God with all our heart, mind & strength and we need to love each other. Using that as our model - true love can never be envious and it can never be conceited (see verse below).
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." 1 Corinthians 13:4
Whether you are Childless or Childblessed - there is no reason to envy each other because Jesus is OUR Savior!
Other "Living a Childless Life" Posts:
Dealing with Insults
Dealing with Loneliness
Dealing with Regret
Dealing with Imagination
Dealing with Guilt
Countdown Blog Hop
Hope in Every Season
Adorned from Above
Faith Filled Friday
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I look forward to this series. See, I am childless and just had a hysterectomy. I have a wonderful husband who knew from the beginning I could not give him a child the "natural" way. Now, I truely cannot. It has been very emotional for me since the surgery. There is a small voice in my head that says I must have children. I KNOW that's not true, but at times that voice is all I can hear. I pray to not feel that way. My close friend is pregnant now and there is some jealousy there. I am very happy for her. But I am jealous. Thank you for writing this series, being a voice for us.ReplyDelete
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your feelings - I'm praying for your emotional healing (even though I don't know your name I know that God knows who I'm talking about when I pray)Delete
I was planing on just returning your follow from the GFC blog hop...and then I clicked on your blog link. This message is tailored to me! I don't wish to speak more to this, but know, this was so useful! I've looked back through your past posts and see that I'm going to feel so uplifted from reading your blog:) ((And look forward to more gourd art! :) )) Thank you for finding me! :) This is so adorable! I love the different plates that are all brought together with the pinks and reds! I'm going to have to make a stop by HobbyLobby tomorrow!! I'm very happy I found you on the blog hop, have loved looking through your past posts, and am now following you! Can't wait to read more!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! God bless!Delete
This is a great series. I don't have children, and I often feel judged because I never had children. I'm interested to see what you have to say about childlessness.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for stopping by!Delete
I like your point about envy being up there with the other sins. Gossip, too, and lying are categorized with the others. There's a balance, I think. We're to be content with what we're given, and yet we're to strive mightily to use all of our talents for God. That shouldn't give us any time to dwell on those who have been given different talents, or who appear to have more.ReplyDelete
So true! - Thanks.Delete
I've erased my comment 3 times because I'm not sure what to say. I've been blessed with children and I can't imagine my life without them, I did not give birth to them all but they all came into our lives and then into our hearts and became ours. I know the Word of God is true and there is indeed a plan for our lives and you are such a dear friend and my heart feels for you so. Your message is very inspiring and I am looking forward to your series.ReplyDelete
I'm sending you a warm hug,
Thank you so much dear Angel - hugs to you too.Delete
Thanks for the words of inspiration and the reminder of how great our God is. I personally do not want to have children for several reasons (age and previous complications with reproductive system to name a few), but I do help raise my godson. My heart goes out to women who really want children, but do not have any to call their own. Praying that if it is His will, your blessing will soon come.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your prayers but I'm in my 40's - it is possible (anything is possible with God) but unlikely (now after saying that I'll be posting that I'm pregnant - hahaha - just kidding). Thanks so much & God bless.Delete
I can definitely see what you are saying even though I haven't experienced it. It sounds like maybe you do want children one day. I'm not sure if "its a good time right now," or if you are able to at this point, but maybe if it is still in your heart to have children, you can adopt? Honestly, it can almost never seem like the perfect time to have kids. We realized that when we got married. Having children and wanting them is a natural desire. I mean, as women, our bodies were made to be with a man and take care and nourish children so your feelings are definitely understandable. I hope one day that you will still be able to have kids if you truly want them. :) Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Countdown in Style! Don't forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured! xoReplyDelete
I appreciated when you pointed out that "when we envy someone it's as if we are saying to God: "I know better than You", or "I don't trust You" or "I'm NOT thankful for the blessings that You have given me."" I just read something about sin, saying that while all sin is categorized as sin, God does not see it all as equal. The Old Testaments punishment vary according to the sin, not one size fits all. I thought it was food for thought.ReplyDelete
When you want something for yourself that someone else has, it's hard not to be envious. But, envy tears and wears on you. You never feel adequate, you never feel like enough. I have been blessed with children that I never knew I wanted. It breaks my heart to hear people struggle with not having one, when I have been blessed with four. I lost my second, and like you, had to come to terms of the effect that would have had on my life. With no family support, my time with him would have been in the hospital, neglecting my other children. He is in control. But trusting in Him can be hard sometimes. Thank you for linking up with Countdown in Style. I hope you come back on Friday to see if you were featured.ReplyDelete