What a Stroll Down Comparison’s Back Road Can Do for a Murmuring Wife

I used to have a thing for baseboards.

You know, that strip of beveled wood tacked along the bottom edge of the wall.

It signified completion.

It meant that not only had the walls been insulated, drywalled, and painted, but that the floor had been finished too—whether carpet, linoleum, or tile.

My desert cabin sports metal framing studs, dusty exposed insulation recently covered by cardboard and even dustier carpet-remnant floors. There is no vacuum and not enough power to run it anyway. (An unfortunate, but expected result of off-grid living.)

This “temporary” condition, along with the rolled-up blueprints of our dream house gathering more of the same dust, has lasted for almost 20 years—and my husband is a carpenter!

 

The old adage “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” certainly applies to us.

 

For the tidy, organized, list-making wife, it is mentally stressful to wake each day to ugliness.

It is mentally stressful to know there’s nothing you can do about the dirt and disorder flashing like a neon sign that says “This Will Never Change” when all you’ve ever wanted was a beautiful home.

You become certain no one lives like you do (especially when scrolling through social media!), and no one could possibly understand.

Grumble, grumble, woe is me, why do I have to live like this?

Then (because nothing is in your control, dear wife) you start to resent your husband’s income that doesn’t cover a ‘Major Home Redecorating Overhaul’ budget.

Resentment mocks you every time you look at the state of your bathroom fixtures or bedroom decor or ram your shin, for the hundredth time, while walking through the limited maze of your tiny rooms.

Why, oh why, is this my life?

 

 

All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15

 

 

Comparison puts the focus on what you don’t have, and resentment finds someone you can blame for it.

These are like two unruly kids run amok. They’re constantly pointing fingers at the perfect hair, gym-fit body, stylish clothes, gorgeous house, or coveted talent of someone else for you to pine over, and then whine incessantly convinced these things have been withheld from you.

 

 

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Proverbs 14:30

 

 

How often have we moaned “if only . . .” while racing on comparison’s highway?

  • If only we had more money
  • If only we lived somewhere else
  • If only our house was an HGTV poster child

 

Every time I complained about my lack or pointed my finger at the ‘obvious’ reason for it (like my hard-working husband’s career choice, financial decisions, etc.), I was ultimately pointing my finger at God and doubting His wisdom.

I was, in essence, saying, “There is some kind of mistake here, God. Dirt is not my color. Cramped is not my style. And don’t you realize how embarrassed I am to entertain? This can’t be right.”

But it is. God knows exactly what He is doing.

 

The truth is, dear wife, He chose this very moment with all its rough edges and uncomfortable places to stretch your faith in Him.

 

He chose the man you married and the surroundings you despise and the events that still bring you tears to mold you into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

Knowing this, we can be at peace—even in the midst of unsightly floors and peeling paint—that God is in complete control of every aspect of our lives.

 

There is no good thing He is withholding from us.

 

 

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4

 

 

So maybe, when you feel the urge to compare and resent the lifestyle you have little control to change, take comparison’s less traveled back road instead

Compare your life with those on this earth who have so much less.

When we do this kind of comparing:

  1. It generates gratitude for what we have.
  2. It keeps us thankful and praying for others.
  3. It keeps our hearts in the right place—in perpetual praise to God.

 

 

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most high. Psalm 9:1-2

 

 

We wives can easily fall into a comparison trap. But when we change our perspective and learn to be thankful, contentment will thrive no matter what. #comparison, #contentment, #godlymarriage, #christianwife

 

 

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

 

 

By American standards, I have very little, but any third-world woman seeing my home would stand in awe.

Where I see Never Enough Room; she sees spaciousness.

Where I see rugs saturated with dust; she sees a solid floor.

Where I see unfinished walls; she sees permanence.

Where I look with disdain at my ragged mismatched furniture, a mish-mash of various styles and stages of decay; she sees something to sit on, and—wow!—a place for books, so many books, and a vase of flowers and—what’s this?—a radio and a television and a laptop(!) and, oh lovely, lovely, a treadle sewing machine.

Where I look upon my surroundings as isolated and see a dry, desert landscape; she sees freedom and a chance to breathe deeply without fear.

She sees a place for her children to stretch and grow unimpeded by impossibly cramped living quarters, unsafe water, hostile governments, and the ravages of war.

 

 She would trade with me in a heartbeat.

 



It all comes down to our perspective, doesn’t it?

 

You see, no matter how much we have, there will always be someone who has more.

There will always be someone who lives the life we wish for.

 

And there will always be someone who wishes for what we take for granted.

 

So kiss your balustrade ball, precious wife! Yes, It’s (really) a Wonderful Life!

 

 

For while it may take effort to thank God for the stained 80’s furniture and the ugly brown walls, it could be worse. There could be none at all.

The new and pretty things we hope for now, like a freshly-picked bouquet, will not last, but God has promised that we will, if we continue on in obedience and faith.

 

 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:8

 

 

To be honest, I still want a home with baseboards. 

But I have learned that if baseboards encompass my rooms or my walls get covered or not is irrelevant.

It is I who must be encompassed by the Spirit of God.

It is I who must be covered—cloaked with the mantle of righteousness supplied by Christ alone.

 

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

 

 

 

 

Abiding in the Vine,

~ Gleniece

 

 

 

 

I have linked this post to my friend, Crystal’s #FreshMarketFriday.

The post “What a Stroll Down Comparison’s Back Road Can Do for a Murmuring Wife” was first published on Desert Rain.

Comments

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed this, Elizabeth!
      Our lack may be more glaring and unsightly, but I think we all need to put the blinders on and take a closer look at our blessings. We truly have so many.
      Thank you for stopping by. Have a beautiful day. 🌸

  1. “By American standards, I have very little, but any third-world woman seeing my home would stand in awe.” I remind myself of this as often as I can! There are times where I begrudge my husband or our relationship or financial situation because I don’t have a proper place to call my own. I’m practically living out of a backpack because I have to take my work clothes, makeup, laptop, chargers, etc. out of the bedroom and into the bathroom and out of the bedroom and into the bathroom a thousand times a day because he is sleeping during the day (he is a policeman and his schedule rotates around the clock!). Not to mention I work shifts as well, so our schedules rarely sync. We are living with his parents to save up money for a house as well so we don’t have any proper “us” time. We can’t sprawl our belongings out in the bathroom, we can’t make a mess in the kitchen and leave it for the night while we romantically dash off to the bedroom for passionate love-making, and we can’t argue at the top of our lungs when we really need to. BUT. My life is so, so, so completely blessed. I love his family. They are so good to us. I have everything I could ever need in my life – RIGHT NOW. I am with you 1000% percent; thank you so much, sister, for the blessed reminder today!

    • Oh, Rachel, you are so very welcome! You are the reason I blog! If only I had a godly mentor in my life when I was young and needed it desperately. But I didn’t and I fumbled along making mistakes, listening to the world, and blaming my husband for everything that went wrong (and that was a lot of stuff!) before I woke up to the realization that I didn’t deserve anything in this life but death.
      Your circumstances sound rough, but they are faith-growing times for the two of you. It’s in our trials we learn to trust God and forgive and hold onto hope. It will get better, dear girl! In the meantime, know you are not alone in your frustrations. I hear you and understand. (My husband and I, too, lived with family for a time. And it’s HARD!)
      Have a blessed day. Thank you for stopping by. 🌸❤️🌸

  2. Wow. My home was flooded by Harvey and I’ve been struggling with our living situation. We are living in a camper, but we have electricity, water, plumbing…etc. I’ve had moments where I’ve been so upset with my husband because I want my house back. It’s not his fault. I have to remind myself that he is living this too. I clicked on this because when I read the Pin I couldn’t understand what the article would be about. God always finds a way to speak to us. I needed to hear this. 💜

    • Hello, Brandy. Thank you for reaching out to me. I’m sorry for what you are going through right now. I truly understand. There was a time I, too, lived in a camper with my husband and three children when we could no longer afford to pay the rent when we lived in California. That was a hard time shuffling from alleyways to parking lots and trying to learn to cook meals on a tiny stove top and all five of us sleeping on a dining table converted to single large bed, but when I look back I can see it was a sort of testing of my spirit. Would I grumble the whole time and blame my husband for my discomfort? Or would I give the sacrifice of a smile and trust the Almighty who sees my every tear. Thank you for reminding me of my current blessings, dear Brandy. I look around my unfinished cabin and catch myself grumbling that it hasn’t changed in years, but my faith has grown and so has my compassion for my husband. (We are in this together, just like you said.) These things are worth far more than having a pretty house. Hang in there, my sister. God sees your tears and will reward your faithfulness. I am praying for you.

      • Wow! I feel like I just received an urgent memo from Our Lord telling me that despite the cramped living quarters, though it is a 3 BR/2Bth house, there is minimal storage & we have my in-laws pots/pans, etc. (we moved fm N.Y. to FL) with husband, his father & our dog & father’s furniture. Father passed 2yrs ago, but still haven’t unpacked. Husband is in wheelchair, wants to participate in unpacking, but never has a “good” day. Sleeps a lot, smokes a lot, wants to quit but says he can’t. Money has gotten tight, but he says he just can’t quit. I think of my options, running away, joining the Army & fighting the terrorists or just staying here & dealing with my own health issue (ankle is fusing itself together, making walking challenging). Then I went back to bed, had gotten up at 6 AM to see Morning Joe on MSNBC, to get more frustrated with our gov’t, got more aggravated & returned to bed/sleep, woke up an hr later to read your blog, I thought you were describing my home! Although we have walls & moulding, husband doing good job in causing moulding to become dislodged bec of wheelchair, gives the room a “lived in” look, we have a house! Thank you, God! Have I complained too much, Lord? I forget that there are those who don’t have what we have, floors, walls, indoor plumbing, a dishwasher & coffee! (Wine after 5PM) And we have Jingles (our dog)
        Dear Gleniece, thank you for reminding me what we have I will do my best to remain encouraged & I will think of those who have less & walk on. May God bless you & your family & my sincere gratitude for reminding me of what I take for granted. Hope you have a good day, thank you for making mine better!!! Barbara

        • Dear Barbara, thank you for sharing a bit your story with me. We, as Christian wives, are called to sacrifice many things the world doesn’t understand. It’s tempting to think of running away and making a better life of our own making. But it wouldn’t be better. Only tangled by our emotional and self-righteous decisions. (Kinda like Eve 🙄)
          I know the desire you feel for order and cleanliness and beauty and the frustration of seeing the opposite. But when things build up, remember Hebrews 13:15 “By him (Christ) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (I just read this today, and realized how fitting it is for both of us right now.)
          And when you sip from your glass of wine tonight, remember, there is a sister in Arizona who understands and is praying for you. 😊

  3. Oh how nice it would be just to have a home! Just for the record it isn’t just third-world nation people that would be thankful for a home, those of us who have given up all would like one too. 🙂

    You are so right that it is our perspective that makes all the difference. When we had our home I too saw what was wrong and missed the thankfulness and gratitude for what God had given us. Now that we have given up all to follow Him through a wilderness of faith which includes homelessness, hunger and hardship we REALLY appreciate just what home is. 🙂 Thankfully the reward of just having Him is enough for us but I am thankful for what He has given us. We know it could be a lot worse.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Homer Les
    http://www.homerlesandwandaring.com

    • Thank you, Homer, for your insight. We all are tested in this life and must make choices that reflect where our hearts are: either groveling at the world’s altar or humbly at the feet of Christ.
      Physical things come and go, but God is our permanent hope and our only need.

  4. Gleniece,
    Oh, how I needed to read your post this evening. I can totally agree with you about waking up to “ugliness” and mess. Our house is a log house, and I love it. BUT There is so much work that needs to be done, repairs and removal of clutter, etc. When I focus on that, you are right. I tend to blame my husband for not getting things done, etc. It really does make a difference in perspective when we focus on what we do have and are thankful. I know God is using it to mold me, and I need to do less complaining and more praising. So thank you for this timely reminder! Blessings to you! xo

    • You are welcome, Gayl! I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Yes, I hear you. There’s SO much to do around here, too.
      Even today, I had to be careful with my words to my husband about the stuff laying around the yard. (I mean, where did all this junk come from?) But a deep breath and gentle words does wonders for the harmony of a marriage.
      Thank you for stopping by, my friend. Have a great night full of peace (even in the middle of the mess) and thankfulness (it could be worse, right?) 😃

    • Hi, Stephanie! Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m glad this post gave you something to think about. We all need to look beyond our messes (both outward and inward ones) and ask God for a different perspective.
      Thanks for visiting today! : )

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