Love Is Not Jealous, But I Am
This child slept through the night at six weeks. Another child is walking already. One can read at a third grade level in kindergarten. That one is a child model. This one is a model child. Oh, the comparisons, both positive and negative, of my child against other children. Sometimes they are my comparisons; sometimes someone else’s.
We are confronted with the most innocent of statements and instantly we compare, measure, and decide who’s on top. Being a mother has brought the verse “Love is not jealous” home for me in a different way.
Jealousy begins to edge in. I’ll admit it. There are times I want my kid to be king of everything. Oh, it’s shameful, but sometimes it’s true. I want him to be the cutest, smartest, funniest, most well-behaved child anyone ever saw. (No pressure, right?)
As I moved to meditating on “[love] is not envious” (1 Corinthians 13:4), I was struck with how I can be so jealous for my child who has no thoughts of comparisons of his own. He’s only ten months old. He doesn’t care about anything but eating, sleeping, playing, and seeing the ones he loves. He sees other kids and knows they’re little people like him, but he isn’t thinking, “Wow, that younger kid is advanced” (at least as far as I know he doesn’t).
I don’t want to raise a child that lives in the shadows of comparisons. I want him to know that other people’s accomplishments don’t make him smaller. I want him to celebrate all the beauty that is in the Body of Christ and not worry about whether someone else is in a flashier role, or even in the same role but seemingly doing it “better.”
How can I teach him not to envy when I so often do? How can I encourage him to realize that all accomplishments are to the glory of God, not to his own? All I know is to start here with love is not jealous. I will let it enter my heart, my soul, my thoughts. I will celebrate the accomplishments of those around me without fear that it will diminish my own. Love is not jealous, and I will learn to love.