It's easy to get caught in the comparison trap when you see so many amazing pictures of couples in love on social media, but, comparing your marriage to someone else's is a lost cause and will only leave you disappointed and discouraged. It can even cause you to feel like you're not good enough for your spouse.
Whether we realize it or not, this kind of negative thinking leads to a lot of misunderstanding, resentment, and frustration in marriage. So, how do we get rid of these thoughts for the good of ourselves and our marriage? We must replace these self-doubting, degrading, and fearful thoughts with God's truth. Here are four essential truths to remember whenever you start to feel like you are not good enough:
1. You are a beloved child of God.
When we start to doubt our worth as a spouse, we must remember who we are in Christ and focus on the fact that He loves us and brought us to our spouse for a purpose. Not only did you choose your spouse and your spouse chose you, but God-the Creator of the universe-put the two of you together. Out of millions of people in all time and places, he purposed for the two of you to become one. How awesome is that! But, before your spouse could ever fall in love with you, God loved you first. On your worst day, when you couldn't even love Him back, before you knew Him personally, He loved you and still loves you. To Him, you are always good enough because He created you---and all of us-in His image. And God is good. This doesn't mean that we don't have things we need to improve or that we don't sin and fall short of the glory of God, but it does mean that God loves us and sees us as His beloved creation, no matter what. We can't earn His love. He loves us because we are His children. Take comfort in that!
2. No one else on Earth shares your unique love story.
Remember when you first met? Whether there were literal fireworks or not, only the two of you have that precious memory stored away in your mind and hearts. I love how Dave and I share lots of funny, romantic, and even awkward stories from our dating days. I love the fact that those stories belong to us, and no one else. There's exclusivity in our story and YOUR story. No one can take this from you…so don't let them even try. There is no comparison. Embrace your love story and celebrate it by remembering those sweet encounters in the early days of your relationship and taking steps to keep your love story going strong.
3. Your partnership carries a unique and important testimony.
No one is perfect; therefore, no marriage is perfect. The fact that you are even reading this blog means that you desire to have a great marriage. That's a huge step in the right direction. As a perfectly imperfect pairing, we may fall, but-as supportive spouses-we pick each other up. We keep going by learning from our mistakes and growing. Every time we serve each other, love each other and refuse to give up on one another, God is weaving together a beautiful tapestry of our unique testimony-the undeniable, visible proof that we are in this marriage for the long haul. God uses our example of faithfulness not only to help other couples to have hope to carry on in hard times, but He shows us that we can depend on each other when life seems overwhelming and we feel like we are missing the mark. We can get through any storm when we surrender it to God and refuse to give up on one another.
If you find that these negative thoughts are plaguing you so severely that you have a hard time getting through the day or getting out of bed and are causing you to feel physically ill at times, I highly encourage you to seek out a professional Christian counselor. You may be experiencing depression and/or anxiety, and this is a common issue that so many have faced (including myself). Please know that you are not alone, and you will get through this. It is a process, but healing will come. You can find a counselor near you or schedule a time to talk to a marriage coach by going to MarriageToday.com/coaches.
Let's stop comparing ourselves and our marriage to someone else's standards or highlight reels on social media. Instead, let's strive to build a legacy of love where respect, encouragement, grace, persistence, humility, and laughter flow. Allow God's love and truth to sink into your mind and heart and know that God made you with a plan and a purpose. Ask Him to take away your fears of never feeling like you are good enough. Ask Him to give you the courage to face each day with confidence boldly, and He will help you. Live each day, thanking God for the gift of life, marriage, and family. Remember: all God has created is good-including you.