I spent a lot of time envying the other woman when my husband left me. All I could think about was how she had what was rightfully mine and how much fun they were probably having while I was sitting home alone every night.
My husband is a long distance truck driver, and he always came home on weekends. He never told me or our four kids that he was leaving. He just left one Sunday night to go on his normal weekly trucking run, changed his cell phone number, and never came back. I found out his cell phone was disconnected when he never made his daily call home the next evening. I was concerned and tried to call him. I got a message saying his cell number was no longer in service.
I soon found out he was involved with another woman and that he had moved in with her, which started my destructive pattern of envying the other woman.
After he abandoned me, I dreaded the arrival of the weekend. Every Friday night I would start my weekend of envy. I imagined the other woman greeting him at the door on Friday nights. I wondered if they would go out to dinner or just stay home. Were they snuggling together on the couch or being intimate? The endless scenarios raced through my mind. It was like a bad movie that I kept watching over and over every weekend.
The envy wasn’t limited to weekends either. During the week, I thought about them talking on the phone. I thought about the other woman hearing him say ” I love you” each time they hung up. The same words I used to hear each time we hung up the phone. The words I long to hear again. The words that are rightfully mine to hear, not hers.
I wondered if her children and grandchildren were celebrating birthdays and if she would be attending parties and family events with my husband.
Seeing photos of my husband with the other woman’s grandchildren and in wedding photos with her children didn’t help. The hurt cut deep considering he has no communication with his own children and grandchildren. I imagined him having the time of his life with his new family while his own children wondered why he cut off all ties with them.
As I was reading my Bible one morning, I came across a familiar passage in Proverbs 23: 17-18.
Do not let your heart envy sinners but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.
It was one of those light bulb moments when everything started making sense. Why was I envying adultery? Why was I envying sin?
My husband and the other woman are caught up in a sinful lifestyle, and there’s nothing glamorous about being a sinner. Unrepentant sin has dire consequences.
It may appear that those involved in sinful lifestyles are having the time of their life, but things are not always as great as they seem. We don’t know what is actually taking place behind the scenes.
I once heard a pastor say that sinful living is always fun in the beginning. Satan makes it that way to lure in his victims. He entices you with the good stuff right up front.
As time progresses, sin isn’t much fun after all and usually ends in disaster. I’ve watched this take place multiple times in the lives of friends and family members who fell away from the faith and into sinful patterns. They openly stated how much fun they were having in the beginning, but after some time passed they were left devastated.
Envying the sinful lifestyles of others is like wishing we weren’t walking with God. When I think of it like that I see things in a different light. Walking with God and obeying his word is not always easy, but it’s always better than being caught up in a sinful lifestyle and separated from God.
We need to pray for those involved in sinful lifestyles instead of envying them or assuming they are living it up and having a wonderful time. God takes sin very seriously and we should too.
When I find myself falling back into the old habit of envying my husband and the other woman, I reflect on God’s truth about envy. Instead of having a weekend pity party for myself, I need to trust God’s word and remember that I have a future hope in him.