Greener on the other side?

watering grass

There is an old saying that goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”  We live in a culture of comparison.  I genuinely feel sorry for married women who have to see all the “cover girls” on magazines every time they go through the checkout lane at a store.  The not-so-subtle message of “you need to look like this in order to remain attractive to your husband” seems to shout out to women passing by.  Proverbs 5:19 talks about a husband being “satisfied always” with his wife.  A strong principle of contentment arises from this passage.

Contentment seems to be in short supply in our culture. Everywhere you look, people tell you to trade in your old model for a newer, “better” one. But the marriage covenant is a lifetime covenant, meant to be shared with only one person. Blessed is the wife or husband who is completely satisfied and contented with his or her spouse—for whom marriage has become a truly safe place. Blessed is the wife who doesn’t have to worry about her husband viewing pornography or about competition from other women, because her husband is a committed “one-woman man.” Blessed is the husband who doesn’t have to worry about being compared to other husbands or male co-workers.  Instead of capitulating to the old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side,” we need to focus on a better and higher statement like “the grass is always greener where you water it!”

The Proverbs five passage asks a rhetorical question: “Why be intoxicated with another man’s wife?” A key to contentment is realizing who actually fits into the category of “another man’s wife.” When you think about it, this category actually includes all 3.5 billion women on planet Earth, no matter their age. Every woman who is not already married (no matter how young) is potentially the future wife of another man—and the same goes for potential husbands. I once heard a marriage counselor say that after you get married, the question of “whom to marry?” is no longer important—instead, the big question becomes, “how will I treat the person to whom I am already married?”  Keep watering the grass daily, you will be surprised at how green it gets!

REFLECTIONS:  What can you do to remain contented and satisfied with your spouse? How can you communicate that you are not looking at the grass on the other side of the fence—because you are completely satisfied with him/her?  Can you think of some specific things you could do daily or weekly that would “water the grass” with your spouse?

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?  Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

Proverbs 5:18-20

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