Compete Against Yourself

In my How do you define awesome husband post a few days ago, I said “You are not just a good or generous husband; you are a couple of notches above the rest of the pack. If you are awesome, you are doing a better job of loving your wife than most husbands. You are more generous, more courteous, and more aware of her wants and needs than most husbands are.” I got an email from one of you saying we are not supposed to “compare ourselves with others.” As others no doubt had a similar reaction, I thought I would tackle that today.

Bible study © Arvind Balaraman |

I agree comparison can be bad; when we compare ourselves to others we can easily fall into jealousy, pride, despair, and other traps and sins. Interestingly, my Bible reading today ended with this:

“That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” [Gal 5:26 The Message*]

So am I backing down on what I posted? No. My goal was not to compare, but to challenge; to spur you on to do better. Find the best example you can, and beat it.

In the Bible, Paul talks several times about those who compete in the games (sports if you will) as a way to urge his readers to do well. While we could try to make what he says about competing against yourself, it does not line up with the cultural realities of the time. Besides, in 1 Cor 9:24 he says “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” [ESV*] We also see in 1 Cor 11:1 that Paul asks us to compare ourselves to him: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” [ESV*] In Hebrews 10:24 we are told to “spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” [NIV*]

All of this is to say I agree with the gentleman who emailed me, but what I meant was something a bit different, something I think is biblical. I also noted in my post that the norm is sadly lacking, and being “the best” is probably still falling short of what we should do.

*A note on translations: I have quoted three versions of the Bible in this post. I am not cherry picking translation, other than the Hebrew verse bevcause I remembered the phrase “spur one another on” and NIV is what Goggle brought up first. I am clearly not a KJV only guy. My opinion is the NKJV is an excellent version. Among other things, after much study I feel the Majority Text is the better Greek text. That said, I believe we cannot understand the Bible apart from the Holy Spirit, and I think He can and does use many versions to help show us truth. I’ve been doing my reading for the Bible study that Lori and I am doing together in The Message because the new way it puts things often helps me see something I missed before. However, I always then go to a version I find more accurate to see if what The Message says seem valid. Sometimes I even end up in the Greek. Galatians five certainly was a chapter that got me checking other sources!

Help me, help yourself: I have been using LastPass password manager for more than a year. The free version rocks and I would be lost without it given how many passwords I have, and how many of them force me to change them from time to time. I recently downloaded the Android app for my phone, which is the premium version, costing $1 a month. Totally worth it, but if anyone signs up for LastPass with this link, we both get a month of the premium version free.

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Great tweet of the week:

2013 will be a great year for you and your spouse to try and out-give each other. But LOSE the scorecard! @SongSix3Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:


Assume Love

The Worst That Can Happen ◄ What’s the worst that can happen to your marriage? Patty may be right – check it out.

The Generous Wife

Be Open to Change and Growth ◄ Just what it says
Dream a Little Dream ◄ Grab your wife and dream about 3013.

Hot, Holy and Humorous

How to Write a Love Letter ◄ Need love letter lessons? Here you go!

Intimacy in Marriage

Are You Careening Off a Sexual Cliff? ◄ Odds are someone in your marriage needs to read this!
49 BEST Sex and Marriage Posts of 2012 ◄ Julie gathered these from a dozen plus blogs – great list!
3 Ways to Make Multiple Orgasms Your Reality ◄ If this is a goal for your wife (as in her goal, not a goal you have for her) have her check this out.

Journey to Surrender

Dress For Success – Love ◄ We choose to love – or not love.

Marriage Works

Life Happens. Make Love Happen. ◄ Another vote for choosing to love.
You’re Important ◄ Listening to your spouse communicates that they are important to you.

mission:husband ◄ Here’s an idea of how men and women deal with this loss.

Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet

Yes We Can ◄ You can fix your marriage, and here is a great first step …

refine us

The Best of 2012 #1 ◄ What Every Wife Needs From Her Husband – and it is a great post!
We Need Your Help This Week! ◄ I’ve not had time yet to read “Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough” but based what I’ve read from Justin and Trish I am sure it’s a great book!
A Game We Always Lose ◄ A good counter-point to my post above.

The Respected Husband

Do You Tell Your Wife That You Appreciate Her? ◄ She cannot hear it too much!

2 Comments on “Compete Against Yourself

  1. The whole “comparison” thing missed the boat, IMO. The point is that you DO these things above average, not that you look around and say “Hey, I’m doing these things above average!” If you truly are doing things above average, you won’t have to tell people.

    I agree with you, Paul – no matter where you start, strive for better. Start with the 80 side of the 80/20 principle, and you’re well on your way to blessing your wife in ways she likely never even imagined when you first married.

    I’m looking forward to this series. :)

  2. Thanks for this. Would LOVE to help you out with LastPass premium, but I am already using it. Sorry!

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