Do you or your spouse struggle with jealousy? Is it towards your spouse or is it towards others who have more than you or something you want, but don’t have?
Jealousy is a destroyer of marriage. It is an impostor. It doesn’t seek the good of the other. It seeks to separate close relationships, and it should be resisted at all costs.
There have been times in my marriage that I have struggled with being jealous. I share this with you in hopes of helping you see that if you struggle with this sin, you are not alone. Or if you are on the receiving end of jealousy, you can, by God’s grace, understand your spouse as Tom worked hard to understand me. Both are important to hear and believe.
I remember when our kids were little, I was jealous that Tom got to drive to work without the noise of little people fighting in the background. He got to eat all of his lunch without interruptions, and he didn’t have to share his french fries. <sigh> Yes, I was seeing Tom’s life with rose-colored glasses and mine with a dirge playing on pipes. I am being overly dramatic in the hopes of helping you hear the whispers of jealousy and how such thoughts will lead you down a road with all sorts of dissensions. Flee!
But how? How do we flee when we’ve given ear to it’s voice?
The Bible tells us to resist the devil and he will flee, but before that we’re instructed to draw near to God. It is when we draw close to Him that we find the strength to withstand the whispers of the enemy.
It was also helpful for me to realize that jealous can be a good thing, but there is only One who is holy enough to possess it–God, the Father. His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14 says, “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”)
When we allow ourselves to be jealous of another, we are taking on a name that is reserved for God alone. Only He is holy and just and can be jealous without sin. Not so with us. When we put on jealousy this is what it looks like:
“But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.” Acts 17:5 ESV
When we put on jealousy it can only lead to death.
In the case with the Jews as stated above, they eventually put Jesus to death, even though there was nothing found in Him worthy of death, especially death on a Cross. Imagine the damage done in our marriage when we give our ear to the whispers of jealousy.
- You may be jealous of things you only imagine as being true.
- You may be jealous of vain suspicions.
- You may be jealous of your spouse’s time.
- You may be jealous of the things your spouse gets to do.
Whatever it is you’re tempted to be jealous over, there is a better way. Instead of listening to these subtle whispers, ask God to help you “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” as it says in Romans 12:15. Ask Him to help you think on, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…and the God of peace will be with you.”
And I believe He will silence the whispers of jealousy if you draw near to Him, resist the temptation and flee! How do I know? Because this is what He has done in my life, and the peace that follows is worth the fight!
In what ways has jealousy whispered in your ear?