dark_sky-1831Our God is a jealous God (Ex. 34:14), man is created in God’s image (Gen 1:26); therefore, husbands are supposed to be jealous—makes perfect sense, right? Not really. I’ve seen couples become obsessively jealous, men and women:

“Don’t look at her…”

“Why are you checking out that guy?”

While both of the above Scriptures are true, they are true based upon love. God is jealous of His people and doesn’t want anything to happen to them (i.e. bondage to sin). Likewise, God created man, with love in His mind. Unfortunately, we’re not capable to unconditional love, as God is. We’re prone to sin and coveting—even envy. And here’s the link, “jealously and envy are siblings, the perverse children of a toxic mix of anger, anxiety-based insecurity, and a habit of comparing oneself to others.”[1]

People who are generally jealous people are either insecure with themselves or cheating. For the latter, a person who lies believes that everyone lies, and a person who is honest believes that people are generally telling the truth, not naively, but genuinely. In like manner, a husband who is constantly jealous is either very insecure about himself (normally the reason) or committing some type of sexual immorality (pornography or adultery). They justify their jealousy with the conviction of their own sin.

To answer the former, insecurity is usually the number one reason why people are jealous, either they perceive that they are not good enough for the spouse, or they hate themselves. Some people are jealous because they want to be liked by others, so if they put other people down, they attempt to show their superiority—at least that is in their fickle way of thinking. Anyway that you view it, this type of jealousy is unhealthy and will not edify a marriage. Jealousy can rip apart a marriage; it says the other spouse, “I do not trust you.” Jealousy can become blinding and irrational; untreated and ignored, it can morph into sin, un-forgiveness and rage.

Jealousy is one of those emotions that needs to be dealt with in honesty, love, prayer, and probably—some type of professional or para-professional counsel. The husband and wife should find a third party that has no emotional, professional, or relative ties. A pastor can work, or better yet, a Christian counselor, but, for the most part, have the jealous party choose the counselor. Why? For example, if the wife is the jealous party and she chooses a male counselor, if the counselor tends to agree with your summation, she will not have the opportunity to say, “He’s just taking your side because he’s a guy.”

What if you’re the one with jealous feelings? The best counselor may be yourself. Do a self-evaluation of why you have jealous tendencies.

Are you afraid of losing your wife?

Do you feel like your unattractive?

What makes you feel jealous about your wife? Her friends? Co-workers?

Were you betrayed in a past relationship? Was their time for healing?

Is your relationship with God secure? Do you try to win God’s love?

Are you being faithful?

Today’s Reflection

• Cain’s jealousy regarding Abel’s sacrifice turned into sin and murder (Gen. 4). Do not allow a misguided emotion to lead you into blindness and rage.

• If your spouse is showing signs of jealousy, do not ignore it or turn a blind eye. There’s a reason why they are expressing this emotion. Discussion and communication are effective keys to combating envy and jealousy. If need be, seek professional advice.

This post first appeared at Men’s Daily Life and is posted here with permission.

This article was published in the new marriage devotional, 30:1 Marriage, you can find it here.

[1] Clinton, Tim, and John Trent. The Quick-Reference Guide to Marriage & Family Counseling. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 188.