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The Love Dare: Day 8

  • Day 8

    Love is Not Jealous

    Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire. – Song of Solomon 8:6 NIV

    Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man.  It comes from the root word for zeal and means “to burn with an intense fire.”  Scripture pointedly says, “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4).

    There are actually two forms: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and anillegitimate jealousy based upon envy.  Legitimate jealousy sparks when someone you love, who belongs to you, turns his or her heart away and replaces you with someone else.  If a wife has an affair and gives herself to another person, her husband may have justified, jealous anger because of his love for her.  He is longing to have back what is rightfully his.

    The Bible describes God as having this kind of righteous jealousy for His people.  It’s not that He is envious of us, wishing He had what we have (since He already owns everything).  It’s that He deeply longs for us, desiring for us to keep Him as our first love.  He doesn’t want us to let anything take precedence over Him in our hearts.  The Bible warns us not to worship anything but Him because “the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24).

    With this established, we will shift our focus to the illegitimate kind of jealousy that is in opposition to love – the one that is rooted in selfishness. This is to be jealous of someone, to be “moved with envy.”

    Do you struggle with being jealous of others?  Your friend is more popular, so feel hatred towards her.  Your coworker gets the promotion, so you can’t sleep that night.  He may have nothing wrong, but you became bitter because of his success.  It has been said that people are fine with our succeeding, just as long as it is not more than theirs.

    Jealousy is a common struggle.  It is sparked when someone else upstages you and gets something you want.  This can be very painful depending upon how selfish you are.  Instead of congratulating them, you fume in anger and think ill of them.  If you’re not careful, jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart and strikes your motivations and relationships.  It can poison you from living the life of love God intended.

    If you don’t diffuse your anger by learning to love others, you may eventually begin plotting against them.  The Bible says that envy leads to fighting, quarreling, and every evil thing (James 3:16, 4:1-2).

    There is a string of violent jealousy seen throughout Scripture.  It caused the first murder when Cain despised God’s acceptance of his brother’s offering. Sarah sent away her handmaiden because Hagar could bear children while Sarah could not.  Joseph’s brothers saw he was their father’s favorite, so they threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave.  Jesus was more loving, powerful, and popular than the chief priests, so they envied Him and plotted His betrayal and crucifixion.

    You don’t usually get jealous of disconnected strangers.  The ones you’re tempted to jealous of are primarily in the same arena with you.  They work in your office, play in your league, run in your circles … or live in your house. Yes, if you aren’t careful, jealousy can also infect your marriage.

    When you were married, you were given the role of becoming your spouse’s biggest cheerleader and the captain of his or her fan club.  Both of you become one and were to share in the enjoyment of the other.  But if selfishness rules, any good thing happening to only one of you can be a catalyst for envy rather than congratulations.

    He may enjoy golf on the weekend while she stays home cleaning the house. He boasts to her about shooting a great score and she feels like shooting him.

    Or perhaps she is constantly invited to go out with friends while he is left home with the dog.  If he’s not careful, he can resent her popularity.

    Because love is not selfish and puts other first, it refuses to let jealousy in.  It leads you to celebrate the successes of your spouse rather than resenting them.  A loving husband doesn’t mind his wife being better at something, having more fun, or getting more applause.  He sees her as completing him, not competing with him.

    When he receives praise, he publicly thanks her for her support in aiding his own success.  He refuses to brag in such a way that may cause her to resent him.  A loving wife will be the first to cheer for her man when he wins.  She does not compare her weaknesses to his strengths.  She throws a celebration, not a pity party.

    It is time to let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart.  It’s time to let your mate’s successes draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love.

    Today's Dare

     

    Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy.  To help set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday’s list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it.  Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.

     

    Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  (Romans 12:15)

     Click here to buy a copy of the Love Dare book.

     

    Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

     

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13 comments
  • 2
Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor I agree with most of this, but not the example of the wife who spends all day cleaning the house while her husband golfs! If he cared about her, he wouldn't leave her with all the work to do while he's having fun.  How about he help her clean the house first then she can relax as well!?  Grrrr..... Sorry, this type of inequity really hits a nerve with me.  
February 7, 2016
  • 4
Lisa Mathson
Lisa Mathson Hmmm I understand your point of view ladies, but I see my life as a wife and mother to 7 differently. Let me explain ....when I cook, clean, clean, and reclean our home I am thankful and excited to do so. I honestly enjoy doing that because I look at these tasks as caring for the needs of my family. The family I prayed for and God gave me. Now that being said it is nice when my husband does the dishes after a meal or takes the kids for a couple hours while I spend time with our Lord but I would never go into his office and start designing software and I don't want him taking over my household duties. I love caring for my family. I do get tired yea, and sometimes I get grumpy, but at the end of the day God has given me my CEO job I prayed for. And that is taking care of my family.   As far as the golfing goes what if God has planned for our husband to share the Gospel with someone he meets on the course? His presence there could change someone's life and lead them to Jesus. I have to be careful when my spouse takes long walks alone because I get jealous and yet that is when my husband spends time with God listening and praying for direction. Most of my alone time with God is in the wee hours of the morning while everyone else is sleeping but this too shall pass my kids will grow up and God will lead me in a different course.    Blessings on your day. Thank you for your posts it helped me realize my selfishness with the walks :-) wow I have a lot to work on over here!
February 8, 2016
  • 1
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member You are doing an amazing job, taking care of your precious family, so that your husband can go out and do his job without all the worries at home, he knows that you are there taking care of all the things you need to do, while he is doing what he needs to do. You should be very proud of your CEO job, to me that is the best job ever. I too, chose to be the CEO of our house, so I could always be there to make sure things were done that needed to be done and most of all to take care of our son and to me that was the best job ever and if I had to choose again, I would do it all over again, there is nothing like being there for your children and your husband so he doesn't have to worry about things while he is working. You have an amazing testimony.  God bless you. 
February 8, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Lisa Mathson
Lisa Mathson Thank you. I love my job :-)
February 15, 2016
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  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! Lisa, what a beautiful way to look at the gifts that God has blessed you with! And I love that even in that, you see that there is probably room for improvement, as there is for all of us :). Mollie and Mary Pat, I agree that the specific example used there was probably not the best, not because of what it was, but because of the cultural echoes of times when women didn’t have the choices they do today. I think because of those decades past, it may sound like the wife is chained to the house while the husband goes to have fun, when really, we all make choices on how we spend our days.  I don’t golf, but from my friends that do, it looks like it’s best to get an early start and it’s something you do with other people. For a person with a traditional schedule and who may also go to church on Sunday, that probably means Saturday morning. Would it be very loving then, to choose the only time he might be able to golf, and fill it with household chores, which can be done on any day? If the wife wants to golf she could choose to as well or do something else, but if she chooses to make Saturday a cleaning day, I don’t know if it’s great to resent the husband from making a different choice and visa versa. This is all assuming that there is nothing pressing happening, of course, and that all things are working as they should…if the plumbing is overflowing, all hands on deck ;-). What’s centrally important is mutual love, respect and appreciation, caring for the other’s needs. No relationship will work if it’s one-sided. That doesn’t mean though, that we should get caught up in “keeping score”, which I believe is the problem being described in this chapter.  For Dion and I, we both think golf looks boring, so not really an issue ;-). We do both enjoy video games though. There are days when I may stop to click a bit while he works a longer day, or he may want to check out a new game while I work on the laundry. He doesn’t begrudge that of me, nor I of him, and we each would help the other if it were actually needed. This Saturday, we were both working on pulling some cable and audio wire through and under the house, definitely a two-person job, and it would certainly be rude to just go have fun while that was happening. To everything there is a season, and life is better if we don’t worry about who is “winning” at the moment :).
February 8, 2016
  • 1
Lisa Mathson
Lisa Mathson Amen!
February 15, 2016
  • 2
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Awesome, jealousy sure can destroy all kinds of relationships, whether its with a spouse, family member, church members, friends and all other things that might make you feel less than, but if we truly put our focus on Jesus, we will not let jealousy come in, because we will have the confidence in Jesus, knowing that we have what we need to be our husband's or wife's cheerleader, to be happy for them, when things are going great for them, be the first one to pat them on the back and say way to go, congratulations, and that they would do the same for us. I have found out in 35 years of marriage, we both must be there for each other no matter what it is, sometimes we have to let them know just how proud we are of them, and they will do the same for us, if we show love, we will receive love and if we show that we are happy for our spouse for all their accomplishments, then we will receive back what we need to make us feel good about ourselves. We have always said its okay to agree to disagree about something, as long as we come to a understanding that even if he wants to go fishing for a day and i might want to go shopping, its okay, let him go fishing and enjoy himself and let me go shopping and enjoy myself, but also we must always put each other first after God, and whether we want to go fishing or shopping, sometimes, we have to all give in and I'll take a day and go fishing with him and truly enjoy that special time together, and some days, he will go shopping with me, even though he isn't a shopper, but he will enjoy it, because we are doing it together. In marriage or relationships it is a give and take, but we must make sure that we keep that green eyed monster-jealousy in its proper place. 
February 8, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Tammy, jealousy can really poison a relationship! Y'all are such a wonderful couple, God bless <3!
February 8, 2016
  • 1
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Thank you so much. Love you bunches.
February 8, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepler I remember in early marriage feeling jealous of my step daughter in her young years.  The look he had on his face & her's quickened a strong feeling watching them.  I was in Christian Counseling so my lady counselor helped me a lot.  While transition is happening all things can come into play.  Change is stressful too.  Thank you Dion
February 8, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd I can see how that could be an issue, Cheryl. That's wonderful you had help to get past it! God bless!
February 8, 2016