Today is day eight of the Love Dare. The book speaks about how Love is not jealous. It explains there are two forms of jealousy, legitimate jealousy based upon love, and illegitimate jealousy based upon envy.
When I think about legitimate jealousy immediately I am reminded of a time years back when a woman in our church, (a friend of mine), tried to have an affair with my husband, to no fault of his own. My husband told me immediately what this woman had done, we prayed and then I confronted her and to my surprise she confessed. She said she was in fact going down that path and she had been unfaithful in her marriage once before. I prayed with her, and I set very clear boundaries with her, our friendship ended shortly thereafter. She continued to attend the same church as we did for years and still attends there. I was kind to her and cordial when I would see her, but I always had both eyes open and I was on high alert whenever she came around.
Praise God my husband loves Jesus first and he is a man of integrity. He loves me and values our marriage but more importantly he answers to God when nobody else but God sees what he is doing. As many of you know first hand there are no shortage of men and women whom are more than willing to have an affair with our spouses.
Now onto illegitimate jealousy. This kind of jealousy has no place in a marriage but it often resides there. I am a very competitive person and I love to win. I have been guilty of jealousy with my own husband because he was getting more attention than I was. He was asked to join a ministry but nobody asked me to. At times I have even been jealous of our own children. These are not things I am proud of, these are areas of weakness and selfishness in me that I confess and repent of to Jesus. Like I have said before, I am a work in progress, a clay pot being molded and changed by the Lord day by day.
Like the love dare explained (I want to be completing my husband not competing with him.) I want to view and treat my children as part of my, team not one of my opponents to conquer. I desperately want love to lead in my heart and selfishness to flee.
I was listening to a women speaker awhile back and she shared a conversation her husband had with her and it went something like this. Honey, when I was a boy my mom was my biggest fan, always cheering me on and encouraging me. When I would play football the people in the stands were chanting my name and I was the star, the leading man. When we got married you became my biggest cheerleader, you were my most devoted fan. Now, when I enter a room it’s as if all I hear from you is booo, booo. You’re booing me and no longer cheering me on.
The wife then shared how this was a huge turning point for her in their marriage. She had been unaware her own body language, (eye rolling, sighing, shrugging shoulders, ect) was communicating to her husband disapproval on every front. In his eyes she was saying to him, I am disappointed in you and she hadn’t even said a word.
This was an eye opener for me, because I am unaware of my non-verbal communication most of the time, but my husband on the other hand is very aware of it. As women, we have to become aware of the messages we are sending not only to our husbands, but our children, friends, and even strangers. Are we smiling? Are we sighing? Do we roll our eyes? This is just one part, what about what we actually say? What are the words that are released from our lips? Are we speaking encouraging words? How is our tone?
I am CONVICTED……How about you?
Today we discussed many things, jealousy the good and the bad, communication verbal and non. As we start our day today my hope for us is this, that we would foster an environment in our homes where our spouse can come and share and be real when they are tempted or enticed with sin. Also we would be women of integrity and confess our temptations and sins with our husbands as well. My desire is we would become women who cheer our husbands on. We need to be their biggest fans inside our homes and outside, by our words and actions.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
God help us today, rid us of selfishness and show us any jealousy in our marriages and friendships. Cleanse us of all unrighteousness and create in us pure hearts. Reveal yourself to us today, strengthen these feeble and weak knees, God hold us up today, renew us Jesus with your love. Amen.