This week I have been dealing with “The Green Monster.”
(That’s my sugar coated nickname for the sin of jealousy.)
Usually, the Green Monster rears its ugly head when I compare my social calendar, material possessions, or even my appearance to friends. However, this week the monster is stalking my husband. It sounds strange to say that I have been jealous of my husband, but its the truth. Tonight, our church is ordaining Jason as an Elder. I am so proud of him. He is indeed a servant leader who loves and lives for Christ. As a witness to the caliber of man Jason is, I can verify that he indeed fits all of the qualifications found in Titus and 1 Timothy. I’m thrilled that the Lord led the leadership of our church to seek out my husband for this position prayerfully.
However, to be completely honest, I’m slightly jealous. Part of my heart, which I’ve mentioned before, wants to be doing more ministry for the Lord, and so I have to keep my desires in check so that Jason can do his new duties without a whiny wife in the background. Another, more self-seeking, part of my heart wants to be sought out and recognized too. I want someone to feel the Lord leading them to me to fill a need or title. It’s prideful and petty, but the emotions are real.
I wavier from being so grateful and excited for my husband and feeling somewhat slighted and envious.
Typically, when I wrestle with envy, the solution is to pray. When I confess the sin of jealousy to God, my resentment often disappears. The Lord is so good never to miss an opportunity to chisel away my sinful nature and replace it with grace, His Spirit, and a heart that wants to trust His will for my life. This situation is no different, and I know that He will teach me lessons through all of this.
And that sounds beautiful and poetic, and I wish I could tell you that I’ve been allowing Him access to my heart. But I haven’t. This week it has been more comfortable to sit and wallow in my emotions rather than listen to God’s truth. I’ve been giving God the silent treatment and steering away from praying.
Am I wrong to assume that most of us, at some time or another, can feel jealous of our husbands?
Sometimes it can be over how quickly they deal with emotions or how handy they are around the house. Perhaps if we stay at home, we are envious that they get to dress up, have adult conversations, and leave the house daily. Or maybe we resent how successful they are at work or ministry. Even if you love what your husband is doing and how well he does it, sometimes it might sting a little. Or possibly you aren’t jealous of your husbands, but you find yourself battling the Green Monster in other areas and with other people.
Regardless of who you experience jealousy towards, I want to share with you a verse God brought to my attention today.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions. ~ Galatians 5:19-20
Did you catch how jealousy is right up there with sexual immorality and witchcraft?!
I don’t think I would have ever put them in the same category before – Yikes! So often I can fool myself into thinking that the unseen sins aren’t as dangerous or costly. Debauchery and immorality are “obvious” sins, but the Word says so is jealousy. When the Green Monster takes over my life, it is apparent to God (and most likely others) that I’m choosing to walk in my sinful nature.
Galatians 5:25 tells us that we live in the Spirit by keeping in step with the Spirit. I’m confident that refusing to pray because I don’t want God to change me is not keeping in step with the Spirit. And it is this choice which allows the Green Monster (aka my sin nature) to take over.
Regardless of what the sin is if we are allowing our sinful nature to win, by default, our marriages will lose! Keeping in step with the Spirit is of vital importance to a healthy, God-honoring relationship. Please pray for me as I approach the throne of grace with confidence and repent of my attitude before attending (and truly celebrating) my husband’s ordination tonight!
How do you deal with “The Green Monster” in your marriage?