The Lord is good! The past few weeks He has been teaching me about being a Ephesians 4:29 wife and how important it is to only think about the positive. This week, I have been able to put these two lessons into practice as I have been dealing with “The Green Monster” (aka jealousy).
It sounds weird to say that I have been jealous of my husband, but he has been able to participate in some amazing ministries lately and because of my stage of life (stay-at-home mother to three very young children) or because I haven’t been asked to join in, I have watched my husband minister to those around us in ways that I am envious of. Now, to be fair, he always prays and asks my opinion before he agrees to anything in order to make sure he isn’t putting self-interest or ministry above our family, and every time he asks I enthusiastically say, “yes! you should do it.” Jason is very talented and such an incredible man of God and he does such a great job at all he is asked to do, but there are times (like this week) where I feel a little left out.
Yesterday my emotions were heightened and it was all I could do not to break down and cry, but the Lord kept bringing to mind the recent lessons he has been teaching me and I knew I had to follow through (the great thing about sharing all my struggles on this blog is it helps keep me accountable, so thanks!). I noticed something interesting yesterday when I was praying about all my negative emotions – as I prayed about them – they went away. When I prayed about being jealous of my husband’s ministry opportunities — the jealousy would disappear. Wow. The Lord would use that prayer time to chisel away my sinful nature and replace it with His Spirit, His grace, and a heart that wanted to trust His will for my life. He would encourage my heart and very lovingly share with me that He wanted to teach me lessons through all of this.
But, sadly, I found myself not wanting to pray about my jealousy because it was easier to sit and wallow in it than it was to listen to the Lord’s lesson for me in all of this. Does this ever happen to you?
I called a good friend and talked it all over with her and she helped me go back to my knees and grasp all that the Lord wanted to teach me through this. Then I asked her if I was being petty and she said no. We talked about how as wives we can often feel jealous of our husbands. If we stay at home, we can be jealous that they get to dress up, have adult lunches, and leave the house daily. Or perhaps we are jealous of how they succeed at work, or like me, perhaps you are jealous of the ministry opportunities that your husband gets and while you love what he is doing and how well he does it – it stings a little.
Today I focused on Galatians 5:19-20 where Paul tells us, “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.” Did you catch how jealousy is right up there with sexual impurity and witchcraft?! I don’t think I have ever put them in the same category before – Yikes! I don’t know if you ever deal with the Green Monster in your marriage (it very well could just be me!), but I’m determined to live in the Spirit by keeping in step with the Spirit as Galatians 5:25 says. Whether you deal with jealousy or not, living in the Spirit is extremely necessary in marriage!