Day 8 (Feb 8) "Love is not jealous" Song of Sol. 8:6
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.
Day 8 challenge is...Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set you 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.
Jealousy. Such a simple word and yet, it's so very powerful. Every single person has been jealous of someone else at some point. It's a part of life and something that we all struggle from. But did you know that there is actually a good kind of jealousy? this quote is from Day 8 in The Love Dare book and I just had to share it. "There are actually two forms (of jealousy): a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and an illegitimate 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."
Having seen that definition take a step back and look at your marriage with a new perspective. Is there anything in your life that your spouse has a legitimate reason to be jealous of?
A couple of weeks ago Colby and I got into a...discussion, if you will...ok, it was a fight. He said I was spending too much time on my computer and texting with my friends. He dared to say that when we were sitting together watching tv I wasn't even really there with him because I always had my computer on my lap. Or we'd be having a conversation and I would be texting while he was talking to me. I of course got very upset! I mean, how dare he accuse me of not paying attention to him! I would never actually do that! But you know what? I was doing exactly that.
It took a little while for me to calm down and get control of my anger but once I did I saw that he was right. I had started taking my focus off of my husband and putting it into something inconsequential, like facebook.
My husband had every right to become upset and grow jealous. I had done exactly what the book said, I had slowly and without meaning to, begun to turn my heart away from him and put it into my activities on the computer. Now don't get me wrong, the things I was doing on the computer were not bad. I don't want anyone to think that I was doing anything I shouldn't have been doing on the computer. It was the amount of time I was spending on there that was the problem.
Is there anything that you have started putting your time and your heart into that is causing your spouse and your marriage to suffer? If so, pray about it first. Bringing Jesus into the problem with always create a solution! But after praying about it, go to your spouse. Admit to them where you've been wrong. It can be so hard to do that but it is necessary! Then, apologize for giving them reason to be jealous and begin to change. A learned behavior is not something that will change overnight, it will take time and a conscious effort to change.
There are still evenings we will sit down to watch a movie and my first instinct is to reach over and grab my computer. There are still times my husband and I are having a conversation and I get a text and want to instantly check it while he is still talking to me. And there are still times I do both of those things. It is still something I am working on every day to improve.
Do not expect perfection over night! It won't happen. But don't give up and keep working towards giving your spouse nothing to be jealous of.
Now for the other kind of jealousy. The ugly kind. Have you ever been jealous of your spouse? I sure have! I am a stay at home mom and I absolutely love it. But, I will say there have been times that I was very jealous that my husband got to get out of the house every day! He actually got to go out and talk to other adults! He didn't have to change a single dirty diaper that day. He didn't have to wash any dishes or fold any laundry all day.
Every one of these thoughts, if dwelt on, is poison to yourself and to your marriage!
It can be so easy to see the job your spouse does as better than yours, whatever career you may be in. You can see it as more important and more grand than what your doing. Or you can see it as easier and less stressful than your job. As a stay at home mom especially it can be such a challenge to stay on top of these thoughts.
When I finally talked to my husband about this you know what I found out? He was actually jealous of me! I found out that he actually wished he could be the one staying home with our kids every day. He thought I had things so much better by being able to be there with the kids and see everything they do each day! I was shocked!
We both ended up having to reign in our feelings on this and get control of our jealousy.
So along with the challenge for today, I want to add a little bit to it. Take a long and hard look at yourself and your marriage. Are there any areas that you are jealous of your spouse? Are there any areas you are giving your spouse a reason to be jealous of you and your time? Spend some time in prayer about these areas and discuss them with your spouse.
It is time to let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart. It's time to let your mates successes draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love.
This post is linked up to the Titus 2sday linkup, Raising Homemakers linkup and the Women Living Well linkup.