While Frank and I were dating, I was a very jealous person. I don't know if it was because I was insecure ( I know, hard to believe that word and I go together!), or what, but I was very jealous. I was convinced that every girl that looked at him wanted him and I was ready and willing to claw their eyeballs out! It was not a very attractive quality I admit. Through the years, I don't know if I have just gotten tired, or wised up to the fact that HEY he chose me and he loves me and CHILL OUT ASHLEY! But, thankfully I am not like that anymore, most of the time. Unless some woman gives him the eye, in which case I can still attack the eyeballs...
The root word for jealousy actually means "to burn with an intense fire". And it is a mighty strong emotion. And it is rooted in selfishness. (I am beginning to see a pattern here with this word...) It is a common struggle that many of us share. When someone gets the promotion that you wanted, or the bigger house, or the car, or has the kids that don't ever seem to misbehave or get in trouble. Or our friend has success in having babies while it is a struggle for you. Or our husband excels at work, while we sit at home wiping noses and bottoms! Maybe it's jealousy over someone elses spiritual walk. They always seem to know more verses or have all the "right" answers in Bible Study.
If we don't learn to let love replace our feelings of anger (which is what jealousy will quickly turn into along with resentment), our relationships will be destroyed. James 3:16, 4:1-2 tells us that envy leads to fighting, arguing, AND EVERY EVIL THING...
When we get married, we are to become our spouses very own fan club. I am supposed to be the captain of his cheer leading squad! Instead, what often happens is we allow envy and jealousy to take root in place of complimenting his successes and genuinely being glad for his accomplishments.
There was a time when I allowed myself to have a pity party. A big one. Frank was going out in the world and being successful at what he did. He served in different areas of ministry in the church and served on various boards and committees in the community. I stayed at home. Period. All of my kids were small and all nappers and went to bed early (thank goodness they still do!) I felt like I didn't have an opportunity to do anything. I couldn't be a part of any ministry or a part of anything that made any kind of difference in the community. Poor Ashley. I began to be jealous of the things that Frank got to do and the people that he got to meet and the time he got to spend with other adults... without wiping their noses or various other things... I began to resent the areas of ministry that he served in. And it was reflected in my attitude.
Since genuine love is NOT selfish and it always puts others first, it refuses to let jealousy take root in its heart. Love causes us to be glad and celebrate our spouses success, instead of becoming resentful.
We have to let love and humility and GRATEFULNESS eliminate any jealousy in our hearts. We have to let our accomplishments draw us closer to each other and use them as opportunities to show true love to one another.
Today, I was supposed to DETERMINE IN YOUR HEART TO BE YOUR SPOUSES BIGGEST FAN AND TO REJECT ANY THOUGHTS OF JEALOUSY. TAKE YESTERDAYS NEGATIVE LIST AND BURN IT. THEN SHARE HOW GLAD YOU ARE ABOUT A SUCCESS THAT YOUR SPOUSE RECENTLY ENJOYED.
I am Frank's biggest fan. I do a poor job of showing it sometimes. I let "life" get in the way. I don't have the problem with jealousy that I used to. But I certainly need to do a better job of praising Frank's successes and telling him how proud of him I am, not just to "puff him up", but because I love him and want to share in those experiences with him.
We talked tonight about Frank's success at the bank. My husband and one of his very good friends started a bank from the ground up. It has been opened for 3 years now. And he has worked very, very hard. I am so proud of him. He is a well respected businessman in the community. I just need to show him how respected he is at home.