The book Love Dare explains how there are two types of jealousy. The first, legitimate jealousy is when your spouse turns his affections and his heart away from you and replaces you with someone else. The second, illegitimate jealousy is when you, as a result of selfishness, are hindered by envy from having any real sense of happiness for the success and good fortune of others.
Everyone, I believe, has been envious of someone at one (or more) point in their lives. It can be that you wished it was you who had that brand new car in your garage instead of your neighbor, or that you got that promotion instead of your friend. It can affect even marriages – say a housewife begrudging the fact that she stays home to cook and care for the kids while her husband goes off to have fun with his friends; or a husband who resents the fact that his wife is earning more money to support their family than he does.
If we are to have a healthy relationship with our spouses, or with everyone else for that matter, we have to nip jealousy in the bud. The Bible clearly states in James 4:16 that “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
I am thankful for today’s topic. It allowed me to see how thoughts like “I wish My Man spent more time helping me out with the Little Miss instead of playing his games.” Or “Why can’t I go out with my friends when he semi-regularly spends time with his?” were destructive to our relationship. Truth be told, he does help out – a lot. He’s a very hands-on dirty diaper-changing, formula-preparing, grocery-shopping, baby-playing, photograph-taking, stage father and more. Add to that the fact that he, you know, works, albeit from home, to sustain the needs of our family. And really, he cannot be blamed for the sad state of my social life. Trying to schedule meet-ups require herculean organizational efforts from me and my friends – wherein the difficulty of determining a time to get together is multiplied with the number of kids between us. Not to mention putting into consideration the hair-raising traffic conditions here in the Philippines. Just getting to and from any designated venue on-time is comparable to a nightmare. Yikes.
I realize now how it’s only my own selfish desires to be able to spend some alone time or grown-up time that causes me to feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick. For all his hard work, My Man deserves to be able to relax and unwind – and I have known from the start that playing his video games is how he does that. If he and his friends have a less complicated way of scheduling their guy time, then that’s nothing he should be blamed for. I am 100% sure that if it were me, he’d be behind the wheel driving me to where my girlfriends and I are to meet. 😉
The dare: Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your 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.
This post is linked to Simply Complicated… That’s Just Me…