Answers to Your Questions: Freedom From the Grip of Jealousy
Question: I have struggled for many years with jealousy. My husband loves me very much and there is no real reason for me to feel jealous, but I can’t seem to help myself. I get jealous of the women he works with, and it’s even worse when I notice him admiring another woman. How can I be free from the grip of jealousy?
Answer: Jealousy is a universal problem. We all have problems with jealousy over somebody or something at some time in our lives—usually when we feel threatened or are afraid of losing a loved one’s love and attention.
In today’s society, jealousy is often considered a virtue, or at least a natural and acceptable part of loving someone—that if we love someone and he or she loves us, then we have a right to be jealous if the other person shows any interest in someone else. Jealousy and possessiveness, to many people’s way of thinking, are simply awkward manifestations of the wonderful love that binds people together. This attitude is very wrong. Jealousy and envy are not virtues according to the Bible; they are sins (James 3:14-16).
Jealousy has its roots in selfishness. We get jealous when we feel we’re not being shown the love and consideration and attention we think we deserve. When we’re selfishly thinking only of our own happiness and frustrated desires, it causes us to complain. “I deserve to be treated better. I’m being mistreated. I’m being abused.” So jealousy is really a spirit of complaint, which is the result of a selfish attitude.
A lot of times jealousy is unfounded. You may be misinterpreting your husband’s actions or motives, and as a result, fear that he doesn’t love you as much anymore and is seeking love elsewhere. But the whole thing may be in your imagination! If you yield to this type of jealousy and fear, the Devil will play up your fears, tell you all kinds of lies, and get you totally obsessed until every tiny matter becomes a major incident.
The solution is to pray and ask the Lord to deliver you from such a negative, fearful spirit. If you are not strong enough to resist attacks of jealousy on your own, then confess your problem to others and ask them to pray with you to be freed from jealousy’s grip. “Confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another” (James 5:16 KJV).
Honest communication with the one you love is also essential. Be honest and humble enough to tell your husband when you’re fighting feelings of jealousy, but be sure to do so in a loving way; don’t be accusatory. By openly discussing it you give him an opportunity to dispel your fears.
God can deliver you from the bondage of jealousy. That is not to say that after prayer you won’t ever have any more battles with it, but you can overcome it every time by refusing to yield to it and calling on the Lord for help. It will no longer control you. You can control it—with prayer and the Word. “If the Son [Jesus] shall set you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). May God bless and strengthen you with His wonderful love, and free you from jealousy!
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