Category Archives: family
Jealousy in marriage is dangerous
By Pastor Lee Hemen
October 2, 2018
Unwarranted jealousy is one of the most destructive emotions known to man. We find it in the Bible when King Saul became jealous over the friendship his son Jonathan had with the future King David: “Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? (1 Samuel 20:30 NIV)” Jealousy usually comes from a deep seated insecurity of one’s self. This was Saul’s problem. He saw his own weaknesses and projected them on his own son and David who enjoyed a deep friendship with one another.
I remember well a friend who had a beautiful wife. She was one of those individuals that when she walked into a room everyone turned and looked because of the way she carried herself. He confided in me that at one time he struggled with jealousy concerning his wife because of how other men would look at her. But he had overcome his unfounded jealousy. I asked him how. He remarked that he realized that being jealous of his wife for something that she had no control over and that in fact he found very appealing was childish. He realized his emotions came from his own insecurity of how he viewed himself. He found that when he accepted himself as a man, confessed his sin, and sought the help of his wife and others that he could find pride and joy in his wife and was no longer jealous.
Personal guilt caused from past events or personal experience in the person’s life is usually the percolating cause for the insecurity of jealousy. Cheating parents or divorce experienced as a child. And so if this happened to them before it will happen to them again. Jealousy usually manifests itself because the person feels like they can’t control events or individuals in their lives and feel the need to be able to. The person feels neglected like they did as a child and lashes out with jealousy in an attempt to control their surroundings. And of course no one can.
The destructive behavior of jealousy when found within a marriage usually does not end well. Its root cause is the same as found with King Saul: deep seated insecurity. Usually because the person who is jealous knows their own weaknesses and they began to think their spouse is guilty of the same weak behavior. It tells their innocent spouse that they are not to be trusted. The spouse soon begins to feel they cannot do anything or their jealous significant other will suspect them or others around them.
Can there be good jealousy? Sure if it one’s jealous over their relationship with God and they desire it to be stronger. But jealousy within a marriage is self destructive, hurtful, and harmful. Counseling to get to the root issues of why the person is jealous can help. The sin of jealousy is a danger to the foundation of trust within a marriage. How we view ourselves and our relationship with the Lord can conquer the sin of jealousy if we want it to. The choice is ours to make.
David De Hann wrote that “Discontent, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, defensiveness, touchiness, and ingratitude are the dispositions that ruin our marriages, wither our children, alienate our friends, and embitter every life—including our own. It’s easy to defend our bad moods and to slide into deception and hypocrisy. But we must guard our hearts against such destructive attitudes. When they arise, we need to confess them, let them go, and experience God’s forgiveness.” The first place to destroy jealousy is to immediately confess it and its destructive behavior in your life to the Lord and apologize to your spouse for making them feel untrustworthy. Begin to set up how they can help you to overcome your jealousy through prayer, communication, and trust. Seek the help of a good counselor. Reestablish quiet moments with God and your spouse. Remember it isn’t others who make you jealous, you decide to be or not.
This article is copyrighted © 2018 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.