Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I have read this passage many times, because I was told all my life that any jealousy is wrong. Well, as I get older I have realised some things. First, the world perverts everything. Second, there is actually good and bad jealousy. Yep, you read that right. Third, there is great confusion in the Christian community regarding jealousy. Fourth, the incorrect view of jealousy has given rise to the acceptance of inappropriate friendships and relations between men and women (specifically those in relationships).Fifth, the false view taught by the world and some Christians is contributing to adultery and the destruction of marriages.
So now that some of you are totally upset with me and may now leave my blog, I will explain further what I have been thinking about jealousy, and what I have learned about it.
My hubby and I are jealous when it comes to each other. We both get upset if someone flirts with one of us. We don’t stand for either of us spending time or having intimate friendships with the opposite sex. We don’t believe or would accept that either of us should engage in private counsel with friends of the opposite sex. We don’t accept either of us looking at pornography or lusting after the opposite sex. The idea of “we can look but not touch” is not one we accept. We are not paranoid, nor are we obsessive, we have friends and spend time with them (actually he is at “guys night” fixing a car as I write this). We are passionate about our love of each other, protective of our marriage, and we believe that the world taught view that couples should be able to be friends and hang out with the opposite sex, without any comment/concern from the other is a dangerous and erroneous idea that is leading to adultery.
The bible verse above states that love does not envy. Which some say as “Love is not jealous”. Well that’s the first issue; envy and jealousy are similar in meaning but not exactly the same. Jealousy denotes fear of losing something you have to someone else, and envy is coveting something someone else has. Very different aren’t they? When you read it like that.
So if I take it as “Love does not covet”, and apply it to the context of a romantic relationship (I am referring to marriage specifically, but it applies to any romantic relationship) it takes on a new meaning. Love does not covet what your spouse has. Well then, that is totally reasonable and right. I shouldn’t covet the abilities my hubby has, instead I should be proud that he can do what he does because I love him. If he got a raise I should be happy for him not mad I didn’t.
The world has taught there is absolutely no room for any type of jealousy what so ever in our relationships, specifically with our significant others. As I said above, the bible says if you love someone you don’t envy them. It does not state anything about jealously though in this passage.
The bible says in other passages:
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,” Exodus 20:5
“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal.” Numbers 25:11
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16
So from the above passages we learn God is a jealous God (and by extension Jesus), and there is jealousy that is equated to “zeal” or “eager desire” which is good when the focus is God or for your spouse, and there is envy or “covetousness” which is negative.
This demonstrates that the world perverts the idea as to what jealousy is and says that there can be no good jealousy. Well, if that was true then God would be sinning saying that he is a jealous God. Since that is impossible, then there must be a context where it is OK, and since we are made in his image then there must be a context where it’s OK for us too. I read an article by a young writer named Paul Maxwell who stated:
“Jealousy is tyrannical. It is catastrophic. It is metaphysical.”(Sept. 2/2014-Desiringgod.org).
Interestingly, Pastor John Piper who is the founder of Desiringgod.org stated in a pod cast dated March 28/2018 that:
“When it comes to jealousy among people, the New Testament is clear that there’s a good kind and a bad kind.”
I believe Pastor John Piper is correct. He explains as I am that it is really dependant on the context, and expression of what we call “Jealousy” that makes it good or bad. I believe that because the first passage about love is taught to Christians incorrectly, we have confused Christians who are accepting improper actions and relationships between their spouses and the opposite sex, based on the fact in part, that they are confusing “envy” with “jealousy”.
I don’t worry that my husband will cheat, nor does he worry that I will. We don’t keep tabs on each other; we don’t check each other’s phones etc. We do however make it clear to each other when and why we are feeling any jealous feelings, and we make changes to address those instances. We don’t allow ourselves to be alone with friends of the opposite sex, we don’t confide in them, either. We have boundaries and show respect to each other. God’s jealousy was the same as we feel at times. We want each other to desire the other and pursue the other only, and if we feel the desire or pursuit is going toward something or someone else we do not accept that.
I don’t think anyone should accept their spouse spending time with a member of the opposite sex that isn’t biologically related. I wouldn’t even hang out frequently with my brother in-laws as they are not my brothers, and I know of adultery starting that way. I would not spend any time alone with any my husbands friends and he wouldn’t mine. Recently we found out a couple we knew are splitting due to adultery with the best friend of the spouse. I remember this couple telling my husband and me that we shouldn’t be the way we are. That we should “trust” each other, well I trust him, but I don’t accept him placing himself in tempting situations, that’s just asking for trouble.
Maybe this adultery may not have developed (maybe not, but I think it would have been a lot more difficult)if they didn’t accept those relationships with the opposite sex. Let’s be real, if you are having issues with your spouse and you go and talk to his/her best friend, it’s the best opportunity for one or the other to manipulate the situation.
That’s exactly what keeps happening, and divorce is the result. As well as the pain and hurt that’s added on.
When will we as Christians stop accepting the poor advise the world spews out, and start reading the word and taking our cues from it?! Am I the only one that sees that what the world is telling people to do is NOT working? If the “great” advice that the world tells us was worth anything, shouldn’t we see a decrease in adultery and divorce instead of a rise in it?
Another aspect is pornography and the lusting after others. You know the “I can look, I am not dead” syndrome. The world promotes the ridiculus idea that this is ok and even goes so far as to say its “good” for a marriage. What?! That’s the biggest load of manure I have ever stepped in.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28.
BOOM! (Drop the mike) Enough said.
Jesus is VERY clear. You lust even without touch you are an adulterer in Gods eyes. Unfortunately the Christian community is buying into the worlds lie hook line and sinker, and the porn use rates are no different than the worlds. Meaning Christians are committing adultery as often as the world. What a sad commentary on Christianity. So tell me what makes being a Christian desirable? (Beyond eternity I mean). No wonder the world thinks were fakes and see no benefit to being Christian. They see Christian marriages as miserable and full of hurt as their own, and the same level of divorce. This is exactly how satan likes it (I decided I’m not capitalising his name anymore as I have no desire to show reverence in any way, and he is the lowest of the low).
I myself have come to the conclusion that accepting my husband looking at other women, looking at porn, spending time with other women, confiding in them or simply putting me on the back burner for other desires is not OK and I will never accept it. The only being that should capture my husband’s heart and attention more than me is GOD, to which I rejoice when he is GOD focused. I will continue to be jealous ( but not envious)as God is of our affection, because we are his betrothed, and I am my husband’s betrothed on earth as he is mine, and I /him ONLY take the back seat to GOD, and I will not apologise for being protective of my marriage anymore.