By Amber Verble
The definition of jealousy: jealousy typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something a person values.
I definitely didn’t feel valued when my husband would act jealous. A smile, a laugh, the smallest thing seemed to set him off. Of course, in my mind, it always seemed like such an overreaction and completely unfounded. Why was he jealous?
I would see other couples and wondered if their happiness shadowed this same issue. I would talk to my friends about jealousy in general to try and figure out if they dealt with it and how they handled it. I even got to the point of calling my mom, knowing her advice would be biased, and probably of no real help. I definitely knew I needed to pray about it and I would, somewhat half-heartedly, still trying to find answers on my own. I tried everything, or so I thought, to fix the problem. If I could just be nicer to him, show him more attention and everyone else less. Nothing worked. I ended up feeling overwhelmed and cheated of even the most innocent relationships. As hard as I tried, it was constant hard work, and I could never keep it up. Inevitably I always messed up, let my guard down and here went the cycle all over again. I was so incredibly miserable, the situation so hopeless, that I just gave up. My marriage was nothing like what I had hoped it would be. I even felt like I had lost my best friend at times.
As I got involved in the women’s Bible study at church I started noticing more and more time would go by between our fights. The more I thought about it the more I realized it was directly related to my relationship with Christ. It was so freeing to know it was nothing I had done. The more I had tried, the more I had failed. But I realized that as I spent more time in my Bible, more time getting to know God and His love and grace, the more love I poured into my relationship with my husband. The more I tried to love and understand God, the more I loved and understood my husband. The more patience I practiced with God, the more patience I was giving my husband. The more I tried to understand and accept God’s grace the easier it was to be forgiving with my husband.
When I finally turned to God, He did more than I had even asked for. I think back to advice from a dear friend I wish I had listened to sooner…..the advice to see my husband through God’s eyes. I finally understand what this means….and because I try, I love my husband more passionately than I ever have. My love alone wasn’t enough. God’s love changed everything.