The Consuming Passion of Jealousy
by Paula Thomas, BMHC
Have you ever heard your parents refer to jealousy as the green-eyed monster? Or comments like “her jealousy is driving me crazy.” A wife will say “she was a major flirt with my husband. I didn’t like her from the start. The moment he saw her I knew that he was attracted to her.”
We become jealous of our siblings our neighbors and even friends. When wallowing in anger and self-pity we allow our jealousy to consume our emotions. Even to the point where it will ruin relationships and hurt our marriages.
So, what exactly is jealousy?
Well jealousy and envy go hand in hand. It is a toxic mix of anger, anxiety-based insecurity, and an obsessive habit of comparing yourselves to others. There also can be a root of fear. The fear of losing love, praise, or affection.
This usually involves three people. The jealous person becomes fixated with a rival. Which by the way, most of the time, is misperceived. While the rival is sometimes the object of intense hatred and opposition it will always spill over and affect our relationships. Jealousy causes many divorces, broken family relationships, and even failed business partnerships.
The Bible says that “Destructive jealousy is like a torrent if it is not tamed and overcome.” (Proverbs 27:4) Obsessive, fixated, consuming love that is “strong as death” easily produces a powerful jealousy that is “as cruel as the grave.” (Song of Solomon 8:6). Jealousy isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. In the Bible God is described as a jealous God. (Ex. 34:14). God is jealous for His church and Paul in (1 Cor. 10:20-22) warns us not to provoke God’s jealousy by turning away from Him to idols.
Marriage or any deep commitment to a relationship will always create a strong feeling of attachment. So, in this case the absence of some jealousy can mean that the person doesn’t care to stick to the commitment of the relationship. Obviously, there is a good reason to be jealous when a spouse displays secretive behavior and spends a lot of time outside the home. Unresolved issues from the past can contribute to this also. A very jealous partner will use self-pity, lies, threats, and manipulation to control the relationship.
So how do people overcome jealousy before it reaches a breaking point?
Here are four ways to do that. First by listening to others. So, if a friend comments on your jealousy, it’s probably true. The first step is to face it. Second, be honest with yourself. Most people will say “I’m not jealous.” Instead ask yourself. “Do I try to manipulate or control the person I love.” “Am I pushing them away?” “Am I causing them to doubt me and why?” The third point is that it is very important to spend time with God. Pray and ask God to reveal the truth. You must ask Him to transform the need of security into dependence and confidence on Him. The last point, transform the loved one in your mind. Show them love and think about what special things you could do. A phone call, a touch, or a gift can do wonders to a relationship. Remember jealousy can even destroy the strongest marriage. Guard your relationship so you will not be sowing the seeds of jealousy.
Blessings. Paula W. Thomas, BMHC
About the Author
Paula Thomas, BMHC is a Wife, Mother of 9, and grandmother of 11. Paula is a Deans List graduate from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Social Work, (BSW) and is a Board Certified Mental Health Coach. With over 40+ years of personal and business experience Paula has a wealth of knowledge and lessons learned to share. During her career Paula has worked for Christian Homes for Children, Agape Family Center, Christian Life Center, and Thomas Kids Klub Day Care. Paula has extensive experience working with parents and children. Paula works with individuals, parenting groups, or parents and children together. Every relationship is different, and Paula will help the parents or caregiver to enhance their current home life and communication to create a more peaceful living environment for everyone involved.
Over the years, Paula has been involved in volunteering in multiple Youth and Kids Ministries and helping out at Chosen 300 providing meals on a weekly basis and ministering to those in need. As a mother and grandmother Paula has a strong understanding of children. As an Advocate for Children, Paula will help ensure the children she works with receive the attention and understanding they need in order to grow and believe in themselves. Children need to have someone who is willing to listen and help them communicate what they are thinking, feeling, seeing, and living through.
It is our belief that children need a stable environment to grow and someone who can help them navigate and understand various situations they come across.