Question: I have struggled for years with jealousy. I know my husband loves me, and he gives me no real reason to feel jealous, but I can’t help myself. How can I be free from the grip of jealousy?
Answer: Jealousy—that nasty feeling that you get when you think your partner is neglecting you for someone or something else—can be both irrational and overpowering. Recognizing that jealousy is wrong, that it’s a problem, is the first step, but many people don’t see it that way; they consider it a virtue, or at least a natural, acceptable part of loving someone. Of course those people are unable to overcome it; they don’t even try to.
Jealousy is a no-win situation; it hurts everyone involved and helps no one. Once you realize that, it’s easier to take a stand against it. You wouldn’t deliberately drink poison, or jump in front of a speeding car, or do other things that are sure to have negative consequences, would you? No more should you stand idly by and let jealousy run its course. You may not be able to keep jealous thoughts from entering your mind, but you don’t have to entertain them; you don’t have to accept or dwell on them, or let them control you.
It’s also important to realize that dark spiritual forces are behind jealousy and other negative emotions such as depression, hatred, or unbridled anger, but we can free ourselves from their influence by praying against them. “Resist the devil,” the Bible tells us, “and he will flee from you.”1 Ask Jesus to intercede and fight for you.2 It would probably also help to explain your struggle to your husband, if he doesn’t already know, and ask him to pray with you.3 Once he understands what situations trigger your jealous thoughts, he can better try to avoid them. Also, being open about your struggle is a step towards victory for you.
Don’t be surprised if, after praying, you still have some jealous thoughts. Again, it’s not always possible to keep those thoughts from entering your mind, but you can always exercise power over them, because “He [Jesus] who is in you is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world.”4 So if they do come, make a conscious effort to resist them then and there.