Denise was recently asked for advice concerning jealousy. The woman said, “Please, give me advice on how to fight jealousy. I am really jealous concerning my husband. I once had a reason to be jealous, but do not right now. The jealousy hasn’t gone away, but stays and spoils our relationship.”
Denise responded: Jealousy is a horrible thing, and we do not want to have that in our hearts. Jealousy can just eat up our peace and take our joy. And if it takes our joy, it will take our strength. So we don’t want to embrace jealousy in our hearts.
You said that there is no reason for jealousy now, but you are still tempted to be jealous. If you are struggling with the temptation to be jealous, I want to remind you of this: When we do something over and over again for months, it becomes a habit — it’s habitual. Feelings of jealousy can be habitual. If jealousy is something we have chosen to take part in again and again, in the same way we decided to take part in it, we can decide we are no longer going to take part in it.
But sometimes that is easier said than done. You might be saying, “Denise, that sounds really good, but practically, how do you do that?” So I want to help you with a way that you can get rid of that jealousy. Second Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” Our weapons aren’t carnal — worldly or earthly — but they are powerful in God. So what are our weapons? The next verse tells us: “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Do you see how you are involved in keeping jealousy out of your heart? You must not just let those thoughts of jealousy enter your heart and mind as they have before! Second Corinthians 10:5 says you have to cast down those jealous thoughts and bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
In other words, you have to believe that God lives in you because the Bible says that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). This means that with the power of the Holy Spirit, you have the strength and ability to keep those thoughts from entering your heart. So when a thought comes, saying, Oh, I’m afraid. My husband is looking at someone and he’s interested in her, you can speak to that thought and say, “NO! No devil, I am taking hold of that thought, and I am pulling it out of my mind.” That’s what the Bible says to do! If it helps to act it out and use your hands to pull that thought out of your head, do it! Just know that you must be involved! You must bring every thought into captivity in order to guard your peace, a gift from Jesus Himself (see John 14:27).
So when a jealous thought comes, what are you going to do? Are you just going to let it stay there and then think about it over and over until it becomes a stronghold in your mind? Not if you want to be free from it! You must take every thought captive! You should open your Bible and read Second Corinthians 10:4 and 5 and say, “I bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
The Bible is saying you can do this — you can bring that thought down. You have the power, and you have the authority! You have the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and you have a covenant with Him. You have Him living inside you. So do what the Bible says to do and say, “No, devil, I am bringing that thought down. I am bringing that fear down. You are not going to bring me into torment and bondage again.” And when you do that over and over again, you are bringing down that stronghold.
Isn’t that powerful! For people who don’t know the Word of God, their marriage can be wrecked by jealousy, but you have the power to bring that stronghold down and strengthen your marriage as you keep your eyes on the Lord.
There is one other thing: If you have not forgiven your husband for things in the past, you need to forgive him. The Bible says in Matthew 6:14 and 15 that if we forgive others, our heavenly Father will also forgive us. But it also says that if we don’t forgive others, He won’t be able to forgive us. And the Bible says we have the power to forgive because the love of God has been shed abroad, or poured out, in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (see Romans 5:5). So it is not your goodness or your great personality that empowers you to forgive; it is only the love of God inside you that helps you forgive others. So let me make it really clear — if you need help forgiving, ask God to help you and be quick to yield to the love of God in your heart and forgive others quickly as you purpose to obey God as an act of your will.
I have a little book called The Gift of Forgiveness, and you can order it online at Renner.org. I recommend that you get it and read it because it will help you to be quick to forgive and pull down those thoughts of jealousy, resentment, or ill-will, or whatever it is you’re struggling with. Friend, God wants you to be free!