Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dare 8

I have my green tea in hand! It is a beautiful morning so far!
Yesterday's dare was for me to make a list of all the positive and negative attributes in Zane. Is it wrong that I was a little upset at how short the negative list was? Don't get me is great having such a wonderful husband! But--I had to think really hard to come up with anything negative. Haha...I should have made that list after a fight. Not when I'm bubbly from seeing him. But in all seriousness. I am so thankful that my 'positive' list was longer, as well as easy to write. Praise God that He blessed me with someone so much better than I deserve!
"Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire." Song of Solomon 8:6
Love is not jealous. Have you heard that before? If I did not have a relationship with Christ, I would call that a bluff. The truth is, in this world, 'love' far too often seems jealous. And 'love' acts out its jealousy in very painful ways. But, Kendrick clarifies that there are actually two forms: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and an illegitimate jealousy based upon envy. Legitimate jealousy is you longing to have what is rightfully yours. God's jealousy ('the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God' Deut. 4:24) is legitimate because He longs for us to keep Him as our first love. He knows what is best for us and His jealousy comes from His perfect plan to see us prosper.
Illegitimate jealousy is moved by envy. Being jealous that someone got the promotion at work that you were seeking, or envying a friend's popularity. Notice that this jealousy is longing for something that is not yours...but you want it, and do not want someone else to get it. "Jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart and strikes your motivations and relationships. It can poison you from living the life of love God intended...according to James 3:16, 4:1-2, envy leads to fighting, quarreling, and every evil thing."
When I first started reading this chapter, I was slow to see how jealousy can infect a marriage. And then a blatant example came to mind. Zane is now half-way done with his internship for the summer. After his first year of graduate school ended in May, he had two weeks off before his internship started. Well, I didn't have those two weeks off. I was working. And for the first week, every day I came home to the house looking just like it did when I had left in the morning, the laundry was piling up, the kitchen was increasing with dirty dishes...and I finally lost it. I accused Zane of being lazy and taking me for granted. In reality, I was jealous that he had two weeks of pure relaxation, while every day I had to wake up early and make my hour drive to the office. However, as soon as Zane realized how his vacation was making me feel, he was the sweet husband that he always has been and worked around the house each day--which then made me feel even worse! He shouldn't need to work on his time off. He should relax. What a ridiculous cycle I put myself in!
"When you were married, you were given the role of becoming your spouse's biggest cheerleader and the captain of his or her fan club...because love is not selfish and puts others first, it refuses to let jealousy in. It leads you to celebrate the successes of your spouse rather than resenting them. A loving husband doesn't mind his wife being better at something, having more fun, or getting more applause. He sees her as completing him, not competing with him...a loving wife will be the first to cheer for her man when he wins. She does not compare her weaknesses to his strengths. She throws a celebration, not a pity party.
"Let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart. Let your mate's successes draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love."
Today's Dare: Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. Take yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then, share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.
Yesterday's Dare: Believe the best.
Dare 6: Don't be irritable.
Dare 5: Don't be rude.
Dare 4: Be thoughtful.
Dare 3: Be selfless.
Dare 2: Be kind.
Dare 1: Be patient.

--Inspired by 'The Love Dare' by Kendrick.

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