I woke up one morning last week really pondering this topic, but I just haven't had time to type it down yet.
I'm sure some of you have heard this story before, but one of my favorite professors at Cedarville once told the story of how he memorized his vows for his wedding and recommended we never do that. Well, Steve and I decided we liked the idea of writing and memorizing our own vows, so that is just what we did. Really what we (meaning mostly Steve with me sitting beside him nodding) did was make scripture passages about marriage into vows. One of the passages was I Cor. 13 - the love passage. Interestingly enough, the phrase that I have had to repeat to myself the most over the last 15 years has been "love does not envy". I remember a few years ago sitting at a wedding where a pastor was being wed. The officiating pastor spoke to the bride about sharing her husband with the church, and I saw two or three heads nodding in agreement. It almost broke my heart! It is really hard to explain just how much "sharing" of their husband/father a pastor's family does. There have been weeks when Steve has something at church every night, sometimes even two or three weeks in a row, and when I am tempted to feel self-pity, I remind myself that love does not envy.
But the other day Steve and I were talking and I told him that I was a jealous wife, and I think it is okay. What I have decided is that there is an ungodly jealousy but also a godly jealousy. The ungodly jealousy examples would not be hard to find; that is just what we think of when we think of jealousy: Joseph's brothers, King Saul of David, laborers in the vineyard.
But the jealousy I have is in regard to my husband's heart, similar to the jealousy the Lord has for His people. I will never forget the lightbulb moment I had when I memorized the Exodus passage of the 10 commandments years ago with my daughters. God is a jealous God! He refuses to share our loyalty with any other gods. And that is how I am with my husband.
Proverbs 6:32-34 says "Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, And his reproach will not be wiped away. For jealousy is a husband's fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance." Well, I'm not a husband, but I think there is an issue we wives have to deal with today that should drives us to jealousy. I absolutely hate, and yes, I'm even jealous for my husband concerning the immodesty in our society. It is sickening that someone can't even walk through some department stores without viewing a full size poster of another woman's body.
I love the work of Dannah Gresh (and not just because she is a Cedarville grad). I once heard her say, "Some people call it cleavage, but I call it getting a view of someones breasts." I am jealous for my husband in this area! Certainly it is my husband's responsibiliy to avoid lust in his heart, but how hard our society has made purity of mind for our men! And need I even mention how easy the internet has made this sin? I recently chatted with someone that works at a video store. She shared that their adult video business has diminished because of the availability on the internet.
Now, I know most everyone that reads my blog is very like-mided with me. I won't have models that pose for the purpose of lust reading my blog. So the encouragement I would give is to my friends trying to teach modesty to their girls. Don't give up is what I keep telling myself. Honestly, I tire of this issue with my girls. I'm so busy just trying to make sure my little boys are dressed and match, and maybe even clean, before we leave the house, that I don't always take time to examine my 12 and 13 year old's clothing to make sure it is appropriate. Afterall, I've established standards with them. They know I don't want anyone getting a view of their breasts. But they are so concerned about "the look" that sometimes their judgement is clouded. Don't let your daughters grow up taking another woman's job for her husband, she just might be a jealous wife.