The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at

When envy invades a marriage relationship, the results are particularly tragic. Husband and wife, once a union of love and partnership, now compete for recognition and spiritual "one-upmanship."

Typically, jealousy among spouses masks itself in legalism--creating discord and suspicion. It effectively destroys the potential for teamwork by fostering individual kingdom building rather than cooperation. Jealousy is commonly rooted in insecurity and is defined as that "peculiar uneasiness" we experience when we see others receive the attention we desire for ourselves.

When a spouse's insecurity is left undealt with, he or she will demand increasing measures of satisfaction from the other. Take for instance, the story of Sheila and her husband, Bob*.

Sheila became increasingly threatened by the influence of her seemingly unspiritual husband in their circle of religious friends. She'd had a long history of being "the spiritual one" of the couple.

In any social gathering, Sheila assumed the role of directing the conversation around her own spiritual experiences. Her friends would inwardly cringe at the thought of spending a long evening with her. At the same time, Bob's company was refreshing and regularly sought out.

Sheila began to complain that she was being ignored and rejected. She continually prodded Bob to be more "spiritual."

In effect, Sheila was jealous of the fact that her husband held more influence in the lives of their Christian friends than she did. This cycle left her open to seek fellowship in intensely religious circles, where she was the primary relational link instead of the two of them together.

Alienation and conflict between the spouses grew. Bob became less and less excited to participate in church activities, and Sheila became more desperate to be at every meeting.

Her jealousy of her husband burned like the fire Psalms describes (see Ps. 79:5). Before long she began suspecting him of being "emotionally unfaithful" and preferring the company of other women "in his heart." When Bob refused to respond to Sheila's manipulation, she fell into a series of illnesses that required him to stay close to home.

Her sickness exacerbated her imaginings and drove a wedge of resentment between the couple. Bob could never do enough to cooperate with or care for her.

Though she appeared outwardly to be the weaker of the two, in reality, Sheila was locked in a power struggle with her husband for control of her world and the people in it. She was driven by her own inadequacy and insecurity. In demanding to be of primary importance to her husband, she was smothering any flame of true affection between them and becoming the bane of his existence.

Solomon wrote: "Jealousy [is] as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame" (Song 8:6, NKJV). In Proverbs, he described "three things that are never satisfied, four [that] never say, 'Enough!': the grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water--and the fire" (30:15-16).

Jealousy is the fire that never says "enough." If left to burn, it will consume love, trust, fellowship and truth, leaving a wide swath of destruction in the same way that Satan's envy of God became a fire of deception, rebellion and ultimate evil.


Jealousy has a close-knit fraternity of emotions that includes vain imagination, paranoia, anger, hatred and murder. The spirit of jealousy is impossible to appease, for it will "accept no recompense" (Prov. 6:35).

The spouse of a jealous person will be continually suspected or accused of wrongdoing. He will be required to give more and more frequent proofs of his devotion until the spirit of jealousy manipulates every aspect of the relationship's dynamics.

Unfortunately, the following example is all too common in church circles. It concerns a pastor's wife I've known, who was convinced her husband was being sought after by females in their congregation.

Any expressed concern for the other women in the church was always suspect to her. It made the pastor reluctant to share the details of his schedule with his wife, knowing that they would probably lead to draining discussions and confrontations.

The wife should have been a co-laborer with her husband, especially with regard to the other women in the church. However, due to her suspicions, he preferred to have her occupied elsewhere.

The requirements of this pastor's duties would always put him in situations his wife perceived to be threatening. He dismissed her nagging and fits of rage as unjustified, but this only made her feel and appear more foolish.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Angelic harvest

    2017 Prophecy: The Lord Is Releasing the Angels of Abundant Harvest

    "Opportunities will come your way that you never dreamed, imagined or even thought to ask for. ...

  • We should stop teaching these concepts about spiritual gifts.

    4 Wrong Concepts We Have Taught About Spiritual Gifts

    Let's get out of the Holy Spirit's way and let Him work through us.

  • A bit of flirting may seem innocent, but it can lead to destructive behavior.

    3 Do's and Don'ts When Communicating With Women Other Than Your Wife

    Do you and your wife have any other rules for communicating with the opposite sex?

  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • Mantling a generation

    This Deadly Sin Squashes the Next Generation of World Changers

    And it places a demonic lid on young leaders' gifts and potential.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit