He was supposed to leave the next morning for a four-day retreat in Hawaii. All I could think about was how he was escaping to paradise, sandy beaches, sunshine, and a full night’s sleep, while I was stuck with a sick household of children and a dream of one night’s rest uninterrupted.
I was jealous.
As I went about my day, I washed his clothes for packing and tried to prepare my mindset for the late night drop off at the airport with a car full of children under seven years old. I knew biblically that God wanted me to be supportive.
I knew, biblically, that God wanted me and called me to be supportive, but my heart wasn’t falling into line with what I knew in my mind was right.
Sometimes it is easy to do what is right, but it’s getting your heart to obey that is hard.
I was disappointed in myself because I knew that what was important was my heart attitude, yet I couldn’t move from a self-focused position.
That night I was silently irritated, but my husband could read my non-verbals. I was upset. I didn’t want him to leave without me.
Our dinner and evening together was ruined, thanks to yours truly.
Once Isaac had left, and I had somehow managed to get all five of the little ones back into bed after the airport run, I lied there in my bed, alone.
Guilt set in. I hadn’t even given him a real kiss goodbye, it was just a simple peck.
I was so rude to him, in my silence.
And so, I cried.
Then my crying turned into deeper breathing and bawling into my pillow.
I thought, “What if I never see him again? What if he dies in a plane accident?”
Such a dramatic thought, I know. But the truth is that these thoughts and others provoked by fear, anxiety, loneliness, or even hearing noises worried me that someone was breaking in, were actually pretty common for the first eight years of our marriage or so. I was insecure in this area of my marriage, that is certain.
The reality is that the enemy tempted me, and there were moments I was weak enough to fall for his trap.
There is a very real vulnerability that many women live in concerning the temptation to fear, not have trust, and even become resentful of their husband. Many women feel abandoned each time their spouse leaves. And many more struggle with feelings of jealousy. It may be you, it may not be. But this could very well be your closest friend, sister, or neighbor.
What is the cure? While there is no direct cure outside of the freedom of living confidently in Christ, I am tackling different aspects of this here and sharing a few exercises you can do to prepare your heart, home, and marriage for when your husband travels over at TheBetterMom.com today.
Here is a prayer for those of you who struggle with fear, worry, anxiety, or even jealousy as your man travels.
Lord, I pray for my sister who dreads the nights and days when her husband is gone and out of town. Would you comfort her when she is afraid and help her to sleep in peace. For the sisters who worry and struggle to trust their husbands while they are gone, would you protect their marriage and help her to trust her man. Jesus, some of us struggle with jealousy when our husbands travel. Would you reveal to us what it is that you want to teach each of us in these circumstances? For those of us who are jealous, we repent of not being grateful for the gifts and blessings you have given us. Help us to see our circumstances through your eyes and not through a competitive lens influenced by the culture. Help us to love and cherish our husbands. Turn our hearts in obedience to You and help our hearts to truly desire to serve our families even when it is hard and may seem unfair. Lord, expose our entitlement attitudes and free us by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
I want to leave you with this one thought concerning jealousy in this circumstance surrounding a traveling husband.
Are you jealous of him because you want to get away from your current life or because you just want to be with him?
I ask this question because I think for many of us women are told by our culture to expect fairness in marriage.
It is the message of equality that we often twist to benefit our own fleshly desires.
And when one of the two of us, in our equal union of marriage, seems to have it better, it’s hard not to feel a little jealous. When one works with people who respect them and don’t throw temper tantrums, it’s hard not to be jealous. Or when one gets to fly first class to exotic locations for meetings and get put up in the nicest resorts with the finest meals made by famous chefs, while you are making your own bed, cooking your own food, and then get the luxury of cleaning your own dishes with a thirty pound teething toddler on your back, it’s hard not to even allow that jealousy to become resentment.
Watch out for resentment because it can turn into anger, bitterness, and it can ruin a marriage.
If you are struggling with being jealous of your husband because he gets to go to work and you feel stuck as a stay at home mom, a work at home mom, or even in a job you just don’t like, I want to pray for you. And more importantly, I want to urge you to take a moment to look deep into your heart, and ask yourself what you see? Are you beginning to be jealous? Have you been for a while?
Ask God to break you from the bondage of jealousy today! Confess it to your husband! Pray for God to change your heart and help you to find the things to be thankful for, the blessings in your life, that you might not take them for granted and dwell on what you don’t have or can’t do. That just entraps you from living the life God meant for you which is full of love, joy, delight, and a thriving marriage where you rejoice for one another in your blessings.
Ask God to help you not to take your kids for granted and to truly see them as the blessing they are!
My jealousy revealed to me that I was taking my kids for granted. A lot of times you hear the opposite way around. The moms feel like they have been taken for granted, right?! But truthfully how many of us moms actually feel this way?
The truth is hard to say out loud sometimes, but my truth is that my jealousy of Isaac’s traveling revealed my discontentment in my life, in what I called work. I felt devalued. Not by my husband, but the world. I wanted someone to value me enough to send me to Hawaii or Palm Springs! But why? Because I thought, “Poor me! Ugh, I have it SO hard as a mom.”
Pretty ugly if I don’t say so myself.
My perspective was off. The truth is that I wasn’t viewing my life through God’s lens, but through my sinful fleshy lens, and it was distorted.
Since my realization of just how off my perspective was, I have spent the past 9 years working hard at enjoying and delighting thankfully in my ability to be at home with my kids, no matter how crazy it can get, or how exhausted I am. The real truth that the enemy wants me to forget is just how blessed I am.
So today, let’s remind one another just how important what we do as moms is.
Let’s choose to view our children as a gift and turn away from the temptation to be jealous of our husbands or compare what we do to what they do.
Let’s choose today and forevermore to support our husbands in what they do and ask God to transform our hearts to be in alignment with His word.