Many women today believe it is absolutely righteous for them to be jealous of their husbands. And they are even backed in their jealousy toward their husbands by many modern Christian preachers, teachers and counselors.
But such a teaching, that it is right for women to be jealous over their husbands, is found nowhere in the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures show the very opposite.
A woman entertaining and acting upon jealous feelings toward her husband is a sin because her jealousy is a complete rejection of God’s design of the masculine sexual nature and God’s allowance for polygamy.
A Husband’s Jealousy Over His Wife Is Righteous
In Ezekiel 16:38 (KJV) we read “And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy”. A husband’s possessive jealousy over his wife images God’s jealousy over his wife Israel and it is a righteous and holy type of jealousy.
The Husband Exclusively Owns His Wife, the Wife Does Not Own Her Husband
The Bible says the following in Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV):
“If a man be found lying with a woman married [Hebrew: “baal” as pronoun – “owned”] to an husband [Hebrew: “baal” as noun “Master/Owner”], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
This principle of the husband’s mastery over his wife is reinforced in the New Testament as well in 1 Peter 3:5-6 (KJV):
“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord [Greek “kurios” Master/Owner]: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
In the Scriptures, for a woman to be married means for her to owned by a husband. He owns her, she does not own him.
This is why the Bible allows husbands to have more than one wife (Polygyny),but forbids wives to have more than one husband (Polyandry). Regarding men taking second wives the Scriptures state the following:
“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish”
Exodus 21:10 (KJV)
The Bible uses two different words for ownership. The Greek Word “heautou” always means exclusive ownership while the Greek word “idios” can mean someone being owned by another or someone having shared access to someone or something. Consider these uses of “idios”:
“For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own [idios] country.”
John 4:44 (KJV)
“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own [idios] master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”
Romans 14:4 (KJV)
Now let’s consider the following New Testament passage which so many Pastors today wrongly teach as husbands and wives mutually owning one another:
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own [heautou] wife, and let every woman have her own [idios] husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)
When we consider the fact that the husband is the master and owner of his wife and the fact that God uses the word for exclusive ownership – “heautou” – when it comes to a man’s ownership over his wife – yet he uses the word idios which when used with masters means the very opposite – “owned” we see a very different picture than what is told to us in many pulpits today.
But while the husband is his wife’s master, she is not his slave. She is his wife. Exodus 21:10 as well as 1 Corinthians7:3-5 show us that a wife is to have shared access to her husband’s provision, protection and his body in the bed.
Many Christian women today comfort themselves in their possessive jealousy over their husbands by saying “God only made one wife for the first man”. Yet they ignore the fact that God made the second man marry his sister.
The fact is in order to understand God’s full design for marriage we must look at the complete revelation of God from Genesis to Revelation. Only when we do this will we will then understand that a man having one wife as well as a man marrying his sister were temporary. That later in the law of Moses God would take away his temporary allowance for sibling marriage while at the same time expanding on his allowance for polygamy. And God never removed his allowance for polygamy in the New Testament no matter how much many Christians would like to believe he did.
The evidence is all over the Bible – women do NOT have a right to be possessively jealous over their husbands but husbands absolutely have a right to be possessively jealous over their wives.
A wife’s jealousy over her husband’s thoughts or glancing at other women or liking certain actresses in movies or TV can cause a lot of problems in marriage. It is only when a wife’s sinful jealousy is confronted by both herself and her husband that men can be free to exercise their full masculine nature.
And what does a husband fully exercising his masculine polygynous nature look like? Does it mean he runs out and gets another wife? In most cases the answer is no – he is not going to do that. In 21st century America, it is rare for husbands to act on their right to take additional wives. It is a difficult life not only for financial reasons but also because of our societal condemnation of polygamy.
But here is what a man being free to fully exercise his God give masculine polygynous sexual nature will most likely look like. He won’t go out and get another wife – but he may ask his wife to engage in sexual role play acting like she is another woman. He might feel free to watch movies and TV shows with actresses he likes where before he would worry about incurring the jealous rage of his wife. He won’t have to look at the ground when he goes to the mall or especially the beach because he is afraid his wife might see him enjoying the beauty of other women around him.
Possessive Jealousy Verses Envious Jealousy
As I have shown throughout this article, possessive jealousy by a woman toward her husband is always wrong because this kind of jealousy reflects a rejection of God’s design of masculinity and marriage.
But there is another type of jealousy, envious jealousy, which God was attempting to provoke in his wife Israel. In the context of speaking about his first wife Israel (whom he divorced for adultery) God said this about his new bride the Church:
“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”
Romans 11:11 (KJV)
God in taking the church (a new spiritual body made up of believing Jews and Gentiles) was seeking to provoke his old wife (ethnic Jews – Israel) to envious jealousy. His goal is for the Jews who rejected him to see how well he treats the church so that Israel (ethnic Jews collectively) will one day want him back as her husband. And this is a way that wives can totally transform their possessive jealousy into an envious jealousy that drives them to be better wives to their husbands.
But to explain how women can do this I need to first give a brief review of love in marriage.
A husband’s love for his wife in the form of his leadership, provision, and protection towards her is unconditional. She does not have to earn that – he committed these things to her on the day he took her as his wife.
But most women confuse Agape love (committed love) with Phileo love (feelings love) and Eros love (sexual love). A woman does not have earn her husband’s committed love, but she very much has to earn his Phileo and Eros love by what she does toward him.
This is why the Bible commands that husbands are to be ravished (sexually intoxicated) by their wives in Proverbs 5:19. And this command requires the participation of both the husband and the wife. A husband cannot be ravished by a prudish wife and a wife cannot ravish a husband who ignores her attempts to ravish him.
So here is how women can transform their possessive jealousy into an envious jealously which fuels positive change in their marriage. Instead of being mad at him for checking out that woman in the mall – the ravishing wife takes what she saw and offers to role play being that woman in bed with her husband at home. Or maybe she sees some sexual acts in a movie her and her husband are watching and sees that he likes it – maybe later than evening or another night she seeks to recreate what they saw that he likes.
My point is that a woman’s jealousy can be used for good or for evil. And women should redirect and harness their jealousy for the good of their husbands and their marriages.
Why keep speaking on Polygamy?
A lot of my traditional Christian followers write me wishing I would stop talking about Biblical polygamy. It makes them uncomfortable.
I consider myself a traditional Christian. But unlike many traditional Christians today, my traditional beliefs are not based in 1950s American values.
My beliefs are based upon traditional values which started with the teachings and law God gave to Moses more than 3500 years ago.
And I fully recognize the progressive revelation of God and the fact that in the New Testament the Civil and Ceremonial laws of Israel are replaced with the new law of Christ. But the moral law of the Old Testament remains and acceptance of it is crucial for us to understand God’s view of marriage and sexuality.
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