"He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us, oh,
Oh, how He loves us,
How He loves us all"
David Crowder's song "How he Loves us" is an awesome picture of the weight of God's love for me. In pondering our desires for our spouse, parent, child, and friend's approval, it strikes me how jealous we can get when something or someone else takes our place (or we perceive takes our place) in the other person's heart. Often that thing is the thing we soon find our self in competition with; whether consciously or sub consciously. I see this a lot with teens who do not take care of their things or give little value to money. When a parent's money or toys become more important to them than their child, jealousy occurs and the kid then finds him/herself in competition with or giving little value to that thing. In marriages if a husband is at work all the time, the wife then sees herself in competition with work and then begins to be jealous of anything associated with work. What ever a person "loves" more than us, becomes a point of jealousy and potential for disconnect in that relationship.
In scripture when God addresses His people with regard to the relationship to their idols (anything we run to other than Him under stress and pressure), he doesn't call it sin, he calls it adultery. Yes adultery is sin, but it goes down to the core of God's view of us as his bride. He is jealous for me!! As much as I'm jealous in a relationship, he is 1 million times more so. He doesn't want anything to be in competition with Him in our hearts. So often idols fill the void when we forget how loved we truly are. They're only a temporary fix that people have learned to trust, place their hope and identity in. Idols can even be good things like work, food, sex, kids, church and relationships. As a person becomes more aware of God's desire ,even jealousy for relationship with that person, he/she has a choice in that moment to trust the loving God or trust the idol. More often than not, this is not an easy choice, but the more our idols fail to meet the perceived need, "God's love "trumps" that need." God is slowly, moment by moment, freeing us from those things that take His place in our hearts.
When I know that I'm loved then I can freely love. When I know that I'm loved and jealously desired, my natural inclination is to turn toward the one loving. Whether in our relationship with God, our spouse, our kids, or our friends to be jealously pursued ( in a healthy way, not a sociopathic way) then we have the freedom to be ourselves.