Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't Be Cruel!

Her piercing glare said it all. It was like time stood still for a moment as my 3 year old daughter starred at her 3 month old baby sister in my arms. As is expected, there had been many times since we brought the baby home that Autumn vied for my attention, whether through extreme hyperactivity or all out tantrums, but this time was different. This time I saw resentment in her eyes. It was enough to break my heart.

After she spent some time trying to convince me that she was a baby like her sister Addison, we had a talk(as good of a talk as can expected with a 3 year old attention span--hers, not mine). I asked her if she feels angry inside when I hold Addison. She shook her head yes. I told her that I understand that it is difficult to share mommy and I reassured her of my love for her. I also explained that I am able to love her and her sister just as she is able to love me and her daddy. There's room for both. Then I sent her off to play hoping she understood.

"Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" Proverbs 27:4 NLT
"...jealousy is cruel as the grave..." Song of Solomon 8:6 NKJ

Scripture is true, jealousy is a cruel thing. It will make you want to be something you are not in order to preserve your soul from the dreadful fear of being rejected or replaced. And where jealousy is, anger is not far behind. Just look at Cain and Abel (Genesis 4), Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37), and the older brother of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32).

No parent wants to have to deal with sibling rivalry even at its earliest stages. I would love for my daughter to be confident enough in my love for her that she never has to experience the cruelty of jealousy or its sidekick anger. I believe God desires the same for us a thousand times over.

So, what about you? Perhaps you're angry and don't know why? Is it possible that you are a little uneasy because you fear being replaced? Don't be cruel. Andy Stanley says that one way to overcome jealousy is to publicly commend the very person(s) that you feel "threatened" by. But that alone will not suffice. You must also sit regularly in the father's lap and allow him to reassure you of his love.

1 comment:

  1. Really good post. Jealousy comes from a scarcity mindset that lies and says there is a limited supply. But our Father is sooo abundant. I love it!