“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:24
When people talk about God being a jealous God it can be confusing for a child. Aren’t we taught that jealousy is bad? Jealousy just does not sound like it can be good in anyway. But here is the truth, God’s jealousy is different than ours.
In the Bible it talks about God being jealous in regards to His people worshipping idols. This is justified because all people were God’s people first, He created every single person. Another way to think about it is to use a married couple as an example. When a couple makes a commitment to marriage they are saying that they will be together forever. But let us say that while the couple are out walking a third person comes up and starts ‘making a pass’ on the wife and the wife responds to the pass. It is a natural and reasonable response that the husband would be jealous of that person. In this same way when we become a Christian we make a commitment to Christ, and therefore God wants all our attention.
When we are jealous of someone else many times it is actually envy. We want something that does not belong to us- someone’s stuff, someone’s body type, someone’s brain, etc.
To differentiate between our emotions and God’s emotions is important because His emotions are very different than the emotions we feel. To explain this to a child is important so that they recognize that God is outside of the way we think.