Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 3: Love is not Selfish

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.---Romans 12:10

We live in a world that is enamored with "self." The culture around us teaches us to focus on our appearance, feelings, and personal desires as the top priority. The goal, it seems, is to chase the highest level of happiness possible. The danger from this kind of thinking, however, becomes painfully apparent once inside a marriage relationship.

If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. Yet you cannot point out the many ways your spouse is selfish without admitting that you can be selfish. That would be hypocritical.

Why do we have such low standards for ourselves but high expectations for our mate? The answer is a painful pill to swallow. We are selfish.

When a husband puts his interests, desires, and priorities in front of his wife, that's a sign of selfishness. When a wife constantly complains about the time and energy she spends meeting the needs of her husband, that's a sign of selfishness. Loving couples, the ones who are enjoying the full purpose of marriage, are bent on taking good care of the other flawed human they get to share life with. That's because true love looks for ways to say YES.

One ironic aspect of selfishness is that even generous actions can be selfish if the motive is to gain bragging rights or receive a reward.

Love also leads to inner joy. When you prioritize the well-being of your mate, there is a resulting fulfillment that cannot be duplicated by selfish actions. This is a benefit that God created and reserves for those who genuinely demonstrate love. The truth is, when you relinquish your rights for the sake of your mate, you get a chance to lose yourself to the greater purpose of marriage.

Remember, your marriage partner also has the challenge of loving a selfish person. So determine to be first to demonstrate real love to them, with your eyes WIDE OPEN. And when all is said and done, you'll both be more fulfilled.

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves

Philippians 2:3

Today's Dare

Whatever you put time, energy, and money into will become more important to you. It's hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today."

***How did yesterday go? Was it hard or fun? For me, it was so much fun. I love giving things and surprises. This dare was a piece of cake. I planned a date night for us. I rented 2 movies that I would have NEVER rented, but that Zach really wanted to see. I got his favorite candy and his favorite popcorn and I made him his favorite dinner. Yesterday, though, I struggled with Patience. I got frustrated with him and after reading today's dare, I realized it was because I am so selfish! Don't you hate that! When you catch yourself acting a certain way; a way that you hate seeing in yourself. Well, after my act of kindness yesterday, Zach did something that really upset me and my first thought was, " I just did all this for him and he is going to act that way towards me." Selfish! And this is why I am taking the dare....I am a work in progress...a least when I got upset, I didn't start an argument!


The Cannons said...

Loving these little "love lessons". Today, really hit close to home, ouch!

Rebecca said...

Me too