Hope Wissel

Selfishness in Marriage

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Have you ever been told something by the love of your life that you never knew despite the fact that you have known each other for forever?  This happened to me as hubby and I prepared for Belinda‘s wedding.  I sat across from him and thought “how did I not know this?”.  I actually knew it but never really think about it.  Hubby‘s big thing is communication especially when it is about family – no matter how small.  Since he isn’t on any social media, I forget.  I zone out and don’t think to tell him things.

Life has been crazy for us – him working full-time, me working part-time & running my business, preparing for the wedding, doctor’s appointments, family health issues and just life.  We have been meaning for weeks to spend some time alone, or maybe even go on a real date. To say the least, it wasn’t until we headed to North Carolina and we “unplugged” that it happened.

We have spent so much time getting life done. Keeping up the house. Making appointments. Working. Paying bills. And I had stopped noticing the little things about hubby — the stuff I used to notice all the time when we were dating.  How did that happen?  I used to pick up on things all the time and we weren’t even living in the same house.

Back then it seemed easy to put him first, to always be on the lookout for his interests and likes. Selfishness on my part didn’t really exist in our relationship. I was head-over-heels in love with him and intent on noticing his preferences and pleasing him.

Sadly, it’s easy for noticing to decrease and selfishness to creep in. Instead of longing to please our spouses, even in the little things, we often look to get our own way. i know it isn’t just me, right?  We have an list or agenda for what needs to get done and we are on a mission. This verse seems to be the perfect prescription for this. We are encouraged to look not just to our own interests, but also in humility to look at the interests of others. There are so many ways to apply this verse in marriage!

It may mean spending a weekend doing activities that your spouse prefers. In my case, it would mean watching endless hours of CNN or talking politics or maybe even attending a rally to support his favorite cause or going to a classic rock concert, rather than checking out a craft show or going to a vendor event or going to a country music/ christian rock concert, which would bore him to death.  Sometimes it might be a big thing, and other times it could be something that I consider a trivial.

In today’s world of selfies and selfishness, let’s practice taking notice of our spouse’s interests and show them love in even the smallest of ways. For me, it is being intentional and sharing things from social media about family and friends.  It is making sure that I have his favorite jam – blueberry – and his favorite fruits – any kind of melon – in the frig.

I am going to be on the lookout for ways to bless my spouse — both in the little interests of life and in the major issues of marriage.

 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2, (NIV)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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