On May 10, I began a 40 day series based on the book The Love Dare. The Love Dare, as featured in the outstanding Christian movie Fireproof, is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take.
Today’s message is “Love is not selfish.”
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
We live in a world that is enamored with “self.” If ever there was a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness. Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people, but justify in ourselves.
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 all 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. 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. The bottom line is that you either make decisions out of love for others or love for yourself.
Love also leads to greater joy. 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.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I truly want what’s best for my husband or wife?
- Do I want them to feel loved by me?
- Do they believe I have their best interests in mind?
- Do they see me as looking out for myself first?
Whether you like it or not, you have a reputation in the eyes of those around you, especially in the eyes of you spouse. But is it a loving reputation?
Whatever you put your 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.”
Heavenly Father, we praise You as the most giving, unselfish Being in the universe. Teach us to “BE kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” In Jesus name, Amen.
Blessings to learn to be selfless in your marriage!
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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