HOW do you put your spouse ahead of your ‘self’?
Pastor Garcia (the pastor of Grace World Outreach) said it very well at church this Sunday. “We aren’t here to make ourSELVES happy, but to make Him happy. He, in turn, makes us happy”. There you have it.
We understand why we should put God ahead of our self, but why our spouse? Because God tells us to, in His word. He, in turn, will bless us for our obedience and give us the joyful marriage we desire.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Ephesians 5:25 tells us, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
When husbands heed this wonderful advice in Ephesians and sincerely place their wives ahead of themselves, the wives will usually reciprocate. Most women naturally want to put their husband’s needs ahead of their own, especially when they feel totally loved and adored. Everything else then falls in place.
So what if the husband HAS NOT taken the lead? How does the wife place the needs of her husband before her own neglected needs? Many men are led to the Lord by the example of their wives. If you desire your husband to be a Godly man, be the example of a Godly wife to him, put his needs ahead of yours. (A true act of selflessness.) If he professes to be a Christian but neglects your needs, you may need to attend a marriage class or seminar, or speak with a Christian marriage counselor. (Or stay tuned in to this blog!)
This all sounds good in writing, but how do we really apply selflessness in our marital relationship? Often times our personality interferes with our desire to be selfless. Some people naturally inhabit a selfless attitude. Others may top the charts of selfishness. These people find it the most difficult to give up selfish desires, especially when it comes to their spouses. It can be done though, by including God in the process.
It may take a conscious effort to begin to put your spouse ahead of yourself. Think of the arguments that would cease if you learned to resist the temptation to have your own way. Isn’t that what arguments are usually about? Does it feel good to get your own way? It may initially, but there is usually a price to pay for selfishness. (Look at James 4:1-3 in the previous blog.)
It goes back to taking your thoughts captive. When those selfish thoughts begin to command your attention, stop them. Ask God for His help. YOU can make the CHOICE whether to walk in the spirit (God’s way) or in the flesh. (Flesh is filled with self.)
If both spouses would learn to put the needs of their spouse ahead of their own, then EVERYONE gets their needs met. Then God can freely bless your marriage because of your obedience to Him and His word.