The "S" in GPS
The “S” in GPS stands for “self.” Put your spouse ahead of yourself. Aside from including God in your marriage, selflessness is the most important factor for a healthy marriage.
In Christian circles, self is a “four-letter word.” We are called to give up ourselves to follow the will of God. Our marriage relationship, ideally, should parallel our relationship with God. In fact, at some point, I believe they will actually intertwine when nurtured correctly. Hence, we should always put our spouses ahead of ourselves.
According to the world, though, self should rank number one in our priorities. Self looks out for its own interests and welfare. Oftentimes, our own interests include overindulging in fleshly desires. Addiction is a raging problem with alcohol, drugs, sex, computers, and anything else that comes before our relationship with our spouse or God. Many people are obese because of excessive food intake. We are in the midst of a failing economy because of our greed for material things. Relationships in and out of marriage remain problematic because of the battle for selfish desires.
The more we try to fulfill the desires of the flesh, the yearnings of ourselves, the deeper the void in our soul becomes. We are all born with this void and spend our lives desperately trying to fill it with self-indulgence until we allow God into our lives. Only the God who created us can fill that empty void and free us from any self-addictions that trouble us. Only then can we experience the rich marriage God intends for us to share with the person we love.
The World English Dictionary gives one meaning of flesh: Physical aspect of humanity: the physical body along with its needs and limitations, as opposed to the soul, mind, or spirit. Notice that it says “as opposed to the soul, mind, or spirit.” As spiritual beings, we temporarily wear this fleshly body but are not meant to be ruled by it. We get confused, though, by living in a world that tells us, “Look out for yourself!” (If you put an “h” in front of self and then read it backwards, it spells “flesh.” Self and flesh go hand in hand.) Unfortunately, many have become consumed by that worldly advice. It’s gone too far.
Our society is so entrenched in a “Me, Me, Me!” attitude that we’ve abandoned our traditional values and rules for godly living. There is barely any truth left in our world. Our basis of judgment now stems on “what works for me” with no concern for right or wrong.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Loaded with worldly contradictions, the Bible speaks clearly about putting others ahead of ourselves. As one who once lived a worldly life and now strives to live a godly life, it is not always easy. Without a doubt, though, giving up self to follow God’s plan brings a much more joyful life, a much more peaceful life, and an opportunity for God to bless you time and time again. The same applies to marriage. Putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own (yourself) will bring joy, peace, and an opportunity for God to bless your marriage.