Were all told to be a little selfish in life. That its okay to look after your needs above others. And of course, you should. Within reason. Of course, make sure you’re good and okay! But, in life its better to generally be more selfless than selfish. Especially in marriage.
Me, myself and…my spouse?
When you’re single, its easy to think of your needs rather than anyone else’s needs. But when you get married-everything changes. You think twice about buying that cute sundress because its not in you and your spouse’s budget; you consider your spouse when hanging out late with your friends; and you think about what your spouse needs to eat for dinner when you are cooking. Your have a real mindset change. And, I posit, changing your mindset from considering others over yourself is one we all should have anyways.
Jesus: The Ultimate in Selflessness
If you want a perfect example of selflessness, consider Jesus Christ. Think of the richest, smartest, most powerful man in the world. You would think this man would come to Earth EXPECTING to be served, catered to, worshipped, admired (like when a celebrity goes into public and people freak out). But the Messiah came to earth in the opposite way of how people expected: he came in a dirty, manger, among common parents.
Take for example Jesus’ first few miracles: he charged those involved not to reveal what happened yet.
“As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way,” (Mark 1:42-44, NKJV).
He served people daily: often healing and ministering to people from early morning until late in the evening. Do you think it was in His best interest to minister to people all day? He was probably tired!
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.Simon and his companions went to look for him,and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:35-38 NKJV).
And he was murdered, knowing full well he could have legions of angels come down to rescue him but instead he chose to die for the sins of everyone. Do you think it was in his best interest to be tortured, spat on, stripped naked, and nailed to a heavy wooden cross he had to carry? If Jesus, the all-powerful God of the universe, lived a life serving others, why couldn’t we?
“Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26: 52-54 NKJV).
A Life of Service
I’m not saying we are to live lives where we are people without dreams, goals, personal desires or hopes whose only lot in life is to please everyone. Of course not! He wishes to give us our heart’s desires. He also gives us desires (psalm 37:4). The closer we get to Jesus, the more we are changed, and become more like him. And ultimately, we will become people who desire to do His will just like Jesus. To serve others and save others. Serving isn’t just giving to the poor, or praying for someone. It can be serving your coworkers by staying after work to help someone close up shop for the evening, babysitting for a single mom for free, arriving at work on time so your coworkers can leave on time, or even creating a blog!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1-3)
But Michelle, this is a Marriage blog, what does this have to do with marriage? I’m glad you asked. A huge chunk of marriage is serving. I can’t tell you how many times I had to serve Jason when I sincerely didn’t feel like it: I may have been tired, or he may have annoyed me or angered me and I didn’t want to serve him at all. He can make his own dinner! But when I served him anyway, I pleased the Lord in my marriage. You see, when we serve others when we don’t feel like it, we get closer to the heart of God. God is a giver: He gave His all for us-his entire life! He gave everything that He is for all of us. I believe he wants us to do the exact same thing. To use our lives as a sacrifice to him through service to others.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:2-4 NKJV).
In today’s world, were told to look out for ourselves, and our own needs or feelings. But when we do the opposite, our lives can be so much richer and fulfilling. Of course look out for your needs and all, but I entreat you to live a life where you consider others before yourself, and live to serve others.