Who do you love more—yourself or your spouse? What are the things you do or say that substantiate that answer? Take a moment and ask God to direct your thoughts.
The Bible tells us to consider others—including our spouse—especially our spouse—as more important than yourself. (Philippians 2:3) But our sinful, self-centered nature kicks in and we “think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.” (Romans 12:3) And that throws a kink into our relationship.
The summer before Bob and I got engaged, I travelled in Europe with a girlfriend. I was sure that when I got back, Bob would propose. I knew he was praying long and hard about it. One week before I returned, I got an airmail letter from Bob saying he felt God was not giving us the go-ahead. I was devastated.
My girlfriend, wanting to help, sat me down for a talk. She asked me why I thought Bob and I should get married and wrote down my answers. When I read the list back, I discovered a common theme: All the reasons were about why I thought marriage would be good for me.
Bob also sent along an article written by a young, single woman. One sentence jumped out at me: If you really love someone, you want their happiness above your own—even if that means they marry someone else.
Two months later, Bob felt a clear peace from God that it was okay to proceed with marriage. I am clear that God put everything on hold until I got my priorities right.
The same things hold true after you are married as well. The same self-centeredness still creeps in. We must be on guard against it and rectify the problem when we see it.
Who do you love more—yourself or your spouse? Watch your actions this week and see what you conclude.
For our readers in the Greater Los Angeles area, Bob and Roxann will be speaking at the Christian Ministries Training Association convention in Pasadena this Saturday, April 7, at 10 am, 12:45 pm, and 4:15 pm. We’d love for you to join us.