Love You More

Love You More: Love Is Not Selfish

Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder {James 3:16}

 

One of the toughest transitions through dating, being engaged, and finally getting married is learning to completely integrate your spouse into your life in every way. Suddenly you’re considering which meal he would rather have, whether he’d you should go the grocery store in his place, or how you can possibly find the time to golf with him the next time he asks. You learn to take care of that person’s needs and desires over your own, in the hope that that person will do the same for you, thus creating a balanced and caring marriage.

Sometimes it’s just easier to want things our way, though. Everything revolves around the idea of self, from selfies to the idea that you deserve some things just because you’re you. Taken from the incredible book The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough, there are many things we as married guys and gals need to consider in the realm of selfishness in our marriages:

While love asks us to deny ourselves for the sake of someone else, selfishness compels us to focus on ourselves at their expense. Selfishness is like a disease that suffocates our capacity to love. When we choose self-centeredness, we become higher-maintenance – more needy, overly sensitive, demanding. And when we don’t get our way, we judge other’s harshly while being blind to our own faults.

This is an issue that I think can be thwarted by thorough premarital counseling, honest communication, and love for another person that is greater than love for yourself. But when it’s hard to remind yourself of these facts and why you got married to him / her in the first place, consider trying some of these gestures and tricks to remind both of you how much you love each other.

 

Buy Something Small

You may think you don’t need gifts in your marriage to prove you love each other, and that’s true – but it’s nice to be appreciated, and this gesture means your spouse was thinking of you when he or she was doing something else. Whether it’s flowers or picking up his or her favorite dinner, this is a meaningful and thoughtful way to focus on your spouse and let your inner selfish child take a backseat.

 

Write Love Notes

An oldie but a goodie, love notes are some of the most cherished items my honey and I keep around our apartment. We’ve stashed old Valentine’s day cards, just-because notes, and even silly little post-its around to remind ourselves and each other of how much we love each other on a daily basis. Love notes don’t have to be poems by Lord Byron, but think of something thoughtful and personal to share with your spouse that will make him or her smile.

 

Concede

There may be some of you who disagree with this one, but a big way we avoid selfishness in our marriage is to concede on some decisions. For instance, perhaps your hubby wants to see an action movie when you’re dying to see a rom com; letting him get to share that movie with you makes him want to return the favor when you decide what’s for dinner for date night, and it’s a great way to practice compromise, which we all know is a key facet of happy marriages. After all, marriage isn’t all about one person, right?

 

Say I Love You

My darling husband doesn’t have any trouble with this one, but we’ve been told that over the years, other things get in the way and suddenly we’re both assuming the “I love you” instead of actually saying it. But make an effort to text it, email it, say it over the phone, and say it in person as often as you can – it showcases your affection for your spouse and serves as a reminder to you through the difficult times and through the wonderful times.

 

Read The Love Dare

If you can find the time, The Love Dare is a worthwhile investment in your marriage. It encourages you to consider why you do what you do in your marriage, and helps you avoid some train wrecks that can damage your marriage in serious ways. Plus it has daily tasks for you to work through and a space for reflection that allows you to grow as a spouse in wonderful ways!


How do you avoid selfishness in your marriage?

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