It sucks to hear myself admit that I am the selfish spouse? Yeah, I am the most amazing selfish spouse. It really really really sucks. Thing is, selfish marriages are incredibly common. And even more common? Blaming anyone other than yourself for any issues a marriage faces. I propose, the more selfish one is… the less he or she realizes they are selfish to begin with (click to tweet). It is incredibly hard to faults to oneself, none the less your spouse. But what if you really don’t realize the issue is you?
In the relationship of my husband and I, I was the problem. Only, at the time I couldn’t see past my own nose to realize I was causing just as much issue, if not more than, my now-husband. I had to work on us, but I couldn’t change him. Instead, our marriage bloomed beautifully because I focused on myself. Instead of bashing him and pushing to change him, I studied what he really loved. And where better to study love than by the book of God! Here’s what I learned!
Your Selfish Spouse is Irrelevant
Correcting our selfish marriage started with me making a choice that I cannot change my husband, and you can’t either. God can. But in your resurrection of marriage, and what I had to swallow, was that his selfish tendencies and other negative quirks were irrelevant. I can only change me. So instead, I concentrated on my selfishness.
Let me give you a very quick, very shallow background of our relationship. Met as teens. Went long distance. Broke up without contact for eight months. Moved home and left vet school to be with him. And then, ultimately, nine years to-the-day after our first date we delivered our third child!
Angry I couldn’t see him more often, I lashed out in frustration instead of laughing at the sound of his voice. Bitter he hadn’t came to see me sooner, I argued instead of cuddling under the stars. Frustrated his immediately family received more of him than I did, I whined about his short-comings instead of offering support, peace, and assistance. The relationship destroyed us and everything we were.
I Was Most Amazing at Being the Selfish Spouse
I was a bad friend to him. I was a terrible support system. I can’t say I prayed for him the right way. I was no-where close to being his safe haven. I was the source of his stress and sadness. Had we proceeded with our engagement and married then, we would have surely ended in divorce. I shamefully was the most amazingly selfish wife, ever… I didn’t see it, because I covered it well. I would give him money, clothes, shoes, gaming systems and chairs, anything his heart desired. Except what really mattered.
But, Then I Found Agape
Thank the Lord there is a beautiful ending to this selfishness! The answer is Agape. The answer is Christ. Marriage changes everything, the vows before God. Legal marriage is fine and dandy. Every American is free to legally marry whomever they wish. We were engaged, and we could have legally married. But us Christians? We get lucky. We are blessed. We are unique. God gives, with no stipulations of return, this power. Love finds the respect that pride seeks. He empowers us. He wishes for us. We enter HOLY matrimony.
You see, Agape Love is unselfish, unconditional, and unstoppable. It doesn’t come from us, it comes from above us. When I was nineteen, I over-simplified agape love and fell short of its understanding. I was the Hollywood cinema’s version of falling in love. It wasn’t a choice. It was a feeling. Then I matured. I grew. And I learned that love IS a choice and a commitment.
The love of a husband and wife can not be duplicated elsewhere.
God intended for it to be a one-of-a-kind relationship. Why? This type of love is God’s love. A man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. The woman is to submit to her husband the way she does the Lord. And when both simultaneously love with God’s love, doing all for the Glory of the other, the love of a man and woman can last forever. My husband and I are lasting.
It took me a long long time to realize that I couldn’t change my husband, I don’t have the power to change. He grew up with parents who did not model the marriage he needed to thrive. Nor the relationship he needed to learn how to thrive in for his own marriage. He grew up with a women who did not show respect or teach how to show respect. All he’d ever known was emotional hardship, stress, and bickering. He’d known human love, not Agape love.
It wasn’t until I turned to Jesus and started having long talks with Him about how I could change myself that our relationship started growing flowers instead of weeds. Through prayer, acknowledged that I was acting selfishly. After admitting it to myself, I then prayed about it, voiced it out loud, and then….. sat down to talk to my husband…. took responsibility for being selfish.
When I started loving my husband through Jesus, instead of through myself, windows opened I could fit through (I recognized the opportunities provided to give my husband what he needed to love us more fully: his space). The weeds died and flowers bloomed (for example, I started making him dinner every night and he started showing physical affection again). The moon set and the sun rose (for example, he began defending our relationship against those who set out to destroy us – something he had NEVER done before).
Please leave a comment and let us know the single most important thing you’ve done in your marriage to promote its everlasting Agape Love.
Looking for ways to improve your marriage? Here are 8 Simple Ways! Looking for some ideas for introducing your child to becoming a great wife husband? Take a look at Freshly Messy’s Proverbs 31 Study for Preschoolers.
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