Marriage isn't easy. I know from firsthand experience. I spent nearly the first decade of mine trying to figure out why I couldn't seem to get my own way. I often wondered, Why isn't this working out the way I expected?
Then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. Marriage isn't supposed to be about me.
Who is Most Important in a Marriage?
It's not you (sorry if that wasn't the answer you were hoping for).
Probably the most difficult aspect of marriage to master is the fact that we are to set aside our own interests and instead focus primarily on meeting the needs of our spouse and children. That very concept runs contrary to everything that is ingrained within us and that society conditions us to accept.
Let's face it, from the moment we are young we are trained that we need to ultimately learn to rely on ourselves, that if we don't look out for our own interests no one else will, and that we need to be self-sufficient. Of course, there is an element of truth in those sentiments because overall the world can be a pretty rough place. However, the danger in focusing too much on taking care of only ourselves is that we will become self-centered.
And self-centeredness is poison to your marriage.
The quickest, surest way to kill your marriage is to make it about you. If both marriage partners behave with their own interests primarily in mind, both people will ironically end up disasstified and disillusioned. Nobody will end up getting what they need or want.
Marriage God's Way
Isaiah 55:8 states, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” There are countless examples that prove this verse true and this is just another one of them.
The world tells us that we need to look out for our own interest to be happily married, but God tells us that love “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Once again, God proves that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. It’s just not natural to not seek our own.
But what is not natural can be supernatural!
Before you get discouraged because you think that looking out for your spouse first will mean that you will never have your own needs met, let me give you some encouragement! God is loving and He created marriage to be mutually beneficial to both parties. He didn't design marriage to make us miserable.
Marriage is supposed to be a relationship where both partners have their needs met, but the irony is that God accomplishes this in a manner that runs contrary to what the world says.
One Simple Act Can Save Your Marriage
What is the one simple act? It's this: live to serve your spouse, not yourself.
You see, God’s plan is that when both marriage partners put the needs of the other before their own, something interesting happens! Not only does the other person’s needs get met, but so do your own!
I can tell you from experience that I have employed both God’s method and the world’s method, and God’s method is MUCH better!
Try it for yourself and you will see!
Your spouse will be so surprised that you are putting them before yourself that over time, they will be doing the same for you. Remember, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:7 & 9).
Oh, and since we are talking about things that do not come naturally to most human beings, you might be thinking that you’re just going to fail. Left to our own devices, we will fail at selflessness because it runs contrary to human nature. But God doesn’t call us to a higher calling without offering a friendly hand!
Every time you get discouraged, remind yourself of the promise stated in Philippians 4:13—“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
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