“Love cares more for others than for self.”
I Corinthians 13:5 (The Message)
As you may know, Ellen and I got married just before going to Bible College. Of course, we were very young and had a lot to learn about marriage. One evening after getting some disappointing results on a science exam, Ellen started crying.
I wasn’t too sure what to say, but I did my best to comfort her. Through her tears she said something that ended up being the beginning of some big changes in our marriage. “I’ve been washing all the clothes, cleaning the house, cooking the food, etc. I can’t take care of you and do good in my classes. You have to start helping.” Through her tears, she said it as nice as she could, but the truth was painful. Sadly, I hadn’t even realized how selfish I had been.
No too long after that, one of the guest speakers in chapel said something about marriage that I have never forgotten. “I have noticed in my life that most of the fights I have with my wife are when I’m focused on my needs and her character. Usually this is when, I want something done, and I’m frustrated by the way she is acting. God has been teaching me that I need to focus on my character. Am I being patient? Am I being kind? etc. And I need to pay more attention to her needs. That’s the more loving thing to do.”
FOCUS ON YOUR CHARACTER AND YOUR SPOUSES NEEDS, NOT THEIR CHARACTER AND YOUR NEEDS
From time to time (more often than I would like to admit), I fall back into some old habits. As they say, “God’s not finished with me yet!” But overall, it’s helped alot to change my focus.
What area of your character has God been challenging you on?
What needs does your spouse have that you could been meeting?