Nick and Sally loved Central Park in Manhattan. It was the place where they used to stroll hand in hand and take romantic horse carriage rides in the spring before they tied the knot. This time, however, the purpose of their walk was different. They met there to hash out the ever-increasing conflicts present in their marital relationship.
In the heat of the discussion, Sally suddenly exclaimed, "Nick, you are so self-absorbed and selfish! How dare you buy yourself that fancy car without even asking me. You refuse to help out around the house, and you are not engaged in the needs of our children. Furthermore, I need to mention that you are micromanaging me on every front, including my expense account! You seem to forget that we both work hard, yet only seem concerned about your needs, desires, and dreams. What about mine? I am afraid that we are moving apart at lightning speed. If I am being totally honest, I am preparing to seek counsel about my rights in this marriage." Nick turned around, looking shocked, and responded to Sally, "What about me? I have rights, too!"
Can you relate?
You may be thinking there is nothing wrong with fighting for your rights. It is true that we all have a need to care for ourselves, and yes, we are equal partners in this relationship, but I would like you to consider the following paradigm shift. It could change the trajectory of your marriage, family, future:
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."
Galatians 5:13-15 NIV
When it comes to relationships, especially in marriage, one of the most common human weaknesses is the tendency to prioritize our own desires, needs, and wants above serving our partner with humility and love. Paul reminds us that we are free and that in loving your spouse just as you love yourself, you are fulfilling God's law. Neglecting to do so can lead to self-destruction ("devouring ourselves") in the form of separation, divorce, isolation, loneliness, and depression. When the two people in the marriage love each other, and look out for ways to help and serve each other, they can experience a future filled with hope.
Drs. JM & Anita Arrunategui / Canva pro/Excerpt: "The DNA of sin is selfishness"/P. Tripp
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