Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21
A friend complained about her husband’s refusal to help with any household chores. They both worked full-time and had kids, but he felt he didn’t have to help around the house for some reason.
Do you ever fall into the trap of being a selfish spouse? Maybe your selfishness is more subtle than what I described above. You may think your time after work relaxing and decompressing is just “me” time, but is it actually selfishness? Do you think about ways you can serve your spouse or focus on how you don’t feel your needs are being met?
As we talk about selfishness, ask the Lord to expose any areas of selfishness in your marriage relationship. Here are some things to do when you want to be an unselfish spouse.
Be a good listener. I have mentioned before how valuable open communication is in a marriage. Taking time each week to sit down and get honest with your spouse can help prevent minor issues from turning into big problems. Ask your spouse if there are things you do that are selfish? And then, be quiet. Listen and absorb the response. It may sting a bit, but allow the Lord to use your spouse’s words to expose any areas of selfishness.
Be willing to change. Are you more concerned with your well-being than your spouse? Do you seek your own comfort first? Do you find yourself demanding that things are done your way? You may be a selfish spouse. The Lord wants us to love others above ourselves. If your spouse has shared areas where you are being selfish, be willing to make some changes to improve.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Be humble. There is something so beautiful about humility with our spouse. The act of putting someone else’s needs before our own. The act of zipping our lips long enough to hear what our spouse is observing. It takes humility. Every day, ask the Lord to clothe you in humility so the selfish, sinful person can be crucified with Christ. Marriage takes significant doses of humility.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
When we strive to serve each other, we can see our relationships strengthen as we become more like Christ in our marriages.