Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Yesterday we talked about trust in marriage where we can count on our spouse to treat us properly and to be reliable in the basic responsibilities of life. Today’s focus is on one responsibility that wasn’t mentioned yesterday. It involves being reliable to take the responsibility of marriage so seriously that the hard work of becoming the best spouse possible actually takes place. In looking at this we are shifting from whether we can trust our spouse, to whether our spouse can trust us. The hard work of becoming the best spouse possible is all about sacrifice and selflessness.
Today’s Scripture does a great job of helping us understand sacrifice and we are going to employ it in the same way we did with a passage earlier in the week. Both passages describe the kind of relationships that should exist between brothers and sisters in Christ. From the earlier passage we gained a code for love and reconciliation in marriage. From today’s passage we will gain a code for sacrifice and selflessness in marriage. Again, rather than expounding on the passage, let’s just adapt it a bit for married couples.
“Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make complete the joy of others who are rooting for you and supporting you by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard your spouse as more important than yourself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of your spouse.”
So, meditate on this and employ it as fully as possible in your marriage. If you do, your spouse will readily see that the hard work of your becoming the best spouse possible is actually taking place. Your sacrifice and selflessness we give them the confidence that they can count on your reliability over the long haul to fulfill in a consistent and complete way the responsibility of being married.
We will conclude today’s considerations by qualifying things in a couple of important ways. First, being sacrificial and selfless in marriage doesn’t mean giving up your identity and no longer being your own person. Marriage was never meant to be one person’s life being swallowed up by the other. Marriage is about encouraging and helping each other become everything God wants each of you to become and delighting in it fully. Second, being sacrificial and selfless in marriage doesn’t mean being a doormat for your spouse to walk all over. Abuse in marriage is never acceptable. Recognizing genuine sacrifice and selflessness and freely giving ourselves to it is God’s call for us in marriage.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I know that you know what becoming a sacrificial person means for me in my marriage. Help me to sacrifice for my marriage partner in the ways you want me to. Help me to follow the code of today’s Scripture. Change me and use me to bless the special person in my life with a depth of selflessness like they have never known from me before. Amen!
Posted on Sat, August 4, 2018
by Ken Hart