Saturday, May 9, 2009

Verse of the week - James 3:16,17

You can spend your money on that, but I won't spend mine on it.

We took your vacation last year, so now it's my turn.

I have worked hard all week taking care of the kids. I deserve a night off.

You bought that new fishing pole, and now I get a new outfit.

I had to stay home last Friday while you went out, so remember not to make plans this Friday.


Selfishness can weave the fabric of even the most amiable compromise, but a marriage will often struggle rather than thrive in this 50-50 mentality.


We assume as long as we feel we give at least half the energy required to keep our household running, we have done enough. Settle in around the perceived 75% mark and we can pat ourselves on the back and claim dibs for the recliner when anything extra comes up.


James 3:16,17 address just this point saying, "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."


A few problems that I have recognized when this ugly monster of selfishness and envy rears its head in my thinking:

- I can never fairly judge what another person is giving or giving up

- If Jesus had settled for the 50-50 plan I would never be heaven-bound

- No matter how far past "halfway" I tread, I could never earn or deserve my husband's love.

- I'm pretty good at remembering every little detail that I feel I poured into our marriage and family, but am embarrassingly forgetful of (or blind to) some of the great sacrifices my husband has made.


Selflessness is not about what we deserve, or comparing what others have done or not done, or even about keeping life fair. Selflessness comes from a pure heart that desires the best for others. Complete service, expecting nothing in return.


Verse 18 gives the sweet promise if we surrender our rights and seek only to give all. It assures us that if we seek peace (God's peace, not our man-fabricated, "fair" peace) we will plant the seed of God's righteousness in our marriage, in our house, in our relationships.


Rather than stopping when I think I surpassed fifty percent, what would happen if I gave ALL this week?

For where envying and strife is,
there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy.


~James 3:16,17~


Another article with more thoughts along the lines of selflessness in marriage

2 comments:

moofam@hotmail.com said...

Right on!In honor of Mother's Day I am so thankful for the example of my mother who examplified this for us.

Amy said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I need to be reminded of this not so much in my marriage, but in my parenting. Have you ever read any of Gary Thomas' books? They really speak to this. I just finished Sacred Parenting and reviewed it on my blog. If you'd like a "sample," I quoted liberally in my post. : )

I really enjoy your blog!