What have you probably heard is the number one problem in marriage. Often cited as the number one problem is the lack of communication. I don’t believe that’s the case. It’s a problem, but not the main problem. The lack of communication is purely a symptom of a deeper problem. The number one problem in marriage is…SELFISHNESS.
Selfishness means “seeking one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.”
Everyone struggles with selfishness. We all want what we want when we want it. We were born this way. You don’t have to teach a small child how to say “gimme, gimme” when they see a toy they want that someone else has.
Are You A Sucker?
The leech has two daughters.
‘Give! Give!’ they cry.
Proverbs 30:15 (NIV)
The leech is a parasite that never gets enough. It continually sucks the life out of something.
There are two relationship types.
1) the parasitic relationship, where one sucks out of the relationship
2) the edifying relationship, where one puts into the relationship
Many times people go into a marriage relationship for what it can provide for them. They want security, affection, companionship, money, sex, to name a few. “Give, give” they cry.
But God wants us to be more focused on others and less focused on ourselves.
Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
1 Corinthians 10:24 (NKJV)
How often do we enter into marriage thinking, what can I do to make this other person’s life more fulfilling? Rarely.
Living a life of selfishness will hinder a person from receiving from God.
Personally, this area hit me right between the eyes. I was sucking out of our marriage. Constantly I was in the mindset of why won’t my wife do this or that. I wanted her to give to me. Concern about what I could give to her without expecting something in return was not a part of my thinking.
Respect, honor, kindness, and self-worth were things I was requiring from her. But God held a mirror up in front of me. The picture was ugly. I saw just how selfish I was and that I was being a parasite in our marriage. Edifying our marriage and building up my wife by seeking to only meet her needs were things that I wasn’t doing at all. Since then, God has been helping me to turn it around so as to constantly seek to put my wife’s well-being first…and without expecting anything at all in return.
We shouldn’t always be thinking about ourselves and only what we need. We should walk in love, unselfishly thinking of others and their benefit more than our own. When we walk in love and bless others, we can expect God to take care of our needs in the process.
Don’t suck the life out of your marriage by always seeking to get and never giving.