Selfishness is the Cause of All Marital Problems
When a married couple continually experiences marital problems, it is usually due to one thing: selfishness. This is because selfishness is the complete opposite of love. “Love does not seek its own” (1 Cor. 13:5). Instead, it is more concerned with the well being of others.
Selfishness has many faces. It can look like self-righteousness, self-will, self-justification or self-indulgence. In addition, it can be bold or subtle. For instance, one person may angrily insist on having their way, while another may sulk and act indifferent towards their spouse until they get their way. Both forms of selfishness are equally harmful to a marriage.
How to Save a Relationship from Selfishness
Be honest with yourself about your thoughts and motives. Selfish thoughts turn into selfish actions. Therefore in order to eliminate selfishness in your marriage, you must be willing to look critically at the way you think about yourself and your spouse. For instance, if you think you are better or smarter than your spouse, you won’t be able to stop yourself from acting self-righteous. The only way to change your actions is to replace selfish thoughts with self-less ones.
Ask for God’s revelation and conviction. As a Christian, you can ask God to reveal to you the areas where selfishness reigns in your life. God’s revelation shows you where you are going wrong and his conviction gives you the motivation to change.
Confess your selfishness to your spouse. Once you have identified the selfish attitudes, motives and that are causing your marital problems, confess them to your spouse. This will bring healing and a renewed intimacy to your marriage. Don’t let pride keep you from being humble and honest with your spouse.
Deny yourself and choose love. If you want a healthy and happy marriage, you must choose to deny your selfish desires. This means being more concerned about your spouse’s well being than your own. Obviously, denying yourself isn’t easy but if you surrender to the Holy Spirit, you will have the power to follow through with it.
Also, look at the selfish attitudes and actions you identified earlier and just start doing the complete opposite. For instance, if you are used to getting angry or sulking in order to get your way, try compromising instead.
Knowing that selfishness is the cause of all marital problems puts you one step closer to having a healthier and happier marriage. Now all you have to do is to identify the areas where selfishness reigns in your marriage and strive to be more selfless in those areas.