Marriage, the Selfless Approach

Selflessness is best defined as putting the needs, interests, and wishes of others before oneself. It is a sacrificial virtue. A true life of selfless love will summon us to some degree of suffering, endurance, humility, sacrifice, and faith.



Love goes back to God. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This Scripture tells us of the quality love God has for humanity. He did not just love us, but He 'so' loved us that He gave of Himself a ransom for lost humanity. This love of God is an awesome selfless sacrifice demonstrated by Jesus Christ when He abandoned His will for that of the Father.


Selflessness is best defined as putting the needs, interests, and wishes of others before oneself. It is a sacrificial virtue. We might think to ourselves that it is impossible to be totally self-denied, but it is possible. The Lord has given us the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our spouse is as close a neighbor as we can find. The Lord will not ask of us something we cannot do. But we must keep in mind that daily self-denial does not come naturally for us; it is a spiritual act, and we need the Lord’s help to accomplish it.



The Price and the Prize

A true life of selfless love will summon us to some degree of suffering, endurance, humility, sacrifice, and faith. The first book of Corinthians chapter 13 says it best. Here we find that love cannot be truly experienced by reason of feelings or merit. True love must be administered by a conscious decision to selflessly give of one’s person regardless of potential or present unworthiness of the recipient. Loving selflessly is a choice.


Ephesians 5:22-25 give us the keys to marriage success. Husband, how can you truly love your wife as Christ loves the church if not selflessly? Wife, how can you submit to your husband in everything as unto the Lord if not selflessly? Jesus tells us that if we will come after Him, we must first deny ourselves, then take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). We believe discipleship begins at home.


How fortified our marriages might be should the Christian couple decide to carefully watch over every thought, word, and deed as it pertains to his or her spouse? What if we decide to die daily to our own selfish ways and look after the good of our spouse? What if we decide to forgive every offense for Christ’s sake? The family, the church, the community, and society at large would be revolutionized!



The Call and the Challenge to Change

So, how about your marriage? Could you use a good change? Is there room for improvement? The word of God beacons every believer to take his or her marriage by God’s sufficient grace to a new level of pure selflessness. This is what the Lord requires, and it is what we should deliver.


Much of the church seems to have been taken by the winds of marital unfaithfulness and divorce. The Lord sees the painful state of His Body, and He is not pleased. He wants us to change. Should we inquire of any person who once traveled the grim road of marital dysfunction and divorce, we can be certain that the victim would attest to the fact that selfishness played a major part in the destruction of his or her marital relationship.


Marital unfaithfulness and discord can cause us to forfeit our reward in the kingdom of God—it is that serious. We have been called to love selflessly, and we are well able. Selflessness is a garment we must put on daily.


Statistics speaks to the fact that approximately one half of marriages today end in divorce. Unfortunately, much of this data is reflected in the Christian community, and this is a shocking and sad fact. The good news is, we do not have to be participants in the statistics of marriage dysfunction and divorce. Choose to live your marriage God's way. We can do this!