We are taking a brief pause in our ongoing study in the Book of Acts during this week of Spring Break, and offer this week’s devos as we examine how our foundation of faith impacts our view on marriage. We would love for you to share these devotionals with your friends, if it has impacted you. We will resume our study of Acts on March 18th.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” Philippians 2:3
Life is full of demands – raising kids, working, providing shuttle service, coordinating schedules and grocery shopping. All these tasks can cause a marriage to function more like a business, rather than as passionate friends. Naturally, when a business partner isn’t pulling their weight, or doing their share, they are replaced. With the loss of friendship, it becomes that simple. Find someone else. Unfortunately, couples don’t recover from a split as well as corporations.
Romance requires radical purity of love. And the core of love is living for another’s good, not your own. Much of what passes for romance in the world is mutual self-seeking, however, that caliber of “love” won’t endure. Selfishness eventually alienates the other person.
Selfish ambition and conceit are two of the greatest rivals of devotion and intimacy. An appetite for self is the desire to be number one, no matter the cost. Conceit is the drive to exalt one’s self-importance. Whenever self-love is promoted over the purpose of God, there is sure to be high levels of contention and strife. The only remedy is to practice putting others first.
But God spells it out in Scriptures. Elevate others. Don’t seek your own gain, but look for ways to honor and uplift the other. And, not only did God spell it out, but Jesus lived it out. He showed the world what humility looks like. There was no rivalry or conceit in anything He did. Instead, He always made other’s interests His interest. Through word and deed, He elevated others.
The thrill and wonder of romantic love are qualities that wise couples sustain over decades of intimacy. And, in much the same way, the radiance and fascination of your heavenly romance can consume your thought and actions for a lifetime. Just as you can never reach the end of knowing your spouse, the infinite character of God is a source of unceasing discovery and delight.
Have you been too busy to have a meaningful relationship with your spouse? Find a quiet place to spend an evening with your spouse and talk about the good things in your relationship, you might be surprised by what you hear.