The reader's question that we attempted to answer today is this.
What do you wish you knew before you were married?
I think it is absolutely vital for a couple to prepare ahead of time for marriage. This is one area that I was not fully prepared in, and wish that I had been.
I wish that I had known and had prepared for the amount of unselfishness a good marriage strives on.
I believe, now, that unselfishness is one of the biggest gifts I can bring to my marriage. I got married as a young, naive, and selfish girl. It has taken me a lot of years to understand the importance of dieing to self and living an unselfish life for my husband (and my children). Unfortunately, this is a daily battle for me. I am constantly struggling with my flesh in this area. I know with all my heart that unselfishness is a good thing, but it is an entirely different matter to actually live unselfishly on a daily basis. Thankfully, I was never asked to do it in my own strength, rather through the power of Jesus living in and through me. I am working on living everyday trying to "out serve" my husband, which is hard to do! One reason is that my husband is a really great servant, and another reason is that my flesh is so weak!
Many of you know the battle that I face with fear. It is a huge sin area in my life. And to be honest, to be unselfish, is scary - it makes me fearful. Satan is really good at feeding me some of these lies about being unselfish:
If I am unselfish that leaves me vulnerable to my husband, and I could be taken advantage of.
If I am unselfish than my needs will never be met, and I will be miserable.
If I am unselfish than I cannot be happy, because I will be too busy emptying myself to make someone else happy.
Truly they are all lies straight from the father of lies. I am already in a relationship where I am loved perfectly - that relationship is with Jesus. There is nothing left that I need. God will bless me for my unselfishness, He will fulfill my desires and my needs and give me JOY beyond earthly happiness.
I John 4:18-19 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first
I am a work in progress, almost ten years into this marriage, and I am just beginning to learn what it is to be truly unselfish. I didn't enter my marriage this way, and I wish that I had. Here are three areas that I am begging God to chip away at and grow me in when it comes to my selfishness within marriage:
- Understand my husband's needs and strive to care more for his needs than my own. This can only happen when I truly understand the grace that God has imparted on my life, and the fact that this is how God relates to me. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
- By being willing to sacrifice for my husband even if that sacrifice comes at my own expense. It's easy for me to talk about being unselfish, but to actually do it takes sacrificial action on my part. A godly, wonderful marriage is made up of sacrifices. Yes, sometimes big sacrifices, but the real, constant ones are those little everyday sacrifices. Those are the ones I am trying to master. I Corinthians 13:5 Love does not demand its own way.
- To honor the value of my husband. This doesn't mean that I am not valuable, or that I do not have needs. Simply put this means that I give more honor, more appreciation to my husband than to myself. I John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
To read what my husband wishes he knew before marriage click here.
How about you? What do you wish that you had known before marriage?
Thanks for all of the great questions and input that have been emailed and given to us! If you have a marriage topic or question that you would like featured on a Wedded Wednesday post, then please feel free to leave a comment or email me at amomentcherished(at)gmail(dot)com or leave a message on the blog's facebook page.