Selfishness and Marriage
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Paul exhorted the believers at Philippi to walk in
unity and to put away selfish ambition and personal rivalries. This
pattern for relationship in the church may be applied as a guide and
goal for relationship in marriage.
Paul wrote, "Make my joy complete by being of the
same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one
purpose" (Phil 2:2 NASV). Such unity can only be attained as each marriage
partner surrenders his own life to the mind, heart, Spirit, and purposes
Paul explains how to lay hold of this unity:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,
but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as
more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own
personal interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil.
Selfishness is the enemy of the marriage
relationship. The advancing of one's own personal interests (through
self-seeking, self-saving, and self-serving) opposes the cross of Christ
and limits the power of God. God's pattern is that death would work in
me and life in you. Selfish ambition seeks life for me, but releases
death in you.
The cure is humility--to humble oneself, as Jesus
did, "by "becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a
cross" (Phil. 2:8 NASV). It is the only way to receive the oneness and true
intimacy which is God's plan and purpose for each and every couple.
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