Most of us don’t have a generous nature. Selfishness drives us to satisfy our own desires before those of our mate. During his time on earth, Jesus is perpetually concerned with the needs of others. Throughout His ministry we consistently see how He reaches out to those around Him. When surrounded by people, He has compassion on them. He never puts His needs above theirs. In Luke 6:38, Jesus tells us, “Give and it will be given unto you.” The Lord personally assures us if we give to others first, our needs will be met later.
From personal experience, I know about putting me above we. Doris grew up in a wonderful Christian home where life revolved around serving others. I did not. It’s amazing how this fact impacted our later marital life.
When Doris and I first got married in 1973, I frequently viewed my new status as an opportunity to get what I wanted. After all, we now had two incomes! Over the years I fulfilled my need for classic cars. (I suppose I was on a life-long quest to rectify my stupidity for wrecking the 1957 Chevy I had in 1967). When we got engaged in 1972, Doris had a ‘65 Mustang. We drove it our first year together, then swapped it for a ‘68 Stang. I liked the idea of having sportier cars, so those are the kind we drove. Over the years, we owned a ‘66 Cuda, a ‘70 Camero LT, a ‘64 Malibu, a ‘69 Chevelle, and a ‘78 Triumph TR7 (motorcycle). Although there were safer and more comfortable vehicles to choose from, it seemed like we always drove what I wanted. Sweet as always, Doris never chided or scolded me about the cars I selected. She always kept a positive spirit about these cars and let me have my way. Selfishly, I assumed I was making her happy by letting her make me happy. How lame was I?
Our last classic was a ‘77 Vette. I kept that beauty waxed and in the garage, while her car weathered outside. But one day, I woke up to realize she had never once driven “our” Vette in three years. She was afraid someone would hit her and wreck it. Doris knew how that would make me feel. Regarding cars, I had finally allowed the Holy Spirit to show me – it’s not about me: it’s about we. I was ashamed of my self-centered attitude and sold the Vette soon after. Could I buy another classic car? Sure. But I won’t. I vowed never to buy another car that was all about me, rather than we. I promised myself to drive cars Doris personally selects.
We love each other deeply and our marital life has always been great. But after I had this wake-up-call from God, our marital life is even better. Don’t be like I once was – oblivious to the needs of your mate. Observe what goes on around you and focus on what concerns your spouse. Ask the Lord to help you set aside your selfish nature and follow His example. Experience the joy of “we” – rather than “me”. Put the other first and receive His promised benefits.