Help for the Selfish Christian Marriage

Selfishness is one of the major obstacles to Christian marital communication. It harms the marital trust and divides its friendship. It results in a spouse failing to listen, trying to dominate the conversation, failing to respect and appreciate the views of one’s spouse. It ushers in critical angry manners, competition and builds resentments which can last a lifetime.

Selfishness also markedly impairs the ability to provide the sacrificial love required in raising children. For example, when a baby arrives there is an unlimited amount of giving and self-sacrifice required of the parents. Can a parent who is practiced in selfish ways suddenly become unselfish when attending to the needs of a demanding baby? Sadly, the answer to this question is usually no.

One of the major causes of excessive anger in marriages is the result of a narcissistic conflicts in a spouse. In a sense, the type of selfishness we usually see at the Day Spring Center can be called narcissism light. While not as horrible as true narcissism selfishness of this sort is nevertheless quite destructive. These individuals regularly engage in all sorts of controlling behaviors and then overreact in anger if they cannot have their own way.

Most self centered spouses are resistant to therapy and want to blame all the marital problems on the other spouse. In turn, this results in more conflicts, arguments, etc.

Certainly we see behaviors of this sort being encouraged in the media as well as the classroom. Issues of entitlement, success, etc. fill our every news day. Yet we know as Christians this me focused world view has no place in our faith walk.

We are challenged to live and behave with kindness, love, humility, service to others, responsibly, with faith, love, and with forgiveness. And, most importantly, we are exhorted to behave Christ-like. Are we following God’s commandment to “Love our neighbor as ourselves” …and, isnt our spouse our neighbor. How about our enemies, if we are to pray for our enemies, doesnt it stand to reason to be kind tour our own spouse? Are we not one with our spouse?”.Mathew 22:39 We are one. Genesis 2:24

We are not called to make our spouse or our children happy. This is a common error most Christians make. Our task is to help them become Holy ( happiness then follows).
Nor are we, ourselves, to seek happiness in this world but rather we are to seek the fellowship of Yahweh Elohim, our God, and His Son, Yeshua, (Jesus). Indeed fellowship of this sort produces an abundance of joy even though joy is not to be earnestly sought.

To overcome the selfishness in your life seek first the fellowship of God.
1.Desire in your heart to live as He would have you live. Interestingly, we are promised that if we seek first the kingdom of God all needful things will be provided to us.
2.We also need to help our family members to live this way.

At first this may seem to be a goal too high to achieve, but its not too hard. In fact as you work on it you will quickly realize how pleasant it is. You will notice a gentling of your own spirit and a quiet peace which is hard to explain coupled with a sense of wellness resulting in the reawakening of your marriage.

In short, the key to overcoming selfishness in your marriage is to act the way Christ told you to act. Its really that simple. But simplicity can be misleading. Virtuous behavior takes hard work and commitment. So does following Our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are truly Christian, we will work for the salvation of our souls as well as for those of our family members. We cannot behave in a way contrary to anyone’s salvation, including our own. We need to ask ourselves how WE can improve, how WE can improve our behavior, and how WE choose to live and Love. Do we want to live fulfilled marriages and lives? Do we want our spouse and children to be in Christ too? If we do, this takes work, effort and selflessness on our parts. We need to do whatever it takes.

Lastly, each one of us, individually, not our spouse, not anyone else, is responsible for our behavior and attitude. At the end of our lives, WE alone will give an accounting of our lives, our actions, and our behaviors, when we face the Lord Jesus Christ. Begin today: Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14

Dr. Boylan is both a pastor and a counselor. He offers twenty six years face to face counseling experience and a diverse counseling background ranging from traditional settings to working within the U.S. Military Academy at West Point New York.

His professional credentials include a Master of Divinity degree, Master of Science, Clinical Psychology degree and a Doctorate in Behavioral Psychology. His approach to counseling is to the point and spiritually empowering, delivering clear ethical solutions to serious life issues.

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