One of the greatest benefits of selflessness in a marriage is the example it gives to others. When those others are living in the house with you, share your last name, and look like the both of you (aka your children) the impression is far greater than we can imagine.
Here’s a fact. Children will grow up, and if they marry, they will choose someone exactly like their father (boys) or mother (girls). I have seen this trend almost without exception. Even in the case where the father was absent. I blame traits passed on from mother to daughter in that case. If mom picked badly, daughter will learn that from mom.
If we want our kids to have a great marriage, we’ve got to model it for them. Dads… want your daughter to choose a great guy? Be a great man! What your son to learn how to treat his wife? Model that behavior by treating his mother with respect (and demanding he do the same).
Seems like a lot of work. Not really. If we can focus on being selfless, sacrificial spouses, as the Bible says, “All these things will be added unto you.” Being a great natural example is a side-effect of a great marriage.
Men, when we love our wives properly, we’re teaching our sons how to do it and our daughters what to demand. Wives, when you love your husband properly you’re teaching your sons that inner goodness is rewarded, not an outward image and your daughters that a lasting love is the only thing worth giving herself to.
Comments? Feedback? Is anyone even reading this crizzle? Leave a comment for the love!
There was once a Farmer. A foolish man indeed.
He was angry at his crops for staying in their seeds.
He needed food so badly; himself, his wife, and daughter.
The plants refused to grow so he refused them any water.
— James Kennison
I wrote that up to illustrate how the Golden Rule applies to marriage. Firstly, what is the Golden Rule? Do to others what you would have them do to you. Or you could say, treat others how you want to be treated. In the context of marriage you’d say, love your spouse the way you want them to love you.
How many spouses who need to be loved by a husband or wife are like that Farmer? Like the Farmer wants food from a plant he won’t water, they hold back their love and will only give it on the condition that their spouse loves them first. Our goal may be to show a spouse it feels… to give them a taste of their own medicine… but in doing so we’re actually robbing them of the resources they need to even consider giving love in the first place.
If you’ve been holding back hoping to show a souse how it feels… consider changing your tactic and incorporating the Golden Rule into your relationship. Give before it’s given. Treat the other how they should be treating you. Love them how you want to be loved by them. It’ll take time to see the results, just like a seed takes time to grow and produce fruit. Just don’t expect fruit from a seed you won’t water.
Most folks will tell you that in a marriage each person has got to give, 50/50. Though it does take two to make it work… true love actually means each person is giving 100% of themselves to the other, independent of what they may or may not receive in return. It is only through selflessness that both are truly fulfilled.
So many marriages today fail because we expect our spouse to fill a void in our lives… to make us happy… and we then hate them when they don’t or can’t. The marriage was doomed for failure from very the beginning because we weren’t going into it to give our love… but to receive it.
There’s a timeless principal in the universe: It is more blessed to give than to receive. It is one of the last undisputed truths in the world. It holds true both on Christmas morning and in our marriages. Fulfillment doesn’t come from getting what you need… but in giving what you are to someone else. Because in giving ourselves completely, we by default open ourselves up, showing who we are and where are true needs are. And because we are giving selflessly, it sparks the same response in them (eventually) and our needs are met by default.
We’re really just talking about unconditional love here. One of the most impossible things for a human to give in life… but one of the only things that will keep a marriage thriving. We’re afraid to give it because all to often it is abused before it is appreciated. It’s abused because it must be tested. And tested before it can be trusted. Hang in there. Give love to your spouse unconditionally and it will do it’s work. True love never fails.
But what about my needs? Give and it will be given to you. Do for others and it will be done for you. Meet their needs and your needs will be met. Any other way leads to complete misery.
What does it take to be happy with your life, marriage and family? Jenn and I share our thoughts on living outside your own pursuit of happiness.
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