Selfishness is the antithesis of love. Love says "how can I help and serve you" while selfishness says, "how can you help and serve me". But most real-life selfishness isn't that blatant. It's much more subtle.
I've been reading and thinking quite a bit lately about classical ethics and the philosophies of morality. What makes an action, attitude, or thought truly "good" or moral? (Bear with me.) This has led me to think much more critically about my motivations for how I love Selena. Am I showing her "love" most when I want something from her? Am I "thinking of her" only when I'm actually thinking of myself and seeking to gain something from the transaction. Do I "serve" her when it's really a subtle form of serving myself?
In all my studies of the great moral philosophers (Kant, Aristotle, and the like), it seems that they circle around and touch on a truth that is clear in Scripture: "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." (Phil 2:3) In a sentence, Paul settled the morality debate. But how can we possibly have pure motives all the time?
There's only one answer: Jesus.
Later in the same passage, Paul talks about Jesus, who had every right to be served by us (you know, as the Son of God, a perfect man, and the King of Kings, etc), but instead, in love, he did the opposite: "he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil 2:8) That's love.
The only way we can possibly love our spouses with unselfish motives is by being transformed by the unselfish love of God in Christ. When we see him for who he truly is and we see ourselves for who we truly are, there is only one response: worship!! From that point on, every pure action, deed, and motive now has a source from which to flow.
May your love for your wife or husband flow from the love you've experienced in Christ. May your marriage road be one of selflessness instead of selfishness. And may you find all you need in Christ himself!
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