Love is neither selfish nor self seeking. Love is not all about self. This is very difficult for all of us because we are basically selfish. We see this in toddlers and it does not change much as we grow older. We have to be taught to think of others and even then, we often do it for a benefit to ourselves. We want to be thought well of or we want to be liked. We want to do what is socially acceptable or we may realize that good manners, thinking of others, is necessary for success. All of this is true. We like others who think of others, who are socially acceptable, who have good manners and who basically communicate that they like us! However, it is only the Lord Jesus Christ who can teach us to love others with an unselfish love because He is love and He loves with an unconditional love. God’s love expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ, changes a life when it comes into a person’s life. His love floods the heart and the recipient of His love is never the same. God’s love is a force more powerful than anything else and His love changes the person. His love is the only power that can change the world. Abraham was called a friend of God because Abraham had experienced the love of God and his life was changed. God had promised Abraham the land of Canaan. However, there came to be strife between the herdsmen of Abraham and the herdsmen of Lot. There was not enough room in the land for all of their livestock when they were living together. They needed space for their livestock. Abraham had every right to choose first but he gave the first choice to Lot, his nephew.
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.” Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord. Genesis 13:8-13
Love considers the other more important than one’s own self. This is Godlike love. Lot chose the best land and Abraham took the other part of the land. One can only live this way on a continual basis if one has the love of Christ within them. This is what makes a great marriage and it is when each one considers the needs of the other more important than their own needs. Your needs will always be met if you will trust the Lord, not necessarily when and how you want them met, but they will be met. It is anxiety and selfishness that often makes us pursue our needs and often, they are not really needs but “wants” anyway. Mature love considers another’s needs over their own. This kind of love is learned from the Lord. He will teach you to love with His kind of love. You will be blessed even more than the recipient for you will find that there is One far greater who will look after your interests and needs. He is faithful and you will never be forgotten or forsaken. Yes, this is a life of faith. Faith in the One who loves you far more than you can imagine and who laid down His life for you.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11
Most of us will admit that when we got married we thought we knew about love but once we were married we realized that our love for another was not very mature. Most problems in marriage, if not all problems, are from selfishness or conceit. We really think that we are somebody important and when another does not think that we are as important as we would like to think we are, then we get offended and often get an attitude. If the attitude is not corrected then it affects our behavior. If our behavior is not corrected then it affects the relationship and before we realize it we really don’t care for our partner because we feel that they don’t really care about us. We are all very selfish and into ourselves. Unless that changes then there is not hope for any happy relationship. The problem is not with the other partner but the problem is within. Only Jesus Christ can change a person from within. You must come to Him and allow Him to change you. He is the only hope for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Go to Him and ask Him to come into your life to be your Lord and Savior before you get married. If you are married then go to Him. He is is a present help in time of trouble. It is His will that you have a loving and fulfilling marriage. He will help you.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17
Jesus Christ can make you into a new person and He can also renew your marriage. Come to Him if you need help. Come to Him if you have tried and failed. Come to Him.