Philippians 2:3, 4

 

Clip – Caleb gives up his dream boat to show Catherine how much he loves her.

 

Caleb gave up his dream, his boat that he had been saving for to meet the need of his mother-in-love.

Meeting her need met Catherine’s’ biggest need.

 

What have you given up for your spouse?  Love is not self-seeking, love gives, love sacrifices.

 

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 

This was the example of Jesus as the passage continues.  Jesus left Heaven and became a man, and was obedient to death on the cross. Caleb followed Jesus’ example in the video.

 

How are you doing?  You may not have an extra $24,000 saved up but you could spend less money on yourself and more on your spouse.

Remember the story of Jim and Della in The Gift of the Magi – They both sacrificed to buy a gift for the other.

Maybe you do not have extra money but you have time, 5 min., 30 min., or an hour to do what your spouse has been asking you to do.  The issue is living an unselfish life; a life of a servant.

 

Matthew 20:26 … Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

That is the attitude we need in our marriage.  I am your servant because I want to be like Jesus.

 

Why sacrifice for them, they won’t appreciate it or make any sacrifices for me. You be faithful to Jesus and allow Him to give you strengthen and patience as you wait on your spouse to follow Him too.

 

In the movie, Catherine was in the process of divorcing Caleb when he gave up his dream boat for Catherine’s mother’s medical needs.  He was putting actions to his apology for being selfish (we discussed last week).

 

He could have made this sacrifice of love and still lost Catherine. Would it have been worth it?  Would it have been the right thing to do anyway?  Yes!

Caleb’s unselfish act of love melted Catherine’s heart.  Why not give it another try to be unselfish?

But even if it does not melt the other person’s heart it is still the right and Godly thing to do.

Do what is right even if others do not.

 

Love unconditionally and selflessly and reflect God’s love.

You may not get what you want or what you think you deserve but you will have a clear conscience knowing you were obedient to God’s will.  I guarantee that if you live an unselfish life the ones you love will notice it and appreciate it.

 

Be careful that you do not try to live a martyr’s life. Don’t use your sacrifices to manipulate others or to make yourself look holy.  You must check your attitude and motives.

 

 

 

When you choose to met your needs rather than your spouse’s needs you are choosing who is more important.

You are choosing yourself and your needs over the needs of your spouse.  You are being selfish.

 

“Your selfish” – no one likes to hear that but it is time you evaluated how you live.

Have you ever been accused of being selfish?

Are you a selfish person?

Ask a close Christian friend if they see any selfish tendencies in you.

 

Selfish people are uncaring and very “Me” centered. A selfish person always puts their wants and needs first.  They are so selfish they don’t even notice that you have needs that are not being met.

Do you see the needs of others around you?

Maybe you are not selfish – do you meet the other persons needs?

 

Selfish people are manipulative and scheming – when you become selfish you fear of losing control. Selfish people control situations and people.

 

Evaluate your motives and make sure you are not selfish.

Quick test – when was the last time you did what the other person wanted?  When was the last time you served someone when you really didn’t want to?

If you are having a hard time remembering you may be selfish or have a bad memory.

 

Love others, love your spouse and don’t be selfish.

“Darkness ceases only when light is introduced; So ignorance can only be dispersed by Knowledge; Selfishness by Love.”

When we love we will rid our self of selfishness.

 

Taking care of your needs is not being selfish – meeting only your needs is selfish.

 

Philippians 2:4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 

God wants us to take care of our own needs also. You don’t have to kill yourself to meet the needs of others.  You must take care of your own health or you will burn out and not be able to meet anyone’s needs.

You must fill up your tank. If you give and give and give and never receive you will run out and die on the road.  If your spouse will not fill your tank you need to find a way in Jesus to have your needs met.

 

Be careful because this is where Satan likes to get involved.  I deserve to be treated well and so and so meets that need.  If so and so is of the opposite sex it is wrong, period.  You find a friend of the same sex to encourage you and help you find strength for your emotional needs until your spouse can meet them.

If you are a woman you need to tell your husband what your emotional needs are, men are dumb.

God made us different and we do not understand our wives, educate us, remind us, and please be patient.             Husbands educate your wife as well.  Let them know we are simple beings and not very complicated, so your wife does not over think your needs.

 

Wives want their needs met and so do husbands. Both of you start meeting each other’s needs.  Then everyone is giving and getting.  It is a beautiful circle of love – just what your wedding rings represent.

 

Do you love conditionally or unconditionally – I will do it if she does, if he is not going to meet my needs then I’m not going to meet his. This will only make your marriage end in divorce.  No one will ever give the effort to love unconditionally.  Therefore, neither of you will love and you will both blame the other person for not meeting your needs in the future and in the past.  Refusing to give this extra effort will doom your marriage to be miserable.

 

Love unconditionally don’t put conditions on your love. Love like God loves us.  Love your spouse unconditionally just like you love your children.

 

What does unconditional love look like?

 

Philippians 2:5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

 

2 Corinthians 5:15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

 

When you love your spouse, you are loving Jesus.

 

Matthew 25:40  “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 

Love others more than you love yourself.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8  Love never fails.

 

This passage tells us what to do and what not to do if we love unconditionally. The passage in context is how to love each other as Christians.  Obviously, it applies to loving our spouse also.

 

Paul gives us seven traits to do, and eight actions not to do.

How is your love?

Be patient   /  Be kind  /  Do not envy  /  Do not boast  /  Do not be proud  /  Do not be rude  /  Do not be selfish

Do not be angry /  Do not keep records  /  Do not delight in evil  /  Rejoice in truth  /  Protect   /  Trust  /  Hope

Perseveres

 

Which ones do you find easiest? Which ones do you struggle with?

Let your spouse know you struggle and ask for help.  Also, let your spouse know which traits they are good at, encourage them.

 

John 13:34  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

It is a simple command that is hard to follow. But as Christians we must love one another and that means your spouse also.

 

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

 

The one who loves another “covers” the loved one’s sins in the sense that they overlook their offenses against them, real love forgives. If you do not forgive your feelings turn into bitterness and hate.

 

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

 

You can choose to love and forgive or you can choose to be bitter and hate.

It is your choice but if you do not forgive let me remind you that God will not forgive you either.

 

Matthew 6:14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 

Love and forgiveness is difficult but we have the perfect example in Jesus and as Christians we have experienced His love and forgiveness. Share that love and forgiveness.

 

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

What conditions do we have to meet to be loved by God?   NONE

God loves your unconditionally – He loved you while you were a sinner, He died for you.

Praise God for His grace and forgiveness.

 

Jesus gave up His life to show you His love.

What are you willing to give up to show your love to your spouse?

 

1 John 3:16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

 

What are you willing to give up to show you love to Jesus?

 

Do you need to accept His forgiveness today – come as we sing

Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins?

Have you sinned? Are you willing to repent of your sins and follow Jesus?

Have you been baptized into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus commands us to be baptized.

 

If you are a Christian, then make sure you are loving others unconditionally like Jesus loves you.