Selfless love. Server your spouse in love.

 

Philippians 2:3-4

 

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

 

Caleb had been saving for several years to buy his dream boat, he had saved $24,000. This money was a point of argument in their marriage because Catherine wanted things fixed up around the house.  Caleb didn’t use the money to fix up the house but to meet a bigger need she had.  He used his money to buy the medical equipment that Catherine’s mother needed.

 

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.  Phil 2:3-4

 

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.

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; meet the needs of others to reflect God’s love.

 

You may ask, “Why sacrifice for them, they won’t appreciate it or make any sacrifices for me.”

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 could have made this sacrifice of love and still lost Catherine.

Would it be worth it? Would it have been the right thing to do anyway?  Yes!

Instead 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.

 

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.  Phil 2:3-4

 

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.  You will be teaching them how to move in the direction of an unselfish life.

 

Be careful here that you do not try to live a martyr’s life. You use your sacrifices to manipulate others or to make yourself look holy.  You must check your attitude and motives.  You must love unconditionally and therefore selflessly meet the other person’s needs.

 

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

You are choosing yourself and your needs over the needs of your spouse or children.  You are being selfish.  SELFISH – no one likes to hear that but it is time you evaluated how you live.

Are you a selfish person?  Have others accused you of being selfish?  Ask a close Christian friend if they see any selfish tendencies in you.

 

I am not saying it is wrong to take care of your own needs.

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

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 have to 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.

Can I have an Amen?

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.

 

Five Needs of Men and Women (Men’s needs seem shallow and women’s needs seem very deep.)

  1. Sexual Fulfillment vs. Affection
  2. Recreational Companionship vs. Conversation
  3. Attractive spouse vs. Honesty and Openness
  4. Domestic Support vs. Financial Support
  5. Admiration vs. Family Commitment

 

Wives want their needs met and so do husbands. Both of you start meeting each others 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.

 

The Robertson’ have a great saying: “We had a godly agreement that we would help each other get to Heaven.”

 

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?

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!  Phil 2:5-8

 

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than             yourselves.  Phil 2:3

 

Nothing selfish – consider others better – think of their needs – Love them

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.  1 Cor 13:4-7

 

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?                   Use the insert to evaluate your life of 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                             — Handout – How are you demonstrating each trait?  —

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.

 

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.”  John 13:34-35

 

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

You have each other so you can weather the storms of life together.

 

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

 

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.

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.  Matt 6:14-15

 

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

 

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

 

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.

 

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.