When I return to the Word it is easy to see why a Christian is called to be humble and selfless. We have done nothing right and yet have everything good. I have done nothing right and have everything good, so I have nothing to boast in and everything to give. I have been able to tell, most of the time, when Laura or I have been out of the Word for a time because we begin to veer from these traits. We both become selfishly focsed and desire that the other would meet our needs and be attentive to us. We both begin to draw attention to ourselves to build ourselves up. In this moment we begin to crawl back onto the throne of our hearts and deny the Lord glory so that we might receive it for ourselves.
This realization has fleshed out a truth that I knew, but did not fully understand. I agreed with, but could not give a satisfactory answer as to why. This truth was presented to Laura and I during our premarital counselin- The most important thing that we can bring to our relationship is our personal relationships with the Lord. By falling more and more in love with the Lord and understanding more and more of who he is and what he has done I lose sight of myself. Once I lose sight of myself, the Lord can do anything He wants through me. The moment I resist sanctification and the Spirit’s prompting to act is the same moment I become aware of and consider my own desires again.
I always seem to maintain a level of skepticism toward an idea as long as it remains theoretical. Once it is tested and proven on some level, an idea begins to gain my allegiance. This is the same way I felt at first with the book Love and Respect. This was not because of the content, but just because I am empirically minded and skeptical. My skepticism has almost subsided since I realized something and that something is that the one thing that melts my heart more than anything else is Laura's consideration for me. She maintains an awareness of the things that she says and the attitude that she maintains towards me and she does not wait for me to address something for us to talk about it. Her consideration of me shows me respect and it comes through selflessness that can only be maintained by a proper mindset fixed on Truth. Her respect for me transposes to respect for our relationship. When we both place value on our relationship we both take ownership and we become teammates. Laura does not wait for me to address an issue hoping that it will pass by. She takes ownership as well and we talk about it. One reason that this means so much to me is because there is a lot of truth in the fact that a man can be crushed and nobody ever know. Even the most masculine and solid men have a hard time talking about the things that, in some way or another, hurt their feelings because we are not taught to be, much less how to become, vulnerable. In my mind that is to victimize myself, but when Laura wants to know how I responded to something she said it gives me freedom to explain without being a victim. When Laura considers and respects me there is a level of love that wells up inside me that I cannot anticipate. It is a self-feeding cycle, either for intimacy or for distance.
When I show Laura that I love her and she shows that she respects me, I long to be with her. I thoroughly enjoy being with her because it becomes a safe place for me. I have also noticed the opposite to be true. The only times that I have been resistant to Laura (spending time with her or meeting her needs) are when she becomes selfishly focused because of time spent away from Scripture. I become the same way. When I am apart from Scripture I become selfish and demand respect and recognition for what I am doing at the present time. Left to ourselves we resist each other. This is because whatever gets our attention is the only thing that will keep our attention.