Hello, My name is Selfish.
Hi Selfish! Welcome to Marriage Busters Anonymous!
Oh, no… not me. You see, I’m just here observing. I don’t have any problems. Really. Wrong person. I’m not actually a marriage buster!
Knowing glances around the group and then the leader announces, “Well Selfish, we are glad you are here. Maybe you will have a better view of your need after our meeting.”
Of course I’m being tongue-in-cheek. Yet there is a grave reality in this little sarcastic story . It’s called “me.” Entering marriage, most people do not believe that they would ever have need to participate in “marriage busters anonymous.” However the sad reality is that most of us are addicted to self and in need of this group, and on a daily basis at that!
I have now been married for three (short) months! And I would have said I was pretty giving, pretty content, pretty non-demanding, pretty stable emotionally, and overall pretty nonchalant.
But I have a confession. On a regular basis Selfish rises up within me. I try to silence her. I tell her she is not welcome. She needs to go sit in a marriage busters anonymous meeting and get help, because left unheeded, she will ruin my marriage!
Selfish, do you want to tell us about you?
Oh no, I already told you… I’m not a problem to my marriage. I’m just observing you all. I’m not like Laziness, Discontent, or Rudeness. They ruin marriages. I don’t.
Oh no? Hmm, Selfish do you listen more to yourself or to your spouse?
Ummm… myself I guess.
Selfish, does your spouse appreciate you when you insist on doing things your way?
Well… no. But you don’t understand. His way was not thought through, his way took longer, his way was harder, his way was just not how it’s done in my family! It’s not my fault that he sided with me in the end!
Selfish, did you pressure him into doing things your way?
No not at all! I simply told him my side over and over. And then I whined a bit when he had a different idea. But he said he wanted to know my opinion! I just told him plainly! It is not my fault. I’m still not a marriage buster!
Selfish, who do you wake up thinking about?
Selfish, would you be able to go a whole day without voicing your opinion?
Me! Are you serious! No way! Why would I have to do that!? My opinion is best after all!
Ok, alright! I guess I do talk a lot! But really, I am not a problem!
Ok, ok. I guess I might have a tiny thing to do with busting a marriage. Are you sure I’m just as bad as Rudeness? I mean she really gets her spouse’s goat!
Selfish, in this group, Marriage Busters Anonymous, we all strive to recognize our own part in damaging relationships. None of us are healthy. That is why we are here! We want to change! We don’t want to be a marriage buster! Look around this group. We have Rudeness, Laziness, and Discontent (who you’ve already noticed). But look who else is here admitting they bust up relationships: Loudness, Demanding, Jealousy, Unforgiveness, Pretense, Resentment. We are all here, because like you, we actually came to Marriage Busters Anonymous seeking help. I think you actually do realize you are a problem in your marriage. That is why you are here. Hang out with us for awhile … next week we have a special speaker coming to share with us how to not be a marriage buster. Her name is Love. She may bring her friends Grace and Unity. Be sure to come!
I recently watched the animated movie, Inside Out. And guess what? I loved it! The whole time I watched I said to the girl next to me, “Maybe it’s the psychologist coming out in me, but I really like this movie!” I liked how it depicts a person, from the feelings within her head! And I liked that as the girl grew she learned that all the feelings had a place, but that they needed to work together. If you haven’t seen it, I actually recommend that movie! But truly, in any relationship, marriage or otherwise, when we place ourselves on the throne of our lives, problems occur.
Let’s be women who spend time with God, asking Him to be on the rightful throne of our lives. Let’s be women who seek love and grace and unity above self, resentment, rudeness, or any other harmful attitudes that vie for attention within our hearts. Joni Erickson Tada wrote once that after her accident she started to learn that even the tiniest irritation could be a chance to respond with righteousness. Marriage is showing me that I am very selfish in ways I never even knew! I am learning afresh that this is a time to respond by seeking God first! My husband is not responsible for my attitude. I am. And honestly, often it is my selfishness that fights for priority, when he has neither said nor done anything wrong! I was reading a book recently and reminded of James 4:1 – “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” Passions in other versions is stated as lusts, selfish desires, or pleasures. Dear ladies, it is that within us (the god of self) that causes problems in any relationship. Press on to master self, and let God rule!