My husband and I are reading a book about Marriage. No, not THAT book but this one, 'The Meaning of Marriage' by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller. We read a little each night and have reached Chapter 2: 'The Power for Marriage.'
We read this tonight.
"The principle we have been describing serves as a corrective to a couple of the popular models for "having a satisfying marriage."
There is the conservative approach to marriage that puts a great deal of stress on traditional gender roles. It says that the basic problem in marriage is that both husband and wife need to submit to their God-given functions, which are that husbands need to be the head of the family, and wives need to submit to their husbands. There is a lot of emphasis on the differences between men and women. The problem is that an overemphasis could encourage selfishness, especially on the part of the husband.
There is a more secular approach to marriage that says that the real problem in marriage is that you have to get your spouse to recognize your potential and help you to develop it. You must not let your spouse trample all over you. Self-realization is the goal. You've got to develop yourself in your marriage, and if your spouse won't help you do it, you've got to negotiate. And if your spouse won't negotiate, you've got to get out to save yourself. That, of course, also can just pour gas on the fire of selfishness instead of putting it out.
The Christian principle that needs to be at work is Spirit-generated selflessness - not thinking less of yourself or more of yourself but thinking of yourself less. It means taking your mind off yourself and realizing that in Christ your needs are going to be met and are, in fact, being met so that you don't look at your spouse as your saviour. People with a deep grasp of the gospel can turn around and admit that their selfishness is the problem and that they're going to work on it And when they do that, they will often discover an immediate sense of liberation, of waking up from a troubling dream. They see how small-minded they were being, how small the issue is in light of the grand scheme of things. Those who stop concentrating on how unhappy they are find that their happiness is growing. You must lose yourself to find yourself."