- Orientation. "Love is not Self-Seeking" (v.5). I think this is one of the most difficult parts to get right. People get married because of how 'she makes me feel' or how 'he makes me feel'. From the beginning, we're in it because of what our spouse can do for us, not the other way around. It's almost as if we start off at a disadvantage. We have to invert that thinking, turn it inside out, and change our orientation from self-seeking to selfless-seeking. In other words, you've got to put her or his needs above your own. I say at most weddings, "From this day forward, the needs of the one standing next to you now supersede all others, including your own." Love cares more about the well-being of the one who is loved than the one who is loving them. Do you see?
So, ask these questions: Do I put my spouse's needs above my own? Ask your spouse how they feel about themselves and about you in terms of orientation. Are you self- oriented? Put yourself in their shoes. Make them the priority.
If you are dating: "Is my boyfriend, girlfriend or fiancee the kind of person who puts my needs above their own? Or are they selfish and self-seeking?" You do not want to marry someone who will not put you first. If you are dating someone who is mostly self-seeking, look for an exit strategy.
All of us get our orientation out of whack from time to time. Communication is a major factor to getting back on track again.
The funny thing is, when marriage is working right, I serve her needs above my own, she serves mine above her own, and though I'm giving myself away, I'm surprisingly fulfilled. And that's exactly what God had in mind when He gave us the gift in the first place!