Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Be a Selfish Pig

I've started reading this book.  I thought I'd start a blog series on it.  The book is called, "The 10 Commandments of Marriage," by Ed Young.  He also wrote, "The 10 Commandments of Dating," which Tyler and I read together while we were, well, dating. :]  That book was great and if you're in the "dating scene," I high recommend that you read it.

Anyway, back to this new series.  I want to share my thoughts, struggles, and goals as I read through this book.  I mean, that's what I started this blog for...to share those things as I learn to be the best wife I can be.  I also need to accountability to finish the book {and to be able to mark it off my book list.}. There are 10 chapters, duh!  So I'm going to write about it one chapter at a time, one time a week.  Besides, the chapters are fairly lengthy and have lots of good stuff in them.

You may ask, "Why are you reading this book?"  Well, my marriage isn't perfect.  Is yours?  God gave me an abled body, mind, and spirit.  He gave me the ability and heart to change.  I don't ever want to be one of those people who say, "That's just the way I am."  WRONG!  That's just an excuse because they don't want to change.  You don't have to be a certain way because you've been that way your whole life...you CAN change. {end soap box}

I always want to be bettering myself as a Christian.  I always want to be looking more and more like Christ and less and less like me.  So all that to say, I'm reading this book to help me gain understanding about how God created marriage to be and to better myself as Tyler's help mate.

This first chapter's commandment was:

Thou Shalt Not Be a Selfish Pig

Humans are selfish by nature.  Our flesh has the need to be selfish, but we don't have to act that way.  Sometimes it's really hard to grasp the concept of putting others first.  I think there has to be a healthy balance, because if you're never putting yourself first, then you get burnt out on life real quick.  I've seen it happen.

Anyway, the author defines what he calls "pigitis," as the disease of selfishness.  He says most anyone can self-diagnose pigitis.  I think that's true...we've all seen people who are so self-absorbed, proud of what they accomplish, and who put themselves first all the time.  But as humans, we are so quick to diagnose others.  What about ourselves?

I'll admit it, my flesh screams out "selfish!"  I go through days where I don't think it's fair that my husband can sit on the couch and watch tv, while I'm doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, and picking up after him.  That's my selfish nature.  I continually have to adjust my attitude and remember it's for him that I'm doing all this stuff.

Ed {yes, we're on a first name basis} talks about how when couples are dating, they have the attitude of how well the other can meet their needs.  If they can't meet the needs, then that person is outta there, and the next person comes along.  But when the couple is married, they have to seek to give to the other person.  They have to be patient with them, and they have to be vulnerable with each other.

He breaks it down further and more in depth, covering the subjects of immaturity, insensitivity, and stubbornness.

Tyler and I are doomed. :]  We both are really stubborn {and red}.  Many have asked us, "Well, how do you make your marriage work?"  Honestly, I think it's because our core values match up.  I truly believe that.  Of course, we can be stubborn towards each other, but it doesn't happen on a regular basis {and if you want a more honest answer, ask him.  I'm sure he has something different to say. ;)}.  We make it work.

It was important for me to find a guy that had the same values as me.  I didn't even want to date anyone who had different values.  I knew it wouldn't work.  So why even try?  I wanted to be on the same page with our priorities as well.  Tyler and I built a relationship from the ground up.  We started by being friends.  We learned who each other were before either one of us started even thinking about dating.  I knew what he stood for.  I knew he loved Jesus, and that Jesus was a priority.  I think that knowing what each other stands for helps, especially before marriage is thrown into the mix.

We know each other's expectations and priorities because we talk about them frequently.  *Communication is key.*  For example, church and small group are both priorities to us.  We have talked about how important it is to be involved in our church.  We expect each other to get up at a certain time on Sundays {every Sunday} so we can leave at a certain time to be on time for church.

Being on the same schedule also helps us.  When I was looking for a job, I was only looking at Monday-Friday, 8-5 jobs.  I felt (and still feel) that it's important to be able to spend time with my husband.  I'm not saying that if you have opposite schedules that spending time together isn't possible.  It just may be a little more difficult.  I feel that if we were on different schedules, it would be easier to allow selfishness to creep into our relationship.

For example, one of us would be making supper every, single night.  Since both of us work outside the home, I know whoever was making supper would be resenting it sooner or later.  "Why can't so-and-so make supper for once?  Why do I have to make it all the time?"  Enter selfishness.

Another example that really could have happened, because I was offered a job on the 10-7 shift...One person could be on the 8-5 shift and the other on the 10-7 shift.  This could make one jealous and selfish when thinking, "Why can't I be the one to sleep in?  I deserve it.  I get up early every morning."  Enter selfishness.

Side note...Wait a minute...the only thing anyone (including myself) deserves is death (Romans 6:23).  I am so thankful for His Grace!

Anyway, I know those are kind of silly examples, but it's real life.  Things like that happen.  And these are things that I know could happen, have happened, or could have happened in our relationship...especially with me.  Because I'm selfish.  It is possible to cure this "pigitis" disease.  And I'm still working on it.

One last thought...Ed says in the chapter,

"Outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ, marriage is the most sacred and most fabulous relationship God offers.  When a man and woman learn how to put aside their own selfishness and give one another top priority, then their marriage can fill up with passion, satisfaction, and power."

At the end of each chapter, he gives some questions to reflect on and think about.  I think they are worth sharing, so I thought I'd write them out at the end of each post.

  1. In what specific areas of your relationship with your spouse (or loved one) do you find yourself behaving or thinking selfishly?
  2. What specific symptoms of "pigitis" can you identify in yourself?
  3. What kinds of expectations do you have for your marriage and spouse?  How can you begin communicating those expectations to him or her?
  4. Take the "love test of 1 Corinthians 13."  Ask yourself if you're patient, kind, boastful, etc, to your spouse.  In what area(s) do you need to improve?
Stay tuned for next week's post:  Thou Shalt Cut the Apron Strings.


Oh, and here's an update on my reading list for the year:
1.  The Hunger Games  Suzanne Collins
2.  Catching Fire  Suzanne Collins
3.  Mockingjay  Suzanne Collins
4.  Between Sundays  Karen Kingsbury
5.  Unlocked  Karen Kingsbury
6.  Like Dandelion Dust  Karen Kingsbury
7.  Loving  Karen Kingsbury
8.  The Help  Kathryn Stockett  
9.  Crazy Love  Francis Chan  
10.  Radical  David Platt
11.  The 10 Commandments of Marriage  Ed Young
12.  The Husband Project  Kathi Lipp
13.  The Me I Want to Be  John Ortberg
14.  Creating an Intimate Marriage  Jim Burns
15.  One Thousand Gifts  Ann Voskamp {I've decided to delete this book off the list.}
16.  Made to Crave  Lysa TerKeurst
17.  My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife  Sara Horn
18. Not A Fan Kyle Idleman  {Reading with our small group starting in October!}
19. Love and Respect Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
20. The Act of Marriage Tim and Beverly LaHaye
21. Every Now and Then Karen Kingsbury
**I better get to reading...I've got a long way to go.  I can't believe December is just a few short months away...CRAZY!**  

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