I was able to perform a wedding this past weekend for a great couple, Ryan and Emily. They are amazing volunteers in a youth ministry and a very special couple that my wife and I have really come to enjoy and love. During the ceremony, I read the goals Ryan and Emily have developed for their marriage. One of their goals was to have a "sense of humor" in their marriage. So, I decided to put that to the test during their wedding ceremony and I asked them if I could do something I've never done before during a wedding ... take a "selfie." It was a fun, spontaneous moment that went over really well during the ceremony and got lots of laughs. But, I really wanted to try to drive home a point with the selfie that I tried to explained to them.
You see, marriage is not about "selfies." Marriage is about being selfless. It's not that there is anything wrong with a selfie, but a selfie, by definition, is all about "me." Look at what I'm wearing. Look at what I'm doing. Focus your attention on me. But, when you're married, your life is no longer a selfie. The more you focus on you, the more you will get in the way of a great marriage. As you can see in the picture, my selfie comes between Ryan and Emily. My big, ole head is in the way of their relationship. The same thing happens in marriage. In my marriage, when I am focused on myself ... what I can get, what I want or what I don't want ... the more I am worried about myself, the more I will get in the way of our marriage relationship. A selfie will focus the attention on me. Marriage should focus the attention on the other person.
When I said "yes" to Carol, I was in essence saying "no" to every other person on the planet ... including myself. It is a whole lot easier to focus on me than it is to focus on anyone else. But, for marriage to be all that God intends for it to be, I must learn to crucify my selfishness and give myself up for Carol in the same way that Christ gave Himself up for the Church. (Ephesians 5:25). It's difficult, and I unfortunately fail often, but a great marriage is not something you find, it's something for which you fight. You fight for it. You work hard for it. You battle for it. I am to place my wife's needs before my own which means I must at times confront and at times forgive. I must at times sacrifice and at other times pursue. It's not easy in any way, but boy does the hard work pay off greatly!
If you're married, let me encourage you to forget about the "selfies" because your selfie will always get in the way of your marriage. Ask yourself what is the best way you can serve your spouse this week and then go do it in a selfless way ... not looking for recognition ... not even looking for reward. But, simply looking to be selfless.