Devotional - Family Topics

Selfless Love

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Scripture: (Gen 12:10-13 NKJV)  Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. {11} And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. {12} "Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. {13} "Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."

Observation: Abram had already shown his faith in leaving Ur with his family to land God would show him, but of which he knew nothing.  Later he would demonstrate his faith in the most real way by sacrificing his son of the promise, Issac.  And yet here, his faith that God could protect him is weak, but worse yet, his love for his wife is weaker still, and was more concerned for his own safety than that of his wife Sarai. He was selfish, loveless, and faithless.

Application: Several hundred years after this event, one of Abraham’s descendants wrote some of the best words to husbands and wives: (Phil 2:3-4 NKJV)  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others [your spouse] better than himself. {4} Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others [your spouse].  And in his classic definition of love, Paul also added: (1 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV) Love “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own.”  True love is protective of the other person.  That’s why abuse is a contradiction of and the opposite of love.  Abusers will always blame the other person for the abuse, accuse tem of being at fault, and rationalize that it was the other person who “made” them to do what they do or who “cause” the abuse to happen as a result of something they did or said.  Not supporting the family also demonstrates selfishness and lovelessness – which is the reason that in the Bible one cause for divorce is abandonment and not taking care of the needs of the spouse.  Love is not selfish, does not look at what the other person can do for them but rather at what they can do for the other person.  Love does not withhold emotionally or physically from the spouse but rather gives generously.  Love aims to meet the emotional and physical needs of the spouse.  Love moves one spouse to protect and help the other.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, help us to be less selfish and more loving.  Help us to love, help, and protect each other, as spouses, so that You may be honored in our relationship and that we may enjoy the type of relationship You willed and planned for us.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


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