The not-so-open road
When I was young and single and stupid, I didn’t like making hotel reservations when I was leaving on a long road trip. Why reserve a specific hotel in a specific city, I reasoned, when I didn’t know how far I would drive that day?
At that time I was living in Southern California. Driving to Oregon to visit my family usually took about 18 hours, and I tried to knock off as many of those hours as I could on the first day. When my eyes began drooping late at night, I would look for a motel. Hey, it was part of the adventure!
And then along came my wife. As we prepared for our first long drive to my parents’, she suggested we make hotel arrangements. (But why?)
When we began looking for a hotel room late that night, we discovered no vacancies along the freeway. Not until 3 a.m. did we finally find a room. The looks my bride was sliding my way didn’t seem to communicate a love for the thrill of the road.
I didn’t fully realize then that my lack of planning was plain stupidity—the privilege of a single man. But I did recognize I should start thinking of my wife’s interests more than my own.
She needed the safety and security of knowing how far we would drive each day, the knowledge that we would stay in a hotel (with an “h”) with clean sheets and no extra six-legged guests. As her husband, I needed to make that my priority.
Any marriage is a union of two selfish people who both want to “do it my way.” When we try to make choices together—on issues ranging from how to spend the paycheck to how to fold towels—we continually battle our wants. Yet Philippians 2:3 challenges us to “count others more significant than yourselves.” Keep the challenge of this verse in mind as you consider the choices that affect your marriage.
As for me? Even with the open road before me, I’d gladly sacrifice those extra late-night miles to experience it with her.
Read here for more on the importance of humility in marriage.
The good stuff: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Action points: The best place for us to practice humility—being “servants of all”—is in the little stuff. Find at least one way to make a reality by choosing your spouse instead of yourself. And remember the ancient proverb: “The foolish man ignores his wife for the sake of adventure, but the wise man makes hotel reservations far in advance.”
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