Narcissism SelfieThis has certainly been the year of the selfie. It’s a picture of my favorite person…ME! You know, the photos we take of ourselves and post on Facebook as if the rest of the world is as obsessed with me as I am? The self-portraits have become so prevalent that “selfie” will soon be inducted into Webster’s Dictionary and into the English language. It has to be the word of the year.
Iphone SelfieAnd who ever heard of a camera that spins around and takes a picture of the photographer? No one, until Apple built it into its iPhone, and all the other phone manufacturers are scrambling to do the same.
We live in a culture obsessed with self. The market is flooded with self-improvement books, there is a big push for self-esteem and self-love through positive self-talk, then there’s Self Magazine which promotes self-absorption, and self-actualization through self-gratification. Then we go on a campaign of self-defense and self-justification through our self-published memoirs. Are you beginning to detect a pattern here?
Tug of War Bride and Groom 2People in general are selfish and self-centered. But our natural narcissism is an enemy of our marriage. In fact, it’s akin to original sin. We can’t lose any time redirecting our affections if we want to have a healthy marriage. James warns: For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (James 3:16) These are not words we want associated with our marriage.
No SelfishnessThe apostle Paul has a better way: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Phil 2:3)
I know. The first thing we think is: “Hey, what about me? (I told you we are self-absorbed.) The man in my mirror doesn’t want to take second place to anyone. He likes to look out for Numero Uno! Paul follows it up with the next verse: Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Phil 2:4)
When we put the most important “other”- our spouse – first, it’s the very best investment we can make to assure that our own life will be awesome. Paul said it another way in Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. If you want to do yourself a favor, love your spouse well.
This doesn’t mean that I never get my needs met. What it means is that I don’t get my needs met by taking or insisting. Instead my needs are met, as a response, from a well-loved and well-satisfied wife.Conversation
When we do marriage right we don’t have to pursue what we need, and extract it from our relationship. But rather, when we put our energy into serving and loving our spouse, we will reap the dividends as they respond. This way, both our needs are met, willingly and lovingly by each other. And we will both feel very well loved. I like this plan so much better.

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About John Paladini

John Paladini is a husband, pastor and author. He has been happily married to Andrena for 34+ years. They have three adult children, six grandchildren....and counting. John has devoted hundreds of hours to marriage counseling, conferences and bible studies that strengthen marriages.

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