If you've spent a little bit of time with me, then you will probably know that one of my favorite past times in the world is hanging out with my girl friends at a local Starbucks. I don't know exactly what it is about sitting with a cup of overpriced Joe while trying to catch up with a dear friend that makes the experience what it is and that is nothing less than remarkable. However, I'm willing to bet that no matter how good that Caramel Frapuccino is it's about the time spent with the person at the other end of the coffee table.
Yet I realize that one doesn't have to go to Starbucks to be involved in a meaningful conversation and nurture a relationship, be it with a spouse or good friend. What one actually needs is to invest time and be intentional about caring. In Philippians 2:3-4 the bible would put it this way, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others about yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
It seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? Yet how many times can we say that the things we do haven't been driven by our own selfish desires? How many times have we sacrificed of our precious time to sit there with a friend going through a crisis or simply needing someone to listen? How many times have we really practiced what we preach?
I don't know about you but for me I realize that in my own relationship with my husband my love for him can be conditional. If you make me feel good, then I will love you. Naturally it's hard for me to put my own desires second to his. Yet I realize that when I do, it is then and only then, that my real needs are met. I have freed him from meeting my expectations and have given him room to love me the way he knows how to love me. More importantly though, I have decided to love him, serve him, place him above my own needs and by doing so have resembled Christ who being God didn't come to this world to be served but to serve (See Matthew 20:26-28).