A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Martin Luther said that God established three essential institutions: marriage, the ministry of the Word, and the state. Luther went on to say that “both in chronological order and in significance, the home precedes both the ministry of the Word of God and the state.” And yet, many people today try to demote marriage to a human invention. But the Scripture tells us that marriage was created by God.

 

Let’s take a moment to look at the components of a stable, healthy marriage. Imagine your marriage as a three-legged stool, and the three legs are selflessness, forgiveness, and communication. Without one of the legs, the stool will fall down. A good marriage needs all three components to be well-balanced and strong. Today we will look at the first leg--selflessness.

 

We live in a self-centered world, and this focus on self is destroying marriages. The concept of “looking out for number one” is creating divisions between husband and wife. But Paul tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

 

Immaturity and selfishness tell us to focus on our own desires, comfort, and self-protection, but maturity leads us to focus on our spouse’s needs. Maturity is a key to selflessness.

 

Selfless love manifests itself in graciousness. It focuses on the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. A selfless love makes sacrifices without keeping a running tally of who has contributed the most in the marriage. It puts aside selfish stubbornness for a willingness to yield to each other.

 

While selflessness goes against many of the world’s teachings about personal ambition, self-importance, and self-protection, selfless love is a critical component to a healthy marriage.

 

Prayer: Father, help me to be mature in my marriage, exhibiting selfless love toward my spouse each and every day. Help me to put the needs, feelings, and thoughts of my spouse above my own. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Check out more from Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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