Category Archives: Selfishness

Communication: A Two-Way Street (Part One) “Listen Up!”


In these next few consecutive blogs I would like to address one of the greatest causes of divorce in our country and perhaps offer some guidance while helping you stay on the matrimonial road. Poor communication skills destroy families every day, let’s begin with a story…

You can imagine the scene. Husband is sitting on the sofa enjoying his midseason ritual. It’s a close game. The score is 6-7 and a man is on third base, edging to come home. “What’s that noise?” Here comes the right fielder, his turn at bat, and the pitch. Ground ball between the first and second basemen, quickly picked up, and the ball is feverishly thrown home. To no avail; the guy on third slides into home plate and is safe! The husband wonders, What is that low annoying murmur? The catcher throws the ball to first, again too little too late. Safe! The score is now tied, 7-7. Up to the plate comes the short stop, the guy’s got a powerful swing. With increasing irritation, the husband mutters, “There it goes again.” The pitcher winds up and throws; it looks like it’s going to be right in there. The swing and a hit. Crack! A good solid hit. It’s going, going, going… That sound again, like a hive full of bees swarming in my head. Why won’t it stop!

This scene captures what it’s like when some wives try to communicate with their husbands. It doesn’t have to be an important ballgame, it could be just about anything—anything that’s given priority over communication between a husband and wife. Incidentally, the roles in this scenario and the specifics can easily be reversed, lest we think men are the only guilt culprits of poor communication. We are now going to examine the fine art of hearing and being heard by our spouse.

A variety of issues can interfere with effective communication in one’s marriage. They can derive from extended family interference, friendship interference, issues of guilt and shame, faulty perceptions of God, family of origin issues, an ex-spouse, lies a person believes about themselves, and many, many other things. Every one of these issues can cause cracks in the dynamics of communication.

It’s funny how many parents demand excellent listening skills from their children yet fail to demonstrate them in their own marriage relationship. Again, we are called to be an example to our children. When your spouse wants to talk with you and share how they feel about a particular issue, show your love for them by making it important to you. If you have something to say, you expect their attention. Agree to talk after the children go to bed, turn off the television, put down the newspaper, stop clipping coupons, just stop. Eliminate outside distractions so that you are in a state to hear what your spouse has to say.

Body language says a lot about your interest in the other. Turn toward your spouse, use eye contact, and show your interest. Husbands, if it seems your wife is agitated, take her hand and sit with her. There is a great calming effect in human touch, even if you are the cause of her aggravation.

For many of us who have never spent much time thinking about such things, this seems very awkward. Just because something seems awkward does not mean it is wrong. Many of the things discussed in these next few blogs will take time to develop into a level of comfort, but do them anyway. Remember, at this point it’s not about doing what’s comfortable (that’s what’s gotten us into trouble to begin with)—it’s about doing what is right.

Let’s identify some of the impediments to healthy communication in your relationship. You and your spouse each get a sheet of paper. Draw a half-dollar size circle in the middle of a sheet of paper then write “my marriage” inside the circle. The circle represents you and your mate. Take a couple of minutes and write down around your circle the circumstances, situations, people, or anything else that create roadblocks to communication in your marriage. As you place these deterrents on the chart, put them in proximity to how much impact they have on your relationship. The items with greater impact will be placed closer to your marriage circle (if very severe negative impact you may even put it within the circle), and the items with lesser impact will be placed farther from the circle. After you both have completed your chart, share it with your spouse
and compare charts. Make a list of the similarities you found between your chart and your spouse’s chart.

It is very important to isolate these interferences and develop methods to combat their negative impact on your communication. In the case of a meddling father-in-law, a solution might be to set up boundaries and limit the family’s exposure to him. Another solution might be to have the son sit down with his father and set him straight. What action steps can you take to minimize the impact these interferences will have on your communication in the future?

In the next post we will continue to address communication and focus on what culture has done to inhibit male communication as well as how transparency can cause communication to blossom.

Be blessed until next time!

©2018 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.




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Filed under Behavior, Communication, Expectations, Respect, Selfishness, Uncategorized

Take Off the Blindfold: Is Your Selfishness Destroying Your Relationship?

selfishness 6

When you think about the word selfish, certain images (or people) probably come to mind.  I want to take a few moments and address selfishness in terms that you may not have considered before.  Where does it come from? How early does it begin to take root? Can something be done about it?  Let’s draw out the aspects of selfishness and develop a different perspective of its meaning through a brief scenario.

Imagine a child about two years old, with no discernible expression on his face. He sits quietly in a corner watching the hustle and bustle of the room around him. Father comes into the room, looks at his watch, then sits on the couch. The child rises and moves toward his father, arms outstretched. The father suddenly remembers the task that needed to be completed before he rushed off to work. Up he bounces, moving quickly past the child.

The child’s expression is distinctly noticeable now. His big brown eyes look sad as he lowers his arms and whimpers quietly. His eyes light up as he notices Mother, who has stepped out of the bedroom. His arms extend once more, craving a hug, some sort of affection from his mother. She stands by the couch and continues chatting on her cell phone. She proceeds down the hall into the darkness, as if not even noticing the child. The child’s arms and head both lower. He drops to the floor and sits quietly. Can you imagine what the child is feeling at this moment?

Dad is very involved in his work, keeping food on the table and a roof over the family’s head. Mother wants to do better, but Dad is so obsessed with his work that she has sole responsibility of the household, to say nothing of the fact that she too holds down a job. It’s tough to make ends meet these days. In fact, Dad is so caught up in his work, spending time with his guy friends, and keeping up with the latest sports scores that Mom feels neglected. His lack of attention makes her feel unattractive.

As time goes by, Mother becomes more irritable and less interested in making the marriage a go. She certainly can’t do it by herself. She can feel everything slowly slipping away. Some of  her downtime leads her to partake in a drink or two. This is a convenient way of numbing the pain. The frequency of her drinking increases as her disillusionment increases. Everyone is so caught up in themselves that there doesn’t seem to be much time for that poor child. All he wants is some love and affection, the security of someone who cares.

The family behaviors continue through the years. The little boy continues to reach out to his parents for that love in a variety of ways. Nothing seems to change for the long term so the child, now ten, comes to accept his fate. He begins to close off. He stops expecting. Many of you can feel for that child and understand his plight. Some of you may be able to relate on a very personal level.

How do you think this process develops over the years?  What do you think this dynamic looks like in adult relationships, in marriage? Do you think that it is important to adjust your perceptions of the adult world as you transcend your childhood upbringing?

A failure to update your script results in a child’s need for self-sufficiency in order to overcome the pain of not receiving what you were entitled to as you were growing up (love, affection, nurturing and affirmation, hugs, acceptance etc.) turning into adult selfishness. When I say adult selfishness, I  mean that you still view the world through your childlike perceptions.

In a marriage it is essential to develop an attitude of selflessness. Let’s take a few moments and think about the state of your current relationship. It’s easy to say that when we are steeped in turmoil and conflict that the entire problem is the other person’s fault. Perhaps your spouse has done some things that have hurt you very deeply. You are two different people and you are bound to do things that ruffle one another’s feathers. Fact is, it takes two people to make or break a marriage. It’s an issue of dynamics. I want you to meditate before the Lord and be honest. Ask Him to show you the areas in which you have helped to create or facilitate the current dynamics of your marriage. This will be a demonstration of taking responsibility for your part in moving the relationship in the direction it is currently. Taking responsibility is a major step toward change and healing, it is also a step toward growing beyond our own selfishness.

You’ll find more insights, exercises and techniques to work through selfishness in Marriage By Design which can be ordered through and B&, more information available on this site.

You will be blessed as you grow your marriage.

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. 

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Filed under Behavior, Beliefs, Family of Origin, Misconceptions, Selfishness, selflessness

Addressing the “Self” in Selfishness

selfishness 2-children

Filling the cracks of an eroding marital foundation begin with addressing areas in which YOU bear responsibility.  Blaming your mate will produce nothing but further distance between you.  Besides, you don’t have the ability to change your spouse, but you can change the dynamics by focusing on areas in which you need to grow.  After identifying areas in which we may be exhibiting selfish behaviors, what can we do about it? How can we change our selfishness?

  1. Present yourself to God; ask him to make you aware of your own selfishness. BE PREPARED: if you ask God to show you, he will be faithful. Your job is to be ready to receive it and do something about it.
  1. Meditate and internalize the following scriptures:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.  -1 Corinthians 10:24

These particular scriptures remind me that my relationships are not about me but about loving others.

  1. Try doing the opposite of what you feel. It sounds unusual but consider that your autopilot may currently be guided by your hurt (not the best compass), so your natural tendency is to self-protect that hurt. Take a chance and see what happens. We can only update our script by taking chances and gathering new evidence to see if our childhood beliefs are still accurate. Have these childhood beliefs skewed our adult perception of relationships, of life? Challenge your adult perceptions. Are they accurate?

Remember, in spite of what happened in your childhood, regardless of the pain that may have been inflicted, intentionally or unintentionally, you are no longer that child. You are an adult and bear the consequences of your adult actions. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do about it?” It’s time to take responsibility for your own behavior. Seek God’s strength and help as you begin to take responsibility for the one thing that you can control: your own behavior.

In spite of the hurt and frustration you may be feeling, depending on the current state of your marriage, it is be important to begin taking responsibility for your own behavior and the decisions that you make. After all, who pays the consequences of your actions? Ultimately you do and perhaps your children.

Bless you in your desire to change.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Beliefs, Love, Self-Talk, Selfishness

Addictions in the Relationship (Part III): The Need for Healthy Connection

addiction 3

Those who feel the need to rescue people caught in the web of addiction are also often driven by a selfish desire to be a savior. It is a wrong motivation when the rescuer is driven by a boosted sense of self that comes from the gratitude of those we attempt to rescue. The relationship is one of co-dependence. We must realize that sometimes when we intervene in the life of someone and cushion their fall by attempting to take on the load ourselves, we may be short-circuiting what God is trying to teach them. Yes, you can love them, but you can’t heal them, and you can’t make the decision to change for them. You can walk alongside in support and be available for your loved one, but you can’t carry the load for them, relieving them of any responsibility for their behavior.

In walking out of addictions it is important not to attempt the healing process alone. God places people in our paths to walk alongside us, to help us be accountable in our decisions. Remember that accountability will only occur when first we admit there is a problem and accept that we can’t do it alone. Accept the fact that you have created an idol to replace the love, grace, and mercy that only God can give. Secondly, be willing to put yourself out there, taking a chance and trusting that other people are willing to love and accept you where you are. Thirdly, give other people (people you trust) permission to speak truth into your life. Be willing to receive the input of other healthy believers.

There are many Christian churches and Christ-centered organizations that specialize in groups and counseling that would welcome the opportunity to grow with you in fellowship and accountability. Contact your local church; many have resources and referrals available to tend to your particular needs. Don’t put it off any longer.

Only in developing transparency and cultivating fellowship with others can you step out of the darkness into the light and be free of the chains that have bound you for so long. Let God provide the wisdom and discernment about with whom to share. It is important that you develop relationships and allow people in that have your best interest at heart—people who will protect your heart as you begin your walk out of addiction and start to experience all that God can do in your marriage and relationships in general. The process begins with you; make the choice.

If you are ready to take that next step here are some helps to guide you in that direction.  Be blessed!

Alcoholics Anonymous,

Alcoholics Anonymous Family Groups,

Narcotics Anonymous,

American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) for Christian individual and marital counseling in your area.  Contact:

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Accountability, Addiction, Behavior, Character, Communication, Idolatry, Restoration, Selfishness

Addictions in the Relationship (Part II): Filling the Emptiness


Alcohol is the noble addiction: “Who doesn’t drink?” “What’s wrong with a little drink now and then?” People make the claim that alcohol helps them to relax. “It makes me more comfortable around other people, and it helps me be who I am and removes my inhibitions. A drink now and then helps me to relieve my stress.”

“Drugs are not that big a deal.” Have you ever noticed that some people have no problem identifying certain sins as far worse than others? People naturally set boundaries on certain drugs, usually the ones they are not doing, but marijuana, for example, is “not a big deal.” “A little cocaine is not an issue for me. I know how to moderate.” I wish I had a nickel for every time the person sitting across from me has told me, “I can stop whenever I want to”—whether they were addicted to shopping or crack cocaine.

Shopaholics are a newer identified breed, those who love to go out and spend their money. The issue is not the importance or the desire for what they are buying, it’s all about the act of spending, spending, and more spending with little regard to whether they have money in their accounts.

These are but a few addictions, there are many, many more. The interesting thing about addictions is that they are all designed to fill an emptiness, a void in our soul. The root is always selfishness. For the addicted person, the addiction holds a place of importance above all else in their life.

In the marital relationship, addictions tear at the heart and foundation of your commitment. God, spouse, and children should have priority in a marriage. When you light up a joint in the garage when everyone else has gone out to the store, it means the joint is more important than the example you set to your family, especially the children. When you turn on the computer to browse the porn site you’ve visited so often, you intentionally put out of your mind the pain and insecurity you cause your spouse when they know exactly what you are doing. The damage is incredible.

Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself…   -Romans 15:2-3

When we come into marriage we make a commitment to the other person. We commit to be there in body and spirit. We vow to give each other to one another and sacrifice selfish ambition and desires of self-gratification. Our marriage vows do not state that the exception is when things are not going so well or when we simply don’t feel like it.

The true healing power of all addictions lies in our motivations to follow the addiction in the first place. We are choosing, selfishly, to meet our own needs, to deal with our pain by not dealing with it. Rather, we simply medicate in a variety of forms, all to the exclusion of our creator. We are choosing to fill that hole in our heart with anything and everything we can get ahold of, when the only thing that can make us complete and heal the pain in our heart is our Lord and Savior.

What fear prevents you from entering into a personal and transparent relationship with God?

In part three we will explore the other side of unhealthy addiction, the co-dependent.  We will also look at some resources for help.

Alcoholics Anonymous,

Alcoholics Anonymous Family Groups,

Narcotics Anonymous,

American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) for Christian individual and marital counseling in your area.  Contact:

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Addiction, Behavior, Character, Idolatry, Restoration, Selfishness

Addictions in the Relationship (Part I): A Growing Epidemic

addiction 1

 Over the course of my next three posts we will fundamentally explore an ever growing category of self-centeredness that is tearing marital relationships asunder. Addictions have to represent the most common coping mechanism in our society. They run the gamut from drugs, alcohol, and pornography to shopaholism and a variety of others, too many to mention.  Sometimes they can take on quite a noble air; workaholism is a great example. What could be wrong about working hard for my family? Motivation is always the core issue. More often than not, people who work all the time are trying to escape from their family for any number of reasons. For a man who doesn’t feel secure in his marriage, he will dive into his work where he gets the recognition he craves; it’s easier than putting forth effort into something he may not be good at—for example, relationships.

In fact all addictions, even where there may be a genetic or environmental predisposition, are determined by the motivation to pursue avenues of escape. After all, not everyone raised by an alcoholic is cursed to live a life of alcoholism. A man (or woman) reared by a workaholic is not doomed to live that type of life, although you may have been taught that such behavior is one way to handle issues you would prefer not to deal with. Predisposition does not mean you don’t have a choice about such things. But if a person is not deliberate about their behavior and fully aware of past predispositions, the odds are great that they will indeed become what they swear they will never be. No one should be relieved of the responsibility of personal choice.

Fear of intimacy and relationship can easily lead to addictions to pornography. There is no fear of engaging in intimate behavior with a person printed on a page, or the unfortunate damaged people performing in sex films. You never have to worry about being rejected or measuring up. You can pretend to be whoever you like in your fantasy realm. The problem is, it’s not real, and eventually you have to come back to the same issues and stressors you tried to escape from.

For the workaholic, you are always on top, always the best. You put forth every effort to please the boss. The boss can be much easier to please because there is no emotional investment in the other person. The expectations are very clear and the accolades are direct. If you do your job, you get personal recognition or financial rewards. Again, little of it has to do with the uncertainty of relational expertise, which can be daunting for men. Combine that with our manly plague of pride and it creates problems in developing transparency in relationship with both women and other men.

In part two we identify a common element in ALL addictions…a hole in the heart.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Addiction, Behavior, Character, Idolatry, Selfishness

Relationship Priorities (Part III): Developing Confident Assurance


In this series on relationship priorities we looked at the first two elements necessary to grow great relationships (model Christ and focus on other people).  In this, the final post in this series we will examine the third and final element of our priority list.

3. Focus on yourself. It’s amazing how when you initiate the first two priorities, the attitude about the third changes drastically. When you demonstrate Christ and put others first, what you get back in the contentment of joy carries you through most of your other trials. Joy is the confident assurance and trust of God in our lives. Throughout his letter to the Philippians, Paul explains how his joy carried him through some pretty intense tribulation. Read through Philippians and discover for yourself the difference between happiness and joy.

Do what is “right” and let the appropriate emotions follow the behavior.

 It’s exciting to see how the confidence and security of right actions affect our emotional state.  I always refer to the Bible in determining that “right” position.  Imagine having a tough day, traffic was terrible and you almost got into an accident, you got into an argument with one of your co-workers, your head has been aching all day and to top it all off you leave work only to be greeted by a flat tire!  It stinks, right?!  Now finally you get home, emotionally you are frustrated to say the least.  You have a decision to make.  In choosing to do what is right and behave in a loving fashion toward your wife and family you will have a direct impact on what you will receive from them.  Loving behavior is usually reciprocated thereby affecting your negative emotional state.  It can directly affect your well-being.  You will begin to feel better because of the consequences of right behavior.

 Live intentionally. As I stated in the introduction, the Scriptures are a guidebook to life, written by the one who created us. You benefit by living with intention and making decisions that guide the path of your life, with God’s direction, rather than living haphazardly, just letting life happen to you.  Understand that none of us is perfect, not by a long shot! But if we make selflessness our goal rather than serving our own self-interest, the odds of receiving God’s best in our lives increases tremendously.  Mark sums up our priorities the best.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.   Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  -Mark 12:28-31

By modeling and loving God and investing in others, the impact that behavior has on YOUR well-being will lead to personal peace, satisfaction and joy.  Be Blessed!

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Emotions, Love, Priorities, Role Modeling, Selfishness

Relationship Priorities (Part II): Putting Others Before Yourself

People focus

In our last post we began to address the relationship priorities that grow and enhance our interactions and our lives.  Previously we examined the importance of modeling Christ in our daily walk rather than expectations of happiness.  Now, let’s take a look at the second element.

2. Focus on other people. If you take the focus off yourself and spend more time focusing on others, you make it less likely that your motivations will be driven by your own selfish desires. This is not to say you should neglect yourself, because you can only pour into others if you stay emotionally, physically, and spiritually full. You simply do not become the priority as we shall see shortly.

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.  -1 Corinthians 10:24

The therapeutic effect of stepping out of your own emotional state to serve others is amazing. Mary was diagnosed with cancer.  Her knee-jerk reaction was to withdraw from the world. She lived in fear that any exposure to the outdoors, to the sun, would accelerate the cancer. Mary locked herself away, covering all the windows and never taking a step out of the house. She withdrew from other people, embarrassed by the hair loss associated with chemotherapy. She stopped coming to church, essentially stopped living.

What Mary had chosen to do is eliminate any new input or thought that would challenge her emotions. She simply recycled all the negative fear messages through her head. Her behavior followed suit and was dictated by those emotions. After consultation, she began challenging the fears and weighing the possible consequences of stepping outside her home. Commonly, we assume that things will be much worse than they actually end up being. One thing appeared certain: if Mary didn’t take a chance, her fear would eat her alive.

The following week she came to church. The outpouring of love and acceptance was heartwarming and had a great impact on her. Having all these people walking alongside her gave Mary a new lease on life. Her hair grew back following the chemo treatments, and her joy and confidence returned even faster. This dear lady made the decision not to follow her feelings but choose her own behavior, in spite of those destructive feelings.  She stepped forward, in spite of her emotions and engaged and invested in the lives of others to the benefit of all concerned.

Investing in others reaps dividends far greater than monetary riches!

As a matter of habit, do you find yourself more inwardly focused than investing in others?  What do you fear might happen if you extended yourself to others?  I want to encourage you to take a chance, you have much to offer others…God says so and that’s good enough for me!

In my last post in this series I will reveal the final priority in creating stability in our relationships and in our lives.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Emotions, Love, Priorities, Role Modeling, Selfishness

Relationship Priorities (Part I): They Go Beyond Your Happiness


Being aware of your emotional state and choosing your behaviors is one method to restore some peace in the relationship. Some of the other methods include the following.

 Don’t make happiness (a feeling) the ultimate goal in your marriage.

It sounds contrary to what you hear; everyone says, “I just want to be happy in my marriage.” Your desire should be to seek that deeper contentment known as joy. Emotionally we can be like a rollercoaster depending on what the day might bring. Happiness tends not to be consistent whereas the deeper sense of contentment or satisfaction (joy) remains constant regardless of what’s going on around us. True contentment is based on selflessness with a distinct priority system made up of three elements.

1. Model Christ in your life and in your relationships. The example Jesus sets in Scripture is the one we should follow while interacting with others. Christ’s example is demonstrated in the following passage:

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…  -Philippians 2:1-5

Has the goal of “happiness” been an issue in your relationship(s)? How realistic is it to expect others to make you happy? How effective are YOU at making others happy? Do your relationships experience much emotional turmoil?

Modeling Jesus in our lives transcends personal happiness. When we strive to emulate him it produces in us a sense of inner contentment that those around us will only benefit from.

In my next post I will reveal the second priority in creating stability in our relationships and in our lives.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Emotions, Love, Priorities, Role Modeling, Selfishness

Bless with your Blessings – A True Display of Thanksgiving


A very important aspect of relationship is selflessness.  This may seem like an odd topic to discuss at this Thanksgiving holiday season.  It is a common thought that being thankful involves gratitude for the things that we have been given throughout the year.  Yes, this is true, but sometimes we forget that the best way to show our gratitude to the one who has given us the most is through giving back.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.          -2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Often we too easily forget the warmth and satisfaction that comes to us when we have the opportunity to help someone that is truly in need.  Certainly our goal in helping others should not be motivated by what we can get out of it.  However, the natural occurring consequence of doing what is right produces a contentment that surpasses any emotional response.  Essentially we plant the seeds of joy in our soul.   Remember, we are called to be joyful even when facing trials.  This scriptural observation verifies for me that joy is not something as fleeting and inconsistent as an emotion.  Joy is something deeper, a foundational inner-contentment.  Such selfless action is truly a gift that we can be grateful for.

Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.   -2 Corinthians 8:2-5

If we understand that all we have is a blessing from God, it does not seem unreasonable to give back to Him a measly 10 percent, known as our tithe, when he is allowing us to keep 90 percent. Tithing goes back to the church to support a wide variety of ministries and expenses that benefit others.  Remember, a very important aspect of relationship is selflessness.  It’s time to start investing in others if you are not doing so already.

Giving back to your church is only one way for you to bless and be blessed.  Not all of your giving has to go back to the church you attend.  I am sure that there are organizations that have instilled a passion in your heart and are worthy of your support.

I have yet to hear from anybody who is a consistent giver that they have not been able to make ends meet at the end of each month.  Quite the contrary, usually God meets their need far beyond their wildest expectations when they are good stewards of their money.  Keep in mind that blessings do not just come in the financial variety.  We serve a faithful and trustworthy God. Sometimes we just need to give him a chance. You will find that you can’t out-give God.

Final note, Giving is not just monetary.  Give love.  Fill your home with compliments, compassion, forgiveness and kindness unlimited.  In doing so, this will produce an abundance of things to be thankful for.

When we bless with our blessing, we will be blessed.  So remember, gratitude goes both directions!

Blessings to all of you and your families and God bring you peace and abundance.

Eric A. Disney

©2015 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.  It’s a thoughtful Christmas gift for any couple’s in your life.

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Filed under Behavior, Character, Finances, Giving, Selfishness, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving