Category Archives: Selfishness

It Starts in the Mirror

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It is essential that parents realize the impact they have on their children. Few things are as rewarding as the joy you feel when your little child runs up to you, throws their arms around your neck, and says, “I love you, Daddy!” In such moments they can do no wrong. Unfortunately, life with children is made up of many, many moments, and not all of them are like that.

In order to maneuver through the role of parenting we must first establish a foundation of trust and respect; these are imperative to growing a healthy relationship with children. Trust is established from the get-go. We receive our children as blank slates in many regards. In our hands we hold a tiny new totally dependent being that is counting on us to provide all their needs. These little beings also happen to be very egocentric, thinking everything revolves around them. Rightfully so; that’s all they know. When they want or need something, they want it now and they make no qualms about letting you know it. This can be difficult for some parents who don’t truly understand the selflessness required of a parent. I didn’t realize how selfish I was until I got married. I was used to having things a certain way, and I was never challenged in my preferences or personal goals. I was free to come and go as I liked and to spend my money on whatever I chose.

When I got married that all changed. I was in for a reality check, but this was also true of my wife. We both had to move to a place of selflessness to develop our marital relationship. At times we still struggle with our own selfishness. Well, we thought we had it down pretty well, then along came baby…and baby number two. God took us to a whole new place. We were forced to grow in ways neither of us anticipated. We learned firsthand what was meant by “life is a refining process.” Our growth is far from done, and we often find ourselves having to adapt and grow just as our children do.

Remember, training the selfishness out of our children is a journey that starts in the mirror!

In what ways do you see your own selfishness on display in your child(rens) attitudes/behavior? What areas of personal selfishness will you need to change to better the dynamics between you and your child(ren)?

©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, Parenting, Selfishness

How My Past Has Molded My Present

past-present sign

Understand that there is no benefit to condemning our parents and our upbringing for where we are today. In most cases parents do what they believe to be the right thing, based on their own knowledge. This knowledge often comes from how they were brought up, their own life experiences, and their own pain and insecurities. In fact, none of us is perfect, and none of us will parent perfectly. That is exactly why Jesus Christ had to come to this earth, to fill in the gap for our inadequacies. All the money, gifts, work ethic, keeping food on the table and a roof over our head will never substitute for the love, acceptance, and affection that a parent is supposed to demonstrate to their children. When these are the substitutes for godly love, damage is inevitable in our upbringing.

The scarring that often occurs throughout childhood and adolescence can contribute to many lies being created in our belief system. A common one is that God could never love us. If our parents are to be an earthly example of who God is to us, and they don’t fulfill their obligation, it’s easy to understand how this can occur. This certainly has a profound effect on our spiritual relationship.

The child learns early on that this inherent need for love will go unmet, based on what has been demonstrated to him. In short order, the child begins to withdraw and shut down, not expecting the return of love and affection. He learns not to need it. This behavior is a reasonable response if you think about it. How many times does a person expose their vulnerability and have it rejected before they begin to withhold it altogether? They will only be hurt a certain number of times before they stop putting themselves in that hurtful situation. Now we have a child who has learned not to need love from others, and he becomes self-sufficient, depending on himself for his needs to be met and never extending himself to others.

This same child grows up, twenty years old, loaded with self-sufficiency. Now a young man, he continues to believe that the world functions based on his views of it—views established by areas in which his upbringing was lacking. People cannot be trusted. It is dangerous and painful to share feelings. Vulnerability is a prescription for heartache. He refuses to practice transparency or let others into the innermost parts of his being. Essentially he is thinking very egocentrically and everything revolves around his own perception. In essence his youthful self-sufficiency has become adult selfishness.

How do you think this dynamic can affect a marital relationship? How might it be affecting yours? What lies do you believe as an adult that may stem from your childhood perceptions? Is it time to stop blaming your history and begin to assess and change the way you interact with your spouse…with the world?

©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, Misconceptions, Parenting, Selfishness

Your Wish Is My Command…

romance

Do you want to try something novel in the bedroom? Make your romantic evening about your spouse!

Demonstrate selflessness in sex by participating in selfless nights. Start a new tradition and take turns being the giver and the recipient of the selflessness. It may go something like this. Husbands, every two weeks (or more often) set aside a night to do romantically for your wife what pleases her with no regard for your own gratification. If your wife enjoys romantic walks, kissing and snuggling on the couch, handholding, or anything else that is sexually or romantically pleasurable to her, then do it. That particular night is all about her! Wives, if your husband enjoys going to a nice dinner followed by a night of romantic sexual activity, then do it. That night is all about him!

Remember that we do not forego respect in our sexual requests of our spouse. The goal for these selfless nights is all about pleasing the other person. Being selfless pays off in dividends. As a couple, decide how often you will have these selfless nights. Incidentally, if you start with a selfless night and the spouse being honored is so touched by your display of selflessness that they would like to reward you sexually, don’t feel obligated to refuse! Often that is one of the dividends. You’ll thank me later!

Do you recognize your own selfishness with regards to your approach to sex? What are some things that you could do to demonstrate selflessness in your romantic relationship? Unsure of what actually arouses your spouse? Often it is not the same thing that turns you on. If your answer was “yes”, it’s time to have a discussion with them

©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 Respect, Selfishness, Sexuality

Reflection at the Resurrection

resurrection

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.                       1 John 2:15-17

When we look at some of the most important values as defined by God, what do we find? They include self-control/discipline, humility/lowliness of self, and good stewardship which leads to generosity of our resources. This set of scriptures hits hard and calls for some self-examination. When we align our values with God how do you measure up?

Are you defined by your impulsiveness? Quick to speak and slow to listen, careless in your personal prayer life and Bible time, are you on a constant quest to fill your cravings with what the world has to offer. How much of your time and resources are dedicated to quelling our personal desires. Is the lack of balance a common symptom in your life. Strike One!?

Do you justify your own selfishness by your sense of entitlement? Does your schedule have a greater priority than your service to God? Do you spend all of your time at work to feed your need for accolades? Has your family/children taken a back seat because their expectations and needs do nothing to elevate your sense of self? Whenever we come to the point that our own personal comfort outweighs the needs of others, we have forgotten what Jesus came to teach. Strike Two!?

Have your hobbies become more of an occupation? Does tithing consist of the few odd coins that you place in the basket as the plate comes around on Sunday morning? Does your the accumulation of material things fill you more readily than knowing how missionary support impacts the needy. Do you find yourself seated in a casino with little regard for how your family bills will be paid? Strike Three!?

If you struck out, take a moment as we approach the upcoming Resurrection Day. Easter is the day that we celebrate the risen Christ. He is alive and so is His word. Jesus came to this earth to teach his Father’s values. However he did so much more than just teach, he demonstrated. Just because you struck out does not mean that the game is over. Don’t pout on the bench because you didn’t measure up! Jesus understands your failings, yet he still wants you in the game. He is very much alive and gave his all…for you! Let this Easter be your resurrection as you remove your death garments and let him lay on your shoulders the garment of righteousness.

 The world can have the world. You can have so much more. Be blessed this upcoming Easter and always!

©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 Character, Easter, Selfishness

An Early Christmas Present

Christmas lights

I was just sitting here this morning reading through the Scriptures, just minding my own business, and where do you think God took me?

We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.      1 Tim. 6:7-10

Why, when I was reading this, did I think first of this holiday season? Christmas for the Christian is a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. A life of great importance, a sacrifice beyond any we have ever encountered, for a purpose many simply don’t understand. “Why would Jesus Christ come to earth in the flesh to die on the cross and pay the price for our sins?” “I am hardly worth the trouble.” (An entire topic for another conversation) Believe it or not, understand it or not, it happened! How then, I ask you, does this stern warning regarding the love of money bring up thoughts of Christmas?

I think it all plays into the issue of idolatry. What have we chosen to worship in lieu of offering our praise and worship to the messenger of our salvation? It’s sad to say that at this holiday season the priorities of people become abundantly clear. I have found myself guilty of stacking the Christmas wish list with little goodies that feed my flesh and NOT my spirit.

We get so caught up in buying the best and most expensive presents for others simply for the accolades that we will get when they open it. Our present has to the best because you know it reflects on us (and we get to rub other’s faces in it). This is the time of year that we get to gorge ourselves on all the things that we wouldn’t think of touching the rest of the year.  All care is abandoned to the wind. We skimp on our tithe to purchase things for ourselves (“they are on sale!”) because we don’t have the patience to wait to see if we get it for Christmas. Perhaps we cease giving all together because traditionally we so overspend that we don’t have the money to make ends meet and our church giving is the first to be sacrificed. In honor of the birth of our savior we summarily dismiss discipline and many of the things that Jesus preached against in his lifetime.

This is the season when churches, charities and other organizations are most hit with the needs of others. I want to encourage you, eat out a few less times, reduce the amount spent on gifts, don’t spoil the children with incredible excesses. Ask yourself, “Could I impact the life of another on the amount that I am going to spend on this (fill in the blank)?” During the holiday season most churches take a big hit in their tithing and yes, the bills still need to be paid. If you’re asking, “What has my church done for me?” I would first say, God will forgive you your selfishness. and secondly, if you can say that you’ve never received from your church, I’m not just talking money, perhaps you need to find another church. On the whole, I don’t believe that to be the case.

All of these things, they are not the reason for our Christmas celebration.

You can still have a fun and sane Christmas holiday. Watch your budget, stay out of your savings, except Christmas Clubs. Don’t buy to impress others, impress God with your discipline.  Gift-give modestly and within your means and share your love abundantly!

Most importantly, focus on the meaning of Christmas. If you’ve forgotten, grab the family and pop-in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Little Linus has got it right…out of the mouths of babes?

God bless you and have a joyous Christmas Holiday!

Eric A. Disney

©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. It’s a thoughtful Christmas gift for any couple’s in your life.

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Filed under Christmas, Finances, Idolatry, Selfishness