“I” Is Less Than “We”-Why Love Requires Selflessness

Why Love Requires Selflessness

Love is an action.

I once heard a story about an older pastor and his wife that were doing marriage counseling with a young couple.  The couple shared a couch and they were seated so close together that you couldn’t slide a piece of paper between them. Meanwhile the pastor and his wife traded loving glances from across the room.

So which couple was more in love?

Something amazing happens when you are in a vibrant and thriving marriage.  You tend to grow closer together and you show it in different ways than you did when you first fall in love.

Love changes from a noun that you fell into to a verb that you do.

Bob and Kiddie

Bob and Kiddie met when they were just twelve year old kids.  The year was 1932. Her name was Elaine, but he said she looked like a little kid and so the name Kiddie stuck. They grew up together in church.  They were married in 1944 and he served in the Navy in the Pacific.

They were married for almost sixty-five years until he passed away.  In fact, his funeral was the day of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary.

I had the honor of officiating over the funeral.  Bob was my grandfather.

Put each other first

If there is one couple that taught my wife and I how to love one another as husband and wife, it was my grandparents.

They always exhibited a tenderness and selflessness with one another.  They truly made love an action.  No matter what, she was first for him and he was first for her.

The word soul-mate gets tossed around casually, but these two were truly made by God for one another.

Antique Valentine

Get rid of selfishness

In any relationship, but especially in a marriage, there is no room for selfishness. Perhaps you are thinking about getting married or you are married.  It is a daily battle sometimes to put aside your own interests and instead look to the best interests of your spouse.

It doesn’t necessarily come naturally, but it is vital to the success of a marriage.

“I” is less than “We”

When you get married you no longer are two individuals; the bible says you are “one flesh.”  To get a picture of what that looks like imagine two colors of PlayDoh.  If you were to mix them together you would still see the individual hints of the color woven throughout the mix, but it would be impossible to go back and separate them.

This is how your marriage is.

What is cool about this, though, is that together you make a wholly new and beautiful entity.

Even better than that is that you are stronger as a couple than you are individually.

If this is the case, then in marriage you either both win or both lose.  It can’t be a competition between the two of you.  When you fight for what you want as an individual, you weaken what you can accomplish together.

“I” is always less powerful than “We.”

When you join your lives and your wills together you create a bond that is stronger than either of you could be individually.  You will accomplish more that is worthwhile and a develop a legacy that will last for generations.

Take a bold stand

So how is your marriage relationship?

Is there something in it that needs to be changed?  Perhaps you have been putting what you want before what she wants.  Maybe your dreams are dwarfing his dreams.

Take a bold stand now.

Decide to communicate today with one another about the status of your relationship.  Make a point of dying to self each day and putting your bride or groom first.

Take care of the precious gift that is your marriage.   You want to be the type of couple that still lights up from across the room when your spouse enters it.

You want to be the type of couple that is strong and holds fast through the ups and downs of life and is devoted to the good of one another.

This type of couple is what the world sorely needs and is a force to be reckoned with.  This type of couple changes the world.  This type of couple raises godly children grounded in their faith and intent on changing their world.

This type of couple knows that love is a verb and it requires action.

They realize that I is always less than We.




Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • What a beautiful reminder of the power of God in marriage. Thanks for sharing your heritage with us! It’s so encouraging.

    • Thank you Carrie! I am so thankful to have had the example to follow. As they say, “they don’t make them like that anymore.”

  • Great post and much needed today. Not many people are willing to admit that you have to give up selfishness in order to make marriage work. 🙂

    • Thank you Dianna for your comments and thank you for sharing!

  • maxwell ivey

    Hi Jesse; Just read my first post on your site after following you here from my guest post on harleena’s site. I don’t know why you are having trouble getting comments, shares, or subscriptions. this was an excellent post and a great reminder for anyone who reads it no matter how good they think their marriage or relationships are. I should tell you that i only have about 25 people on my email list for my coaching site. it takes time. One thing I do wish is that discuss allowed people’s links to show up like in comment luv. I know we want loyal readers who comment just for the sake of having a conversation with us but i wonder if more comments would come in with a different comment system. I also wish there were a way to use discuss without having to create a profile. there are people who just refuse to join yet another site to leave a comment. I’m not questioning your choices or trying to cause you any disconcertion just thinking out loud. will do my best to share your posts. thanks and take care my friend. you have a great voice and eventually it will be heard, max

    • Thank you for the kind words Max. You are an encouragement. I have actually considered changing my commenting system for that very reason. I don’t want to make it difficult for people to engage. I appreciate your insights and I am glad that we got connected. Have a great day!

  • maxwell ivey

    Hi Jesse; Well, I just know that the one post I read impressed me and had me wondering why you aren’t getting comments. You are on adrienne’s site so you obviously are putting yourself out there. but this is a bit of a different niche. have you considered targeting other faith based blogs for commenting. for example I recently wrote an article for redwinemag.com Its in their nov issue. They have a pretty active blog and the topics and audience might be more receptive to your message and to sharing it. and if you have visitors who are mostly bloggers then using discuss isn’t a problem. but if most of your visitors are casual readers then it will be. you might consider changing your call to action in your next post. Mention that if they aren’t comfortable leaving a comment or if they have trouble with the comment format; to please send you a message telling you about it. You may find out that with your audience discuss doesn’t work. And I have a few readers who never comment but they always email now that they know emails are welcome. Let me know if I can help with anything else. best of luck, max

  • Marie Wikle

    Love this! thank you for the reminder to take care of the gifts of our marriage. It is work, it is always work. and WE is always better than me. 🙂


    • Thanks for the comments Marie. Fortunately it is the best kind of work though! And it is well worth the effort when you have someone that always has your back. I appreciate your insights!