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Yes, It Is About Me

Several years ago, my mother called to ask if I'd heard the new Toby Keith song that was currently number 1 on the country charts.

"It's my life's song, my motto, my mission statement!" she informed me. "Let me play it for you." She placed the phone next to her speakers.

Out came Toby's words: "I want to talk about me, I want to talk about I, I want to talk about number 1, oh my me my."

My mom and I still laugh about that and say, "Well, after all, it's all about me."
We can poke fun, but that all too often becomes a hard-core truth—especially in marriage. I know I can take myself a little too seriously and think, This should be about what I want. Then when my husband, Scott, doesn't meet my expectations, I can slam him with, "Why is everything always about you? I'd like it to be about me sometimes, you know."

Okay, I don't really say that. But I think it!

Fess up: How many of us are tempted to think that when we don't get our way? When we want to shout at our husband, "I want to talk about me!"

Sometimes it just feels better to take than to give. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I want my marriage to be about … me. Me, me, me.

And it's not just in marriage. It's pretty much in all relationships. But marriage just happens to be the most intimate and so offers the most opportunities for self-centeredness.

That can be a pretty tough reality.

But here's what I've realized: Marriage is, in fact, all about me. It's about how I respond when I don't get my way. And most of all, it's about the ownership I take to make my relationship with Scott the best it can be, which is spelled: servanthood.

The apostle Paul writes that we're to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21). Marriage truly becomes about me when I'm asked to serve my spouse, because that's what Christ desires for me.

I've seen that kind of servanthood most recently played out in Sarah and Todd Palin's marriage. Todd has been willing to step out of his comfort zone and out of his career to follow Sarah wherever that leads in this season of their marriage. Now granted, you could argue that it's different because it's for the possible vice presidency of the U.S. But servanthood is servanthood—whether it's on a grand scale or on a small, seemingly insignificant matter.

A few years ago, I watch Beth Bilsley live out her calling to serve her spouse. Her 46-year-old husband, Bill, was in the final stages of cancer. And at a point when many people would choose to leave their spouse because the going was too difficult, Beth chose to take leave from her job to become his full-time caregiver. She cleaned bodily messes, prayed with him, went without sleep, put her life on hold so she could serve him completely. That's how their entire marriage was. Each loving, helping, and serving the other.

Some people would think Beth made her marriage all about her husband. Yes, she sacrificed her wants for the greater good of her husband and marriage. But in a larger sense, she made it about herself. She accepted the challenge and the responsibility to serve, and lived it out.

When Bill died, Beth could say, "I loved, I served, I gave. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

At the end of my life, when I give an accounting to God for my marriage, I want to say, "God, I made my marriage all about me—how much I could honor and help and serve my mate."

And the best words God could say? "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Ginger E. Kolbaba

Ginger Kolbaba is the author of Desperate Pastors' Wives and The Old Fashioned Way. Connect with her on Twitter @gingerkolbaba.

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