Showing Interest

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How many times have you selfishly looked out for your own interests while ignoring the interests of your spouse?

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4, NIV

Nine-year-old Jason's temper tantrums were becoming extreme. Jason's father, Doug, brought him to me (David) for assessment. It didn't take long for me to see the problem.

When Doug entered the playroom, he noticed a Velcro dartboard on the wall and began throwing the darts while Jason retrieved them. This lasted about three minutes, then Jason noticed a Ninja Turtle play set on the floor. "Daddy! Daddy! Let's play on the floor with Leonardo!" Jason excitedly asked the same question of his dad several times. Doug refused.

Jason's temper began to rise. His face flushed and his fists clenched. At his wit's end, Doug pleaded, "Don't cry, Jason! Don't get mad! Just relax! If you'll just calm down, I'll take you to a basketball game!"

Nowhere in our session had Doug really showed an interest in his son's world. Jason's world wasn't darts or basketball games; it was on the floor with Ninja Turtles. Jason needed his dad to enter his world and give him his undivided attention.

I have to wonder, how many times have I done the same thing? How many times have I selfishly looked out for my own interests while ignoring those of my wife? I've asked Teresa to go to professional conferences with me and patted myself on the back for being such an attentive husband, even though Teresa was left to entertain herself while I attended meetings. I've even chosen birthday gifts and Christmas presents that may have been trendy or financially good investments but weren't even close to the inter­ests of my wife.

I need to take the time and effort to step into my wife's world and take an interest in what interests her.

What specific steps can you take today to involve yourself in the interests of your spouse?

God, let me consider my spouse before I consider myself. May my interests be secondary to Yours and to his or hers.

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