Selfishness and Joy


Right now I’m going through an extremely painful time in my life, but specifically in my marriage. This might actually be the worst pain I’ve ever been through. I’ve gone through some tough times, but everything I have is on the line right now, my wife, my best friend, my family, my son. I question my sanity sometimes. Fifteen years of marriage and this marks, roughly, our eighteenth year of knowing each other.

I don’t want to get into specifics. I don’t want to come off as disparaging to my wife because I know she is going through genuine problems, unfortunately her solutions to those problems have been at my expense. But there is something that has stemmed from her selfishness: my own.

First, let’s look at this article:

Give it a read, its actually very good. I believe it perfectly defines what I’m going through right now, exclusively from my perspective. Note: This does not in any way invalidate what my wife is going though, her problems are legitimate. However, it does show you how she is handling the overall issue with me.

I found this on pinterest at the very top of my feed last night. The very first item, centered on the page. I had to sleep on the sofa last night due to hostilities and before I went to bed I logged on to try and cheer myself up (i know, i’m a beautiful woman on Pinterest. Being an artist i find it more productive than dealing with politics on places like Facebook. Pinterest is people exposed, Facebook is people obscured.)

The article resonated with me immediately. Throughout this entire experience I’ve been learning that the Father is ultimately the only one you can truly trust. Everyone will let you down at some point, except Him. I’ve been seeing the meaning that I need to lean on Him more, I need to lay my problems at His feet. However, I didn’t notice the side effect of the trauma I was going through: I was becoming prideful and selfish too. I was wanting credit where I didn’t deserve any.

My wife, despite our issues, is an amazing woman. I’m blessed to be with her. I see in her things that no one else can imagine. Things that she has given to no one else and I treasure that. We have a deep bond and intimacy, one that I could never see myself having with another woman. Due to problems in her past she is very closed off from people. I do everything I can to be supportive of her. If I could define myself as one thing in life it would be supportive, to an eleven on a scale of ten.

I believe I was specifically designed by Yeshua for her. People call that soulmates sometimes. I have an extreme amount of patience and understand and support to give her. She is a trying woman, but I know its not entirely her fault and I continue on. In exchange she gives me a very small, but special glimpse into who she truly is and I find that absolutely amazing.

But in cases like this that wall she keeps around herself finds itself between her and I. The drawbridge goes up in front of me. Unfortunately right now, the wall is also double thick…

…on fire…

…surrounded by a moat…

…with crocodiles.

Its awful.

157cef7bf8fd9a8444c9c7689bde53a0But what it has created in me is a selfishness where I want to be acknowledged as important to her. In the meantime, as the article suggests, I’m not the one that made me like this, Yeshua is, he deserves the credit. Although this experience has pushed me towards the Father more, I keep bucking around like a steer trying to do my own thing. Because I can’t submit my bitterness and emptiness are growing. I don’t know where or when the end will show up, but I have to believe that He is trying to show her something too.

That’s the rub, I guess. The Father has a plan for both of us. I need to remember that He facilitates part of that plan through us. Through all the pain and suffering we should be learning something. For me, i want that learning to be something that draws me closer to the Lord and hopefully, as a result, He will draw me closer to her. I pray everyday that these lessons won’t be at the expense of our relationship. With The Father in control I know that’s not the desired outcome, He would have us together forever. But, if she can’t submit to His will, she may damage everything and that is where fear begins for me. One of us has to stop fearing.

From now on I will pray and try everyday that it’s me. It has to be me… for the sake of us.


This article was extremely timely for me and I will pray on it. I’m going to do what I can to apply its lessons to my life, but I also had another observation about it.

Near the end of the article the author has this line:

Nobody gave to Jesus a tenth of what He gave to them, yet He lived a supremely glorious, powerful, faithful, and joyous life.

Jesus did not live a joyous life. I think he probably had joyful times in his life, but I would argue that his life was misery by and large. That might sound crazy, but let’s take a quick overview of the information:

Psalm 69 is Yeshua hanging on the cross as written most likely by David. Yeshua recounts his early years as a child in 69:8-12. From birth to death, Yeshua was subject to ridicule by the bulk of those he encountered, even his own brothers and sisters, the townspeople, the tavern dwellers, and the city officials. He was considered the bastard son of an adulterous mother.

His life brought on two extremes: love or rejection.

Throughout the gospels, Yeshua is constantly fatigued, badgered, and blown away by the horrendous blindness of the jewish people. Constantly being pursued by the legalists of the day he was in a constant battle to point out the hypocrisy of those who had come to rely on tradition rather than lean on The Lord’s love.

Before his crucifixion, Yeshua is so worried about his work that he actually begins to sweat blood while begging his father for another route. In the process he is betrayed, humiliated, illegally tried, and illegally convicted. He was beaten, tortured, and ultimately, because of his commitment to the mission, he is denied by his own father the moment he becomes sin for us.

The joy didn’t come until the work was completed. He lived a life of suffering so that we might share in the Joy of eternal life with Him.

I would suggest that a joyous life is never in the cards for the believer. We will have moments of Joy, but our lives will never be joyful. We are passers by in a land of death. Jesus only promised two things if we believe on him:

  • eternal life (from which our joy should spring)
  • suffering (the promise of eternal life is the source of our ability to endure the suffering)

Jesus kept moving forward because he knew what needed to be done, despite suffering, despite persecution. His lessons and His ultimate work are the example we should follow by remaining faithful in our suffering and trusting in Him to deliver us to joy afterwards.

2 thoughts on “Selfishness and Joy

  1. That was an amazing article Paul! The Pinterest article was spot on. Thank you for sharing. We are praying for you both and love you very much.