2 Peter 1:6 (LB), "Learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply."
Notice it says, you've got to learn, this does not come naturally to you. Focus on giving rather than receiving, to put aside your own desires.
You see the problem is as relationships grow, after we've got them established, we don't put as much emphasis into maintaining them as we did to start it. You don't put as much effort in the relationship as you did at the beginning.
The typical American man: goal oriented. His goal is: I'm going to get married. He's out on the prowl. He finds you. He does everything in his power to woe you, brings you flowers, calls you on the phone, he does what you want to do. But the moment you're married it's bam! Mission accomplished, now he sets a new goal.
Usually the second goal, after he gets married, is building a business to finance the marriage. All of a sudden all of his attention goes into building the business. The poor wife is going "What happened? All of a sudden Mr. Prince Charming who used to pay attention to me, as soon as we got married, I never see the guy anymore. What happened?" He got a new goal. He's accomplished the first goal, he loves you, but he's not putting the energy into it anymore. The dating turns to debating.
The five stages of a marriage cold:
1. First year – "Baby, darling, I'm worried about that sniffle you have. I've called the paramedics to take you to UCLA hospital for a checkup and some rest. I know you don't like hospital food so I'll bring you meals from Spagos."
2. Second year – "Sweetheart, I don't like the sound of that cough. I've arranged for Dr. Johnson to make a house call. Let me tuck you in bed."
3. Third year – "You look like you've got a fever. Why don't you drive yourself down to the QuickCare and get some medicine and I'll watch the kids."
4. Fourth year – "Look! Be sensible. After you've fed and bathed the kids and washed the dishes, you ought to get in bed."
5. Fifth year – "For Pete's sake! Would you stop complaining?"
A man said, when I used to come home, my wife brought me slippers, my dog came barking, now things are reversed.
Just a thought from the front porch…