A Me 1st Story

I dropped the phone on my bed. It was late and something had just snapped inside of me. I am letting go of my phone, but actually I am letting go of something much bigger. And it feels good. It had taken me almost a year to get to this point, but I am here now trying to make sense of how I feel. 

I had just said something that at one time I wondered if I would ever be able to say. I didn’t know what would happen next, but it didn’t matter right now. Everything had just changed. 

I buried the hurt from everyone, and now it was coming back out. I knew once I said what I was going to say, I would never be able to take it back. So I paused for a moment, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and just let the words come out. It took all the courage I could muster but I finally did it.

At that moment I let go of me. I let go of my past. I let go of everything that I was holding on to that made me feel safe. It was like stepping off a cliff not knowing where I would land. 

Just a few minutes earlier I had slowly picked up the phone and punched in the number. My heart was racing and my hands were sweating as I listened to the ringing tone on the other end. The conversation wouldn’t really matter this time, only the last phrase. I kept repeating that phrase to myself in my head the whole time.

When her voice picked up, I stumbled through the conversation for a while. Then I just said it. It was three little words that I knew would change me forever.

I said, “I love you”.  And the response on the other end still echos in my mind 17 years later, “I Love you too.”  I gave in to love, and love gave in to me.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

This is Why and How You Should Have a Me 1st Marriage.

There Cannot Be Two without One First

Marriage Is Like the Tango Dance

When we were little, my sister and I would fight, and then blame each other for starting it. My mother would then say, “It takes two to tango!” She meant that it takes two people to fight, just like it takes two to perform the Tango dance!

But marriage is like a life-long Tango dance. You hold each other tightly and maneuver through the rhythm of life together.

You must have a partner to do it

You just can’t go solo in a Tango. You have to have a lover to love. You have to be lovable to be loved. The dance of love can only begin when the lovers find each other.

And it’s the “each other” that draws out the passion of love. When two individuals merge in the dance of love, it’s the individual parts that make it work.

You have to do your part

Each partner in the dance must do their part or the dance will not work. There is a lead and a follow. So the expression of your individual self within the love relationship keeps the dance of love going. You must maintain the “you” part in your relationship in order for your love to work.

The steps are planned in advance

You both have to know how to Tango. Marriage depends on two people to make it work. So you have to be involved if your marriage is going to work. That’s why it is so important for you to focus on you because if you can’t do your part in love, it will not work properly.

Two Individual Lives Join in Marriage

Your individuality makes your love work

Before you were married it was you, but now it is the two of you. The individuality that you bring into the marriage relationship is what makes it so special.

You meet someone because of what you have in common but fall in love because of what is different about each other. For example, when I met my wife, we met in a church because we had faith in common, but I fell hopelessly in love with her because of things that she had that I did not. She has a beautiful smile that changes the entire atmosphere in a room. She is kind, loving, and can carry a conversation. I am none of that by the way!

Those individual traits are what makes love so wonderful. Two people with separate lives join those lives together in ultimate fulfillment love, a lifetime commitment.

Love is the driving force that brings you together 

Love starts out as this abrupt, emotional collision! It’s like the “big bang” of life when you love someone so much that your lives collide in an incredible explosion of passion. It’s a love that is so intense that you lose yourself in it. The thing is, you keep losing yourself for a lifetime.

But the truth is, becoming lost in love makes you better as an individual. You never really lose “you” in losing yourself in love; you change into a better form of you. Love is designed to make the individual in love better. Loving your spouse is, in essence, an improvement of yourself.

Love Is Its Own Math

One in love with the other one makes one! 


But in the formula of love you never really lose the individual ones. You and your spouse join together and make one love together. You cannot make the 1 love together without the 1 and the 1.

The Two Become One Flesh Bible Principle

This goes all the way back to the beginning of life as we know it. God made an individual man with all his personal characteristics. Then God made an individual woman with all her personal characteristics. Then the sparks flew when He put them together.

The Marriage Covenant Makes You One

In the beginning, He made them one in a covenant between Him and them.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

Genesis 2:24

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 

Mark 10:6-9

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 

Ephesians 5:31

God makes you one based on a promise that you make between Him and your spouse. The act of marriage makes you one. You don’t lose the individual you; instead, you merge the individual you with the other individual that you love. 

Maintaining you is maintaining your relationship.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you are not honoring your part of the marriage covenant. There cannot be two if you are not taking care of yourself. 

Together, you make one in the marriage covenant. You have to keep the “you”  in order to have two to make one in the covenant. By taking care of yourself, you are in essence loving your spouse. By taking care of you, you are giving your spouse the best version of you possible. This is a giving that you should not only do on your wedding day but throughout the course of your marriage. 

Marriage is like giving a gift to someone you love

Every day you are wrapping the gift of you giving it to your spouse. And that you should be the best gift that you can give. You are one flesh because you are giving yourself to each other. 

If you are not taking care of you, what kind of gift are you giving your spouse? Sometimes we treat the gift of ourselves like just picking up something around the house and losing wrapping it. No, when you love someone you give them the best gift that you can.

I remember shopping for an engagement ring for my wife. I asked a mutual friend to do some covert snooping for me. Then I saved up and bought her the best I could. It was a gift that I gave to her to symbolize my love for her.

You should treat the gift of you like it is worthy of the love you have for your spouse. What about the gift that Jesus gives to you? He gives the gift of love, and it is the gift of himself. And He is a perfect gift. So much so that He was sinless.

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 

Titus 2:14

Love Is Ultimately a Self-Focused Emotion

I have this thought in my heart and on my mind but this hard to convey so you may have to listen a little more intently to get it. I just can’t find a way to express this in language, but I will do my best.

Last week, we went around the class and took turns finishing the sentence, “I knew I loved my spouse when…” One of a couple of recurring themes was how your spouse made you feel at a certain time brought you to the point of loving them.

I realized that I loved my wife when I knew that she was not going anywhere. She made me feel like I could trust her. It was all about how she made me FEEL. That’s because, at its core, romantic love is self-focused.

There Is Danger in Selfish Love

You fall in love because of what you get from being in love. So you fall out of love when you stop getting what made you fall in love, to begin with. All the bitterness and anger of a broken love can be summed up with this phrase, “I stopped getting.” 

Love is about what you get, but real love is also about what you give.

Many lovers have fallen hopelessly in love with what they are getting instead of what they are giving to their relationship. So the love stops with the getting. We call it different things like, “the honeymoon is over,” or “the seven-year itch” but the truth is as simple as your primal desire to get. You stopped getting. 

There Is a Such a Thing as a Healthy Self-Focused Love

Love is really about what you get out of it, but you get it through giving. The reward is the love that you get back in return, and the feeling that giving in love gives to you.

By bringing pleasure to my spouse I am bringing pleasure to me. Love is an action and a noun. The action part is you giving it and the noun is you getting it. So love is two-sided- giving and getting.

Even the Gospel Includes a Self-Focused Aspect

In love, Jesus gave His life for you. In return He gets you. So he gives love freely with the potential reward of getting you.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12:2

His giving includes the potential reward of love in return.

A Team Is Only as Good as Its Members

The Team of Marriage

You and your spouse are a team that works together to meet each other’s needs and ultimately as Christians to make disciples for Jesus. But your team cannot work right without both of you participating. So the “you” in love becomes important to the team of marriage.

Micheal Jordan was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He looked like he was floating through the air and seemed to make any shot whenever he wanted. The better his competition, the better his game got. But his team, the Chicago Bulls, was awful. Until one day he realized that all the defensive attention he got from other teams left his teammates open. So he started passing the ball and ended up winning a record 6 NBA championships. That’s what a team is, sharing the load and working together.

So one person can’t make your marriage what it should be. That is why it is important that you provide the “player” that the team of your marriage needs.

The Bible Principle of Team Work

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

II Corinthians 6:14

Animals are yoked together to create more power to operate things like a plow. So God says an unequal yoke with an unbeliever and believer will not work. In the same way, if you are not being the best you can be in the marriage relationship, you are creating a “yoke” relationship that is not what it should and could be. Your marriage will not work the way that God designed it without you being in the yoke with your spouse and working together.

God designed marriage to be two individual people working together to meet each other needs and ultimately to make disciples for Him. It starts with your family and moves to other people. After a decade of holding out, I finally had my book, “Full Assurance” printed because if I can help you with that, you can become a bold witness and make disciples. I am writing a marriage book because if I can help you with your marriage you can focus together on making disciples for Jesus. 

How to Have a Me 1st Marriage

Take Time to Focus on Your Personal Well-Being

Be Deliberate in Taking Care of Yourself

When you are single, this is easy to do because you really only have to take care of you. But when you get married, you have a spouse to take care of. Then when you have kids, you are to take care of them. Somewhere in all this, YOU get lost. 

You have to remember, that YOU are an important part of your marriage relationship and you need to take care of yourself. Some things are out of your control, so you have to focus on things that you can control instead. There are three parts of you that need attention in order for you to be the best you.

  1. Body- Your physical health. God gave you a body to share with your spouse and you should not neglect it. You should do your best to take care of that body.
  2. Soul- Your mind, will, and emotions. You have to consider your mental well being. If you are not in a good place, you can’t be good for your spouse.
  3. Spirit- Your relationship with God. This is the part of you that is dead until you put your faith in Jesus. You have to take care of your relationship with God. Honestly, if you can’t be a Christian to your spouse, you can’t be to anyone else!

This principle is taught in the Bible, we are what’s called triune beings. God created you with three parts, the last being the way you can connect with Him. 

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Ephesians 2:1

Although the spiritual part is definitely the most important, you should not neglect the others. God made you and intends for you to be healthy. You have to have a balance in your life.

Develop a Plan to Take Care of Yourself

So you take the three parts of you and write down an action plan with goals to improve yourself. Here is an example from my personal life:

  1. Body

Problem- I just don’t feel healthy right now.

Plan- I am drinking more water, eating smaller servings, and trying to get some form of exercise every day.

Goal- To lose 20 pounds and feel better within the next 6 months

  1. Soul

Problem- Stress

Plan- I am going to start using more checklists and manage my time better.

Goal- To finish my marriage book by this coming fall. And to be more organized overall.

  1. Spirit

Problem- I don’t feel as close to God as I have in the past.

Plan- Spend 15 extra minutes in Bible reading a prayer every day.

Goal- To feel close enough to God, that I could talk with him anytime throughout my day.

Your problems, plans, and goals are probably totally different than mine, but that’s OK. Just make them realistic for your circumstances. If you have work and family responsibilities, reading through the entire Bible in 3 months may not be realistic. Whatever you do, have a plan on making YOU better and you will change your marriage.

Balancing Your Personal Well-Being

Evaluate Yourself Periodically

Give Yourself a Checkup on You

Ask yourself questions about taking care of your body, your soul, and your spirit. If you give yourself an occasional checkup you can identify things in your life before they become a problem and impact your marriage.

It’s like going to the doctor, which I would recommend for your physical well-being anyway. You may find out your cholesterol is a little high, or your blood pressure is high so you can some lifestyle changes before your health gets out of control. I do understand that there are things that you cannot control, I am not talking about that right now.

For example, by discovering that your relationship with God is suffering, you can make some constructive changes to help that. In the process, you will help your marriage. Because being a better Christian makes you a better spouse.

Or if you realize you are not in a good place emotionally, or mentally, you can make some changes to help. Like stopping watching the negative news coverage on TV or the internet, or filling your mind with things are good and pure instead of viewing things that are not.

The  Bible Principle of Check-Ups

God wants you to give yourself checks-ups on your well-being. The following are some Bible verses that back this up.


For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 

I Corinthians 6:20


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

Philippians 4:8


Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 

James 4:8

Make Personal Time for Yourself

Get a Hobby

I know people who overdo the whole hobby thing. There are men who neglect their marriage for a hobby. And I am sure there are some women who do the same. There are people who have NO hobbies and it would do them some good to have some.

Hobbies are like a unique way of expressing your individuality and that is a good thing in marriage. I am not much of a hobby person, although I do enjoy writing most of it is for ministry though. 

What is your hobby? Or your hobby ideas? If you will submit them I will add them to the notes and possibly use them in the marriage book I am writing.

It’s OK to Spoil Yourself Sometimes

Buy yourself something just for you. Do something just of you from time to time. The biggest part of being a spouse is giving, but sometimes occasionally take a break and get. It will help you to have a break and allow you to return to giving in your relationship in a better way.

The Bible Principle of Taking Personal Time

The principle is found in the Ten Commandments, the fifth commandment to remember the Sabbath. The people were instructed to work for six days and rest for the seventh. (See Exodus 20:8-11) And it is clarified in the words of Jesus in the New Testament, the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. (Mark 2:27)

God created man and woman to have time to break from all the work and hassles of life. So take God’s advice and do it! Serving your spouse and your family is awesome, but without a break, you cannot be the spouse that you need to be.


Why Should You Have a Me 1st Marriage

There Cannot Be Two without One First

Love Is Ultimately a Self-Focused Emotion

A Team Is Only as Good as Its Members

How to Have a Me 1st Marriage

Take Time to Focus on Your Personal Well Being

Evaluate Yourself Periodically

Make Personal Time for Yourself

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[…] In the fear of God- Your submission to one another is intimately tied to your faith. So if you are not submitted to God, you can’t really submit in the right way to your spouse. You always submit to God first because He is more important than anyone else in your life. If you are not submitted to God, you can try to use this principle but it will not work like God intended for it to work if you don’t have faith. We talked about this in the lesson title Why and How You Should Have a Me… Read more »