Dying to My Preferences

A few months ago my bride and I attended a meeting on “new monasticism” – living in intentional, multi-family groups.  Yeah, that can be a commune in all the ugly ways, but it can also be something good. I only mention it here because of something said to me by the man who owned the house in which we met. This fellow, a bit older than I, said he didn’t like entertaining – and I commented on how odd it was given he regularly had a group of 20 or more in his home. He said, “I am learning to die to my preferences“.

Those words have stuck with me – even haunted me if you will – ever since. I frankly didn’t like the idea, but at the same time I heard Jesus so very clearly in those words. The preferences I’m thinking of aren’t things that matter deeply to me, or things based on morality, law, or decency. I have a great many other preferences – little things that really don’t matter as much as I’d like to think they do.

The Bible puts it like this:

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another… [Romans 12:10 NKJV]

That’s probably something I should be doing – and I should probably put my wife at the top of the list.

4 Comments on “Dying to My Preferences

  1. Thank you for a great word today. This has been one of the clearest struggles that I have faced with my wife and now with my grown children 2 of whom are married and two single. The training is over and they while basically doing great with life they have preferences that I have not chosen. Releasing them to the care of Christ has been a daily prayer.

  2. Making changes in the “little” things, and dying to my preferences, as you put it, have probably made the biggest difference in turning our marriage around to being a passionate marriage.

  3. This is probably the biggest “cross” each of us has to take up daily. Our needs are met, but not the way we want. I know I need to let these things go.

  4. This is a challenge, especially when your needs are not being met and you feel unappreciated. Though it is the thing to do. Loving unconditionally definitely kills this “flesh”.

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