Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love is Not Self-Seeking

I was presented with the phrase: "Love is not self-seeking" for my blog entry today.

Self-seeking is not a word most of us use frequently. I consulted Webster's and this is what was there:

Self"-seek`ing\, n. The act or habit of seeking one's own interest or happiness; selfishness.

Related Words for : self-seeking adjective
expedience, opportunism, self-interest, self-serving

1. interested only in yourself [syn: self-serving]
1. taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences for others [syn: opportunism] " *

I like the pharse "interested only in yourself." Whoa! If that's not the complete OPPOSITE of love, I don't know what is.

I met my husband at a church single's New Year's Eve Party. It was not love at first sight but at second sight. He had come with a friend to the party and then about 3 weeks later accompanied the same friend to a special program at my church.

That was the night I noticed him. In fact, it was as if he was being backlit with movie lights. Wherever I looked, light shown around him.

No, I wasn't experiencing problems with my optic nerve. I think this was just one of those unexplainable manifestations of attraction. All of us who have fallen in love have experienced the fact that when attraction begins, it makes us super-sensitive with our senses to the other person.

Well, that night was in January and we married October 5 of that year. And one of the things that made our dating, courtship and marriage last for years is that my dh is never "self-seeking." He just doesn't have a selfish bone in his body. This fact has continued to delight me over our years together. He just wants me to be happy. If I'm happy, so is he.

This alone makes him easy to love. He never demands anything. He never says, "Woman, you must be submissive. I'm the boss. I get my way."

Once a young woman was worried that her fiance was very concerned about whether or not she would submit to him when they were married. My advice to her was to "run, not walk to the nearest exit." If a man is already brow-beating his future bride with his desire for control (read that as seek for himself, that is a man who does not know what love is.

Many of us are mothers. I often thought when my children were small, that I would rather have suffered the ear infection, the cold, or the flu than have to watch them suffer. That I think is the essence of love.

And I'm grateful that I'm married to a man who didn't have to learn that. It was just there in him as a child of God. True love is not self-seeking.

*Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


  1. Lyn, how true you are about true love not be self seeking. I love the story of how you met your husband--especially the light shining around him.


  2. And I completely understand about wishing we could be sick in place of our children.

  3. Lyn -- I so agree with your advice to that young woman. A man like that would be hard to be married to -- Your husband sounds like a gem.

  4. I always call my dh, my real life hero! Now you know why.

  5. I so agree with heading in the opposite direction if your intended mate always wants their way and is dominating. But that applies to women as well as men. I have known several women who are self-seeking and want to dominate their men. They just do it in a different way.

  6. You're right, Ellen. Self-seeking is unisex!
    And dangerous when done by either.

  7. Today’s post reminds me of Kant’s classic moral dictum:

    “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end. ”

    I think love follows this same moral dictum. Notice how Kant was wise enough to include ourselves in this equation?

    Loving oneself without ‘self-seeking’ is also important.

    However, it seems in our culture, any mention of 'self love' will be construed as being self-centered and selfish.

    Can anyone suggest how to define 'self-love'? It has been said that one cannot love anyone else until one can love oneself.

    What is healthy 'self-love'?

    What would a Christian call 'self-love'?


  8. Lyn, I love how you saw your future hubby as almost backlit!! So sweet!

    Vince, I think we need to see ourselves as a valuable, lovable child of God before we're capable of loving others. God enables us to love others.

  9. Lyn, I have to constantly check myself on this point, especially when I'm relating to my husband. Thanks for the heartfelt post.


  10. Hi Missy:

    “I think we need to see ourselves as a valuable, lovable child of God before we're capable of loving others. God enables us to love others.”

    What a wonderful definition of ‘self-love’. I just wonder why so many people seem to have a problem doing this.


  11. Love is esteeming others above ourselves, seeking to serve rather than be served. My husband is a wonderful example of this in my life also. We are blessed, Lyn!


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