Ephesians 5:21 says to, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." and Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." Keller says that a big problem that usually keeps marriages stuck is self-centeredness. I can attest to that, since I lived way too many years with a negative, prideful, selfish, insecure mindset. I still can't believe Amy stuck with me all those years, and then still sticks with me despite what I put her through. Her love and faith never ceases to amaze me. She inspires me to keep letting God tear me down, so He can build me into the man, husband and father my family wants and needs.
Look at these words Keller wrote in chapter two that sums up solid truth about the key to a thriving, Godly marriage, and a remedy for self-centeredness:
Self-centeredness by its very character makes you blind to your own while being hypersensitive, offended, and angered by that of others. The result is always a downward spiral into self-pity, anger, and despair, as the relationship gets eaten away to nothing.I want this to be my mindset. I pray that God enables me and Amy to live this out daily. What a powerful reminder of the meaning of marriage according to God's economy.
But the gospel, brought home to your heart by the Spirit, can make you happy enough to be humble, giving you an internal fullness that frees you to be generous with the other even when you are not getting the satisfaction you want out of the relationship. Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul's tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful. I call this "love economics." You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love "in the bank" to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness in the moment..
To have a marriage that sings requires a Spirit-created ability to serve, to take yourself out of the center, to put the needs of others ahead of your own. The Spirit's works of making the gospel real to the heart weakens the self-centeredness in the soul. It is impossible for us to make major headway against self-centeredness and move into a stance of service without some kind of supernatural help.