Seeketh Not Her Own

Posted by on Dec 18, 2011

Seeketh Not Her Own

“Seeketh Not Her Own”

MP3 Version: “Seeketh Not Her Own
Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 13:5

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia


A. I’m sure that all of us here this morning know that the Bible commands us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
1. For example, HUSBANDS are commanded to love their wives.
2. The Bible says in Eph. 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
3. WIVES are also commanded to love their husbands.
4. The Bible says in Tit. 2:4, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands,”
5. Then, of course, ALL BELIEVERS are commanded to love all other believers.
6. The Bible says in 1 Pet. 1:22, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”
7. And so, all of us here this morning know that the Bible commands us to love another.

B. What we may not know, however, is HOW to love one another.
1. In fact, I am convinced that there are many married couples (many husbands and wives) although they have a desire to love another, they really don’t know HOW!
2. And let me tell you WHY they don’t know how.
3. First of all, they don’t know how because they didn’t have loving parents as MODELS.
4. Listen to me, all you moms and dads, one reason that you should love each other is so that, by observing you, your children can learn from your example.
5. Paul admonished the young preacher, Timothy to “be…an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity,” (1 Tim. 4:12)
6. Parents also, should be an example (a model) to their children, teaching them by their own example how to be loving.
7. And so, some married couples don’t know how to love each other because they didn’t have loving parents as models.

C. Another reason is because they have never been TAUGHT.
1. Two weeks ago we focused our attention on 1 Cor. 13:4 and learned three thing about what it means to love your spouse (husband or your wife).
2. First of all, we learned that to love your spouse means to be PATIENT with them (willing to endure their many flaws and imperfections).
3. Secondly, we learned that to love your spouse means to be SATISFIED with them (not wanting anyone else).
4. Thirdly, we learned that to love your spouse means to HUMBLE (willing to admit when you are wrong, to say “I’m sorry,” and ask forgiveness).

D. This morning, I want us to continue along these lines, focusing our attention on 1 Cor. 13:5, and learning at least three more things about what it means to love your spouse.

E. Notice, first of all, that to love your spouse means to be…

I. Mannerly.

A. Notice again how Vrs. 5 begins, it says that love “Doth not behave itself unseemly,”
1. That word “unseemly” is translated from a Greek word (aschemoneo) literally means, “unbecoming,” or “improper” or “impolite.”
2. And so, what Paul is saying is that love is MANNERLY (practices good manners).

B. Now I’m sure that we would all agree that basic manners are greatly lacking in SOCIETY in general.
1. (Illus.- Just last week, as I was getting out of my car to go into the Ranson Post Office, I observed a lady with several parcels in her hand approaching the door. As she neared the door, a man hurried to get in front of her, presumably to open the door for her. However, instead of opening the door for her, he hurried inside himself, letting the door close behind him. Now I know why he did that; he was in a hurry and he didn’t want this lady to get in line in front of him. However, there is absolutely NO excuse for this is kind of “unseemly” behavior.)
2. And so, we would all agree that basic manners are greatly lacking today in society in general.

C. However, what’s REALLY sad is that basic manners are lacking in many MARRIAGES today.
1. Simple things like saying, “Please” and “Thank you.”
2. Simple things like being pleasant and complimentary.
3. Simple things like NOT being critical or demeaning.
4. Simple things like NOT raising or changing the tone of your voice when you are trying to make a point.
5. Simple things like giving your spouse your undivided attention when they are speaking to you.
6. Simple things like opening the door for your wife.
7. Simple things like wiping your feet before entering the house or picking up after yourself.
8. And the list goes on and on!
9. But the point is, in many marriages today, these common courtesies, as well as others, are greatly lacking.

D. And it’s not that we are rude ALL of the time.
1. (Illus.- For example, when we come to church, we are the epitome of politeness. We are all smiles, we are pleasant, we are complimentary, we have nothing but words of encouragement for others. However, as soon as we get in our cars to go home, or as soon as we enter the privacy of our own homes, it’s like we become a different person, someone who is anything but mannerly. There’s something wrong with this picture.)
2. (Illus. Another example, we go to work in the morning, and while we are at work, again, we are the epitome of politeness. I mean, it’s “please” and “thank you” to everyone. We never raise our voices, we never criticize, we never make a sarcastic remark. We are as sweet as sweet can be. However, as soon as we get in our cars to go home, or as soon as we walk through the front door of our home, it’s like we become a different person, someone who is anything but mannerly. Again, there is something wrong with this picture.)
3. The honest truth is, some husbands are more polite to strangers than they are to their own wives.
4. And some wives are more polite to strangers than they are their own husbands.

E. Now that’s NOT love.
1. Love is civil.
2. Love is polite.
3. Love is courteous.
4. Love is mannerly.
5. What many marriages need are simply more manners.
6. Let me issue you this challenge; if your marriage is not what it ought to be, during the next week (seven days), while you are at home with your spouse, do your very best to practice good manners, and see if it doesn’t make a difference. (I think you will begin to see a difference almost immediately.)
7. But you say, “Pastor, what about my wife, or what about my husband? They are as rude to me as I am to them.”
8. Don’t worry about them now, you just concentrate on YOU becoming more mannerly.
9. If you will change your behavior, that will encourage them to do likewise. (Just simple courtesy!)

F. And so, to love your spouse means to be mannerly.
1. The Bible says in 1 Pet. 3:8, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:”
2. To love your spouse also means to be…

II. Unselfish.

A. Notice again Vrs. 5, it says that love “… seeketh not her own,”
1. Now what does that mean, “…seeketh not her own”?
2. It simply means that love is NOT SELFISH.
3. The word translated “seeketh” is a very interesting word.
4. The Greek word (zeteo) from which it is translated literally means “TO PLOT” or “to plan” or “to go about.”
5. Now with that in mind, what Paul is saying here is that love does not spend it’s time plotting or scheming how to get it’s own way.
6. Love is just the OPPOSITE of that.
7. Love doesn’t care whether it gets it’s way or not, but gladly defers to the will of others.

B. Paul put it like this in Rom. 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (To prefer someone simply means to put them first, deferring your will to their will.)

C. Jesus, of course, is our supreme example when it comes to being unselfish.
1. Do you remember what He said to His Father when He was in the Garden praying?
2. He said, “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
3. Aren’t you glad that rather than insisting on having it His way, He deferred His will to His Father’s will?
4. If He had not done that, there would be NO HOPE for any of us (we would all be eternally lost).
5. Now this is not to say that there was a conflict between the Father’s will and the Son’s will, because there was NOT.
6. We have to remember, though, that in addition to being God, Jesus was also a man, and as a man, was NOT looking forward to the suffering that He knew was coming.

D. And so, to love our spouse means to be unselfish.
1. It means to not insist on always having our own way.
2. It means to be willing to defer our will (what we want) to their will (what they want).
3. Now I know what some of you husbands are probably thinking right about now.
4. You are thinking that because you are the head of the family, that you should ALWAYS get your way (after all, you ARE the boss).
5. Now that is true PART of the time.
6. It’s true that you should always get your way when you are talking about matters of PRINCIPLE, because YOU are the one who will one day answer to God for decisions made concerning matters of principle.
7. However, when it comes to matters of PREFERENCE, you should be willing to say, “Yes Dear, whatever you want!”
8. And wives, the same thing holds true with you as well, at least every now and then, you should be willing to say to your husbands, “Yes Dear, whatever you want.”
9. Why? Because love is UNSELFISH.

E. Not only is love unselfish, love is also…

III. Trusting.

A. Notice again the last phrase in Vrs. 5, it says that love “…thinketh no evil.”
1. Now what does that mean, “…thinketh no evil”?
2. Well, the word “thinketh” is translasted from a Greek word (logizomai) that literally means, “to conclude” or “to reckon” or “to suppose.”
3. And so, when Paul said that love “thinketh no evil,” he simply meant that love does not ascribe to others evil motives or evil intentions.
4. In other words, love is not suspicious.

B. Now it must be said that there are instances when a spouse has a right to be suspicious.
1. (Illus.- For example, if a husband has been found or discovered to be involved in viewing pornography, even if he repents and even if he promises his wife that he will never do it again, she has a right to be suspicious, at least until her trust in him has been restored, and that could take years.)
2. (Illus.- If a wife has been caught in an affair, even if she repents and even if she promises her husband that she will never do it again, he has a right to be suspicious, at least until his trust in her has been restored, and again, that could take years.)
3. And so, there are instances when a spouse has a right to be suspicious, that is, when past moral failures have destroyed the trust.

C. However, if that is not the case, if there is NO legitimate reason to be suspicious, true love is TRUSTING.
1. (Illus.- I remember a lady who came to me many years ago and said, “Pastor, you’ve got to talk to my husband as soon as possible.” I asked her why it was so urgent, and her answer was, “I’m pretty sure that he’s having an affair!” I asked her, “Do you have any proof?” She said, “No.” I asked her if she had any circumstantial evidence, and again she said, “No.” I then asked her, “Has he given you ANY reason to believe that he might be having an affair?” She said, “Nothing I can put my finger on.” In frustration I then asked her, “Why then do you believe he is having an affair?” She said, “I’ve just got this feeling!” Well, I did talk to her husband later on and he assured me that he hadn’t even thought about having an affair, and I believed him.)
2. Listen, love is not like that!
3. Love is not suspicious.
4. Love does not ascribe evil motives or evil intentions to one’s spouse without a VERY good reason.
5. Love is trusting!!!

D. But someone says, “Wait a minute, pastor. I have trusted people in the past and they have ended up hurting me.”
1. I’m sure that’s true.
2. I’m sure that we have ALL experienced the same hurt.
3. However, it is still far better to trust your spouse and take a chance on being hurt, than to go through life being suspicious all the time. (What a miserable way to live your life!)


A. What does it mean to love your spouse?
1. It means to be MANNERLY. (Acting in a polite or civil manner towards your spouse.)
2. It means to be UNSELFISH. (Putting your spouses preferences before your own.)
3. It means to be TRUSTING. (Not ascribing evil motives or evil intentions to your spouse. Not being suspicious.)
4. How about it men?
5. How about it ladies?
6. By these definitions, are you truly loving your spouse?