I finally took the plunge. Yup, that’s right – I bought an essential oils starter kit. For those of you who don’t yet know about this growing trend, an essential oil is an aromatic natural oil extracted from a plant. These oils have been used for millennia as natural remedies to life’s ailments. They can be used by diffusing, applying topically, or ingesting.
One of my favorite stories about essential oils happened back during the 1500s when the bubonic plague was running rampant in Europe. Fun setting, right? Four thieves gained notoriety by robbing infectious dead bodies of their possessions. Yet, the airborne bacteria didn’t kill them! When they finally got caught, they were offered a reduced sentence in exchange for their secret: wearing masks infused with vinegar and essential oils!
In John 12:3, Jesus was having dinner at Mary and Martha’s house. “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” Spikenard was a perfume with medicinal properties made from the essential oils of a plant from the Himalayan mountains. The cost was equal to one year’s salary – worth tens of thousands of dollars today. But Mary didn’t care. She lavished it on Jesus, filling the room with the sweet aroma of her selflessness.
With all the sweet aromas floating around my own home, how, you may ask, does my husband feel about it? Well, considering he’s the one who force-feeds me oregano essential oil when I get sick just to get a laugh from my facial reaction to the strong taste, he’s just fine with it. In fact, he thinks it’s a major improvement from my sweet-smelling, chemically-enhanced candles that sometimes give him headaches.
That’s the thing about marriage. We try to put each other’s needs first, whether that means my hubster chasing me around the house to get me to take something that will benefit my health, or me refraining from burning certain candles when he’s home. It’s all about selflessness. One might even say that selflessness is an essential component to a God-honoring marriage, or any successful relationship.
When selflessness disappears and selfishness rears its ugly head, we’ve got trouble. Even selfishness over little things like candles can cause big problems, both in my relationship with my husband and in my walk with God. I would much rather avoid that, but the struggle is real. Sometimes I have to summon discipline from the deep, dark recesses of my willpower (though that same willpower becomes very shallow when chocolate is involved).
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
I’m not always successful at selflessness. In fact, I fail way more often than I’d like to admit. A lot of the time, my thoughts throughout the day revolve around accomplishing my responsibilities rather than taking a step back to evaluate how I can put my husband first. Honestly, he feels more loved when I spend time with him doing yard work than when I fold his laundry, especially because he knows that the laundry will haunt me until I get it done. Hey, maybe I can bless him by making him essential oils products!
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Share a way God is challenging you to spread the sweet aroma of selflessness in the comments below!
Family Radio Staff