Truthfulness and Selfishness

By on February 1, 2015
close-up of horses eye

By Cindy Shannon–

LESSON 22 – Nitro is a horse – an animal – not a human or even God.  I may perceive his behavior as love or devotion to me, but it is usually him just wanting to get to either food, the herd or the barn.  That feeling of being loved by Nitro, unconditionally loved, is more in the training and him knowing how to respond, then it is unconditional love.  It ‘feels’ good to have him respond to me, every time, in the manner in which I want (because that is how he has been trained); but that is not the love we seek as women.

When I approach Nitro anywhere on the farm, he raises his head and his ears go forward to acknowledge me.  I love that, but let’s call it what it is; truthfully I  know that Nitro is not ‘choosing’ to acknowledge me out of love and devotion.  

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If you are in a place in your life where you are not receiving affirmation and affection, perhaps you are struggling in your marriage, your man is ‘absent’ or ‘angry’, this affirming behavior is more crucial.  In order to survive this struggle you are going to need to put your “spiritual house in order; otherwise, you’ll likely lack the strength, courage, and perspective to help your husband.” from Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas.  He says,

“When you live with an angry man, you not only crave but literally need God’s affirmation.  Men can be very cruel with their cutting comments; if you aren’t receiving affirmation and affection from your heavenly Father, your going to feel emotionally empty and perhaps even worthless and that will feed into your husband’s response and tempt you to become even more of a doormat.”

This is why it ‘feels’ so good to work with horses, they fill that void.  You can artificially substitute with a horse what you aren’t receiving at home.

So I dug a bit deeper, am I wanting a particular ‘feeling’?  If I am, why?

To be loved?  What is my ‘hearts’ desire?

Well, I started at Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”
So following my heart is probably NOT a good idea.

I am going to be brutally honest now about what my motives have been for praying.  I was praying to change behaviors because they were making my life miserable; I have come to a place where I am praying because I am concerned about how this behavior is grieving God and destroying spiritual growth.

As Dr. Thomas says in Sacred Influence;

“Are you motivated out of selfish ambition, or selfless love?  If selfishness motivates you, you’re far more likely to give up if you don’t get the immediate response you hoped for…its just not worth the hassle.”  “But if you truly dedicate yourself to the spiritual welfare of others, you will stick with it and persevere.”


Nitro, I dearly adore you as a horse and thank you for bridging the ‘unloved’ time for me when I was desperately low in my ‘love tank’.  God used you to guide me back to a spiritually sound place in being filled with HIS love instead of feeling empty in love and looking for that love ‘where ever my heart took me’.  That’s a dangerous place ~ being tossed to and fro.

Again, Nitro thank you ~ ha ha, here’s some grain 🙂 

Originally posted on Horses, Marriage, and Women 50+.

About Cindy Shannon

Cindy is a 50’something retired High School Marketing and Business teacher/track, cross country, volleyball coach and DECA Advisor with a school store in her classroom. She and her husband live on a farm where they host many church-related events; everything from father-son campouts, hayrides, bonfires, women “Facing Their Fears” one-day event, and Marriage Ministry. It is their desire to use the farm to encourage Christians and foster fellowship and healing. They are available for couples to just get away for a night, offering their Bed and Breakfast business for couples retreat. Their farm sits on approx. 100 acres with a large pond/dock for fishing. You can find her on her blog at: “Horses, Marriage and Women 50+": (

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Truthfulness and Selfishness