So what does it mean to out serve?
First let’s look at how Jesus served his disciples.
We all know the story in John before Jesus predicts who will betray and turn him over to be crucified. Jesus knew He soon would no longer be among his disciples so during the Passover meal, Jesus got up and began to wash His disciples feet.
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13: 14-15
How can we take Jesus’ lesson and apply it to our marriages?
We can certainly take the story literally and wash each other’s feet, I’ve seen this done as part of wedding ceremonies, and its really beautiful. Or perhaps in the shower together. 🙂 But, we can take this simple lesson and apply it so many other ways.
When I do the laundry, I hate matching socks, it’s most likely because my (no show ankle) socks are so small it seems silly to “waste” time by matching them. I usually end up wearing mismatched socks as a result.
However, one day K was helping me fold the clean clothes and he began matching his socks. I asked him why, and he simply just said it made it easier to find them when he was getting his clothes ready for work. And that was it. He didn’t request that I start doing it when I do laundry myself. But I chose to listen.
I wanted to do one small thing to help him when he get ready for work. I choose to spend a few extra minutes to serve him because I love him, and I wanted to show him that in a way that I hadn’t thought of before.
K serves me by trying to do what I ask when I ask (ex: taking the trash out, moving something, etc.) He wants to be helpful so he’s usually very quick to jump up and lend a hand. He’s also been quick to help clean up after dinner atleast a night or two out of the week. He’s often tired after work, but when he thinks about it it is such a blessing for me as I have most likely already cleaned the kitchen 2-3 times since we make all of our meals at home for the most part.
We also say please and thank you. A lot. This goes a long way when either of us is asking for a favor, we don’t really feel like the other is “commanding” when we use the word please. We are also eager to share gratitude by saying thank you.
I have noticed the more I serve Kason, the more he serves me. Most likely out of gratitude, but also because serving each other brings us joy.
These are simple ideas, but really the concept isn’t rocket science. I serve Kason because I love him, and I want to be the wife that God wants me to be. Kason serves me because he loves me and wants to be the husband God created him to be. Period.
When we slow down and really open our ears and hearts we can easily pick up on ways to serve our spouses, because let’s face it we’re usually pretty vocal (even when we don’t think anyone is listening) on how we could use some help especially when we are not really asking for it.
So I encourage you to open your ears, eyes, and heart and I’ll bet you find several ways to serve your spouse!
Let’s get really real for a second though. There are “those” times when we our flesh does not want to serve. Perhaps its after a snarky comment, a long day, a headache. It’s often that we make the choice to not want to serve our spouse.
It’s easy to serve when we have good days, things went “our” way, or when we get “all the things” done. You know that feeling, even if its sparse.
But what about the days we wake up grumpy, or the enemy had a lit bit too much of a hold on our heart and we gave in to the temptation to want to pick a fight?
Here’s a simple tip to combat those times when you feel led to serve in some way, but you just don’t want to.
Use God’s Word as your defense. Find a scripture that can give you strength, memorize it so that you can have it in your defense against the enemy tool bag, and then call on the Lord to empower you. Say that scripture as many times as you need until you gain the strength you need to move past those grumpy tendencies we all face from time to time.
Here’s a great one. “But do not use your freedom to indulge in sinful nature; but rather, serve one another in love.” Galations 5:13
And one more. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Swallow your pride, apologize if necessary, and do something to serve your spouse today, and everyday especially on the days you don’t want to.
Special thanks to Christa Elyce Photography for these images.
In Him, Tamara