Several years ago we went on a cruise with some other family members. It was idyllic with the sea breezes, fun excursions at various ports-of-call, and time to focus on relationships. Interestingly, the person who impacted each person in our group the most wasn’t another family member, but our waiter, who served us every evening at dinner.
Within the first day he knew our names, our preferences, and went out of his way to anticipate our needs and desires. He made meals interesting with a flair for attention to minute details and conversation. We left each meal feeling appreciated, valued, and honored. In our family we were talking about him for months after the cruise. His serving impacted us more than anything else we had experienced!
Is it possible…perhaps…that you can bring that kind of lasting influence into your marriage? Simply put—YES!
The challenge is that serving cuts against the grain of our natural desires. From the earliest days of expressing our will, we want our way and we want it now. Food. Comfort. Recreation. Alone time. Assistance. We carry those desires through childhood, adolescence, and into our marriages.
Brooks and Dunn’s song “Husbands and Wives” has it right when they sang, “It’s my belief that pride is the chief cause in the decline of the number of husbands and wives.” It’s pride which drives self-centeredness and self-centeredness drives a wedge between us and our spouse. Over time the connection we had or longed for disintegrates and we are two lonely angry people living under the same roof.
Perhaps you are already at that place of loneliness and despair. Hearts have gotten hard, conversation is at a minimum, and you feel helpless as the two of you drift further apart. Or, maybe your marriage is strong and you want to implement practices now to protect and build your marriage. We have a critical practice that will take effort and sacrifice, but the impact on your heart—and your spouse—will be immeasurable.
In the daily rhythm of how you interact with your spouse, frame your thinking so that you are putting the waiter’s towel over your arm, and you are in your marriage to serve your spouse. Not in a servile way—but in a way that reflects how Jesus served you.
Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11) So if you really want to be great in the eyes of your spouse and add fire to your love, begin by daily looking after their desires first and serving them.
- What burden does my spouse carry that I can lift or help carry?
- What task to they dread that I can take on?
- What need does my spouse have that I can meet out of love for Jesus?
Ask your spouse: “What can I do to better serve you in our marriage?”
For the next 30 days, put this into practice and see how God uses it to Build Your Marriage!