Perhaps the hardest thing for couples to do is to rid themselves of the notion they need to be served to be happy. Such inward focus always focuses on taking and not giving.
There was only one time in the life of Jesus Christ on earth when He told his guys to do what He was doing. It is found in John 13:1-17
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
OK, is there a set of cliff notes on how to have a servant’s heart? Yes there is.
It’s called in today’s terms, Giving Gifts of Random Acts of Kindness to your spouse. A gift is not to be mistaken for something prettily wrapped with a bow.
A Gift is Something you can do
That you do not ordinarily do
But you CHOOSE TO DO
In our house, my random acts of kindness include emptying the dishwasher each morning (something I don’t like to do), making my bride her breakfast hot tea, bringing her lunch at work, cooking meals, telling her I love you, because_________________ every day and so much more.
Sometimes it requires a little kick start. Here’s a hint. Sit down with your spouse and make two lists.
- When I do these things for you, it is telling you I love you
- When you do these things for me, it is telling me you love me
Trade lists. Each of you gets the list of things you are willing to do and what your spouse wants from you. Cut these in little strips…get two small jars with lids and stuff these strips into your jar.
Each day you must pull at least one slip from the jar and give the “gift” to your spouse. If you don’t like the first one you choose, put it back and get another. What is not optional is NOT giving each other a gift.
Gifts should be met with raucous gratitude. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!
Why? Two reasons. One it is the right thing to do, and two, it will provide incentive to get more gifts in the future.
Try it for 30 days and see what you think.
BTW, your lists must only include DOING things which can see seen and heard and felt and tasted and smelled…they cannot include such as “I want you to STOP doing something. Couch your lists in things To Do.