While I have been thinking about this post, I’ve been going back and forth trying to decide if this would make for an easy “assignment” or a hard one. I think while we are in an unhappy or discouraging marriage, almost any time of waiting is difficult. It’s hard to wait on the Lord and allow him to work. For some, learning to be still is a huge mountain to overcome. For others, its much easier to stay quiet and not saying anything than it is to humble yourself and say positive things to someone who you don’t feel deserves them. I think this post will be easier for many because it’s not necessarily an emotional task to undertake. It’s simply just serving.Yet, the only way to serve is to serve humbly. And we all know that humility is not always easy.
I know that when you are in a marriage that you are waiting on God to work, you may not always feel like serving. When you are lonely, feeling neglected, or hurt it’s rare that you want to go out of your way to make the other person feel loved and appreciated.
King David is a good example of this kind of serving in scripture. In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul is rejected by God as King over Israel. David is then secretly anointed as God’s chosen heir to the throne. He was now God’s chosen King. The one who had every God-appointed right to take over the throne. Yet, what did he do? 1 Samuel 16:19 said he went back to tending his father’s sheep. After that, he went into King Saul’s throne room and, without mention of his own anointing, humbly played soothing music for the king. Even after he kills Goliath and is even more respected, he practices being still about his rightful place on the throne. Saul does just about every terrible thing you could think of to David. He gives David’s wife away to another man, demotes him in the army, places him on the front lines of battle to be killed, and even tried to kill him himself! Even after all of this, David remains a humble servant to his king. He continually goes before the king to serve him by playing the harp. He fights battle after battle gaining more and more honor for king Saul and the nation of Israel. Finally, after Saul consistently makes it known that he wants David dead, David decides to run from Saul instead of fighting for his promised crown.
Doesn’t it sound like David is being walked all over and taken advantage of? Doesn’t it sound like he’s being weak? I sure think it sounds that way! Have you ever felt that way in your marriage? Do you ever feel like you have every right to stand up for yourself and tell your spouse the truth about what deserve? David sure had every right to stand up to King Saul and tell him the truth that God’s spirit had left Saul and been given to him! But David doesn’t do that. Even when he has multiple opportunities to kill King Saul and claim his kingdom, he doesn’t do it. He instead bows before the King and honors him. Again, sounds like he’s giving in and letting Saul use him as a door mat, doesn’t it?
It actually reminds me of another well-known story from the Bible. The story about the guy who is beaten and mocked and even killed. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The one who has every right to stand up and proclaim his rights, entitlements, and greatness. The one who had the power and “right” to call down 10,000 angels and destroy anyone who opposed him. But also the one who said…
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.
Pretty humbling, huh? How often have we thought we were entitled to be treated a certain way. Or better yet, how often have we thought that another person did NOT deserve to be treated with absolute respect and love? What about your spouse? You know…the one that has been cheating on you in an affair. Or the one who works constantly and is never home to show you his love? What about the spouse who treats you poorly in every aspect? The very same spouse that you have been “waiting on” recently. Yet, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” The very One who was able to demand respect, asked for none. He just simply kept serving.
So, again, go back to the spouse that you are waiting on. The one who you may not believe deserves special treatment or extra favors. How would Jesus have treated them in that moment? He would have served them. He would have served them in order to show His love. He asks us to do the very same thing. No matter if the other person “deserves” it or not. He wants us to serve.
Practically, what do I mean by serving? As far as your husband goes, find anything that would make his life a little happier or a little easier, and do it. Make him his favorite dinner. Make him a special plate of cookies and leave it on his seat in the car to find in the morning. Rub his feet after he gets home from work. Clean out the car. For some husbands, it may be beneficial for you to go so far as to break the traditional mold of “men’s work”, too. Mow the lawn for him. Take the trash to the curb before he gets around to it that evening. Shorten your “honey-do” list by doing some of it yourself. For other husbands, doing their “work” might actually be offensive and taken as you trying to control them. If you aren’t sure which one your husband is, Ask him! Just go to him and say, “If I could do 2 things for you today that would help take some pressure off of you, what would it be?” But beware, do NOT ask if you aren’t planning to follow through!
I know of one woman who would get up early (like 4:30a early!) every morning to make her husband’s lunch while he was getting ready to leave for work for the day. I know another woman who lays her husband’s work clothes out each night so he can just slip into them in the morning. If you didn’t read Connie’s story last week, go do that. She is a great example of physically serving your husband whether you want to or not.
Whatever it is, find a way to practically serve your husband today. Make the choice to humble yourself and serve as Jesus served. Oh, and also remember to Be Still while doing it. :)
To read all of the posts in the While I’m Waiting series, go here.