When I married Karen, I’ll admit I was looking for a good woman who would serve me. That’s what I thought a successful marriage was: finding someone to serve you. That’s because I was a chauvinist. I thought men were better than women.
Needless to say, the idea of me serving Karen was the farthest thing from my mind. It was a shock to me that she would even expect me to do anything.
In John 13, Jesus is in the remaining hours before being crucified. He is eating a meal with His disciples. The disciples were having a conversation about which one of them was the greatest—they never were the sharpest knives in the drawer—when Jesus made an example of washing their feet.
Remember, these guys spent all day wearing sandals on dusty roads. Their feet were filthy. Washing someone’s foot was a demeaning task, detestable to them.
Jesus told them the servant was the greatest of all. That His followers were to be servants. They were stunned by both His example and His message.
As followers of Christ, around friends, among strangers, and especially within our marriages, we are to be servants. We are to put others’ needs ahead of our own.
A husband and wife who constantly serve one another have discovered the secret of a great marriage.
Why is serving each other so important?
Equality. A person who refuses to serve his or her spouse is either dominating the relationship or has checked out emotionally. Men and women are absolutely equal. Serving your spouse—doing things in their interest, not yours—tells them “I am not better than you.”
Humility. We’re naturally prideful. Both men and women have pride issues in their lives. We might be given tasks or asked to do things and we think, “I’m too good for that.” But that’s an unhealthy attitude in marriage. Helping is about being involved with even the insignificant details of each other’s days.
Do the dishes. Wash the car. Fold clothes. Clean toilets. Give a foot rub. Nothing is beneath you if it benefits your spouse. One of the worst marriages I’ve ever seen was a wealthy couple who wouldn’t do anything for each other. Why? Because they always hired people to do any work for them.
Intimacy. In Matthew 6, Jesus said, “Wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Where you invest yourself, that’s where your passion will be. If you’re pouring all your time and abilities into your work, or your children, or your hobbies, that will become what you treasure most.
Pour your time and abilities into serving your spouse, and your spouse will be drawn back to you. Continually investing in each other helps you stay passionate for each other. It means you’re sharing your life with each other. It brings you closer.
Destiny. God decided it was not good for Adam to be alone. He created us for each other. I can’t achieve what God has planned for me without Karen. She can’t reach her full potential without me. Obviously God can do anything, but He put us in each other’s lives for a reason: to serve each other toward our destiny together.
The best marriages are made of two servants in love. Put each other first and you’ll discover the marriage of your dreams.
Learn how to serve your spouse. Watch “How to Become Two Servants in Love” with Jimmy and Karen Evans.