Tom and I went to a restaurant after our church service yesterday. It was a busy place with people everywhere. One of the servers (not our’s mind you) walked passed our table and noticed our two empty paper straw covers. He grabbed them and threw them in the trash. Why did I notice this? I don’t know, maybe because I thought it was unusual that a server from another station would take the time to remove trash from our table when, #1 – our server wasn’t around to notice, and #2 – he wouldn’t get a tip from us. This proved one thing – he was a server with real character. He was doing his job with the big picture in mind–if the restaurant does well, he will keep his job. If he goes above and beyond his sphere of responsibilities, it will help everyone succeed.
Imagine hypothetically that you are a server in a restaurant, and the way you treat your spouse at home would determine how well you did your job.
Would you be a server who did jobs that weren’t your responsibility simply because it helped the house function as a whole? Or would you be one who walked passed the trash on the table because it wasn’t your station? Would you be demanding that other servers do things for you to make your job easier, but fail to give back?
In marriage it’s important to remember we are a team.
If one spouse is constantly working while the other is free to do the things they want to do, then the marriage is off balance. God has called us to prefer one another in love.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 ESV)
I realize this is an unusual metaphor, but I think it’s worth considering. Who knows? If you take this idea a bit further and do a really great job, you might just get a good tip! 🙂 The more you give yourself away in self-sacrifice, the more likely your spouse will take notice and do likewise.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”(Acts 20:35 ESV)
In what ways can you go out of your way this week to serve your spouse in a sacrificial way? Maybe you’re already doing this. If so, do you sense God’s pleasure in your willingness to give yourself away?