I’m fascinated watching the dynamics in other people’s marriages.
It’s interesting to see how they treat each other, how they speak to each other, and in particular, how they serve each other.
To illustrate this, let me first share with you the actions of two different men I know both with totally opposite marriages.
Both men work full time. Both have 3 kids. Both have really amazing wives. But there are a few key differences.
We’ll just call them Paul and Mitch.
Paul gets home from work and although he’s tired (his job requires a lot of manual labor) he immediately helps around the house. He does so without saying anything. He sees what needs to be done and does it.
Mitch gets home, changes into his workout clothes, and is back out the door but promises to be home in time for dinner.
Paul helps prepare the dinner.
After working out, Mitch gets home and wants to know why dinner isn’t ready. His wife says something about how difficult the kids have been and maybe if she had some help…
After dinner, Paul is the first to clear the table and then does the dishes.
Mitch gets on his phone and makes some ‘important calls’.
Paul helps put the kids to bed.
Mitch waits for the kids to go to bed so he can finally get to have sex but then is frustrated when his wife doesn’t want to.
Ok, by now, you probably get the picture. You also may be thinking I’m making this up just to make a point.
I wish I were.
These are the daily activities of two guys I know. I’m not judging, just trying to illustrate the best I can from my own observation the differences in these two men and their relationships with their respective wives.
You might be interested to know that “Paul” has what I term a great marriage. Meanwhile, “Mitch” wonders why his wife is demanding they go to counseling … again.
The Big Difference
In the brief example above, I really wish I were exaggerating but it’s actually pretty typical. While Paul is no superhero, there’s a big difference in what he does…he serves his spouse.
It’s been said that as you serve someone, your love for them will grow. Ideally, that love will be reflected back and yours will be a happy marriage.
By looking for opportunities to serve, you’re physically demonstrating that your spouse is a priority to you. You’re giving him or her tangible proof that you care.
Let’s Not Get Confused About Service
Serving your spouse, doesn’t mean beckoning to their every call.
It also doesn’t mean sacrificing yourself entirely. Obviously you still get to have a say in what you do and keep your “backbone”.
What serving your spouse really means is having a humble awareness of how you can help.
It means being mindful of what your spouse stands in need of and doing it. It’s even better when you move about quietly, stealthily even, simply doing what needs to be done.
The point of serving your spouse is to lighten their load. It’s to make their life easier.
This paves the way to increased appreciation and love by both parties. In short, it makes for a much happier, long lasting marriage.
Ways to Serve Your Spouse
To open the door to serving your spouse more, here are some quick ideas you can implement regardless of your particular role in your household:
- Do the chores – doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, vacuuming, etc. It may seem obvious but helping out with the everyday stuff culminates to an overall happier marriage.
- Plan a date – we already know dating in marriage is important but by making all of the preparations yourself, it’s a chance to do something for them, with them.
- Help with the kids – if you have kids, go out of your way to do something extra that your spouse may normally do. Help with the homework, bedtime duties, story time, family prayer, etc.
- Use kind words – what comes out of your mouth makes a big difference in your relationship. Be sure to always look for ways to compliment your spouse and speak lovingly to them.
- Give a random gift – a little surprise present never hurts! Bonus points if it’s something you created or has special significance.
- Make your spouse a priority – make time for them, learn about them, ask them questions, listen. Show your spouse he/she is important to you by simply paying attention to them.
- When in doubt, ask – ask your spouse if there’s anything you can do at that moment to help out.
These are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm.
Think about your particular situation and what you can do to best serve your spouse. What would he or she really love? Now do it!