Aspirin, Anyone?

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Do you know how to serve your spouse in sickness? Interesting marital dynamics surface when a husband or wife gets sick!

If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:11

Interesting marital dynamics surface when a husband or wife gets sick in some way. Does the one who is sick want to be waited upon and "babied," or does he or she want to be left alone to suffer?

Teresa and I had considerable conflict over the issue. Each of us would try to guess what the other might want during times of illness, but it didn't help. One of us would do for our spouse what we might want him or her to do for us in that situation, but that rarely hit the target. I think we both were shocked at times to find that neither of us really knew what the other needed, and we had not communicated our needs to the other.

Both of us have been through times of martyrdom where we asked ourselves questions such as, "Is this what I really want, or is this what I think I'm supposed to want?" We have also fallen into the trap of not knowing exactly what we need, then becoming angry when we don't get it. We've come to find that it can be tough to figure out our own needs and desires. But only after we learn what our needs really are can we lovingly communicate them to one another.

God began to challenge us to sort through our own confusion about our needs before attacking each other for not meeting them. He then showed us both that being a good servant means listening to the needs of our spouse.

As we've gone through this, we've learned how to better serve one another—in sickness and in health.

What needs of yours have you not communicated well to your spouse? How can you begin to better let him or her know of those needs?

Lord, help me to know myself and then ask how I can best serve my spouse's needs. Give me patience and discernment in this area.

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