Green-Stamp Service


Have you ever done something for your spouse while internally deciding that you are owed for your “act of service?”

With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men.-Ephesians 6:7, NASB

Have you ever found yourself "green stamping" your spouse? By that I mean doing something for him or her while internally deciding that you are owed for your “act of service.” I'm not proud to admit that I (Teresa) do that at times.

It sometimes happens as I'm doing the laundry—not one of my favorite chores.

As I sort through the dirty clothes, run them through the washer and dryer, then fold them, I begin to think, David had better appreciate this, and he'd better show me his appreciation by...

Sometimes I catch myself thinking that way, and the Holy Spirit convicts me of my selfishness.

We freely choose to "serve" in marriage, yet sometimes we think we are owed some kind of payback when we do. The human bent is to do things in order to get some kind of payoff. But marital intimacy is destroyed by a "green stamp" mind-set.

We should always seek to serve, not to be served. The apostle Paul encourages our service to be motivated by "good will" and not by what we can receive in return. The principle of "good will" refers to concern for the benefit of another first. Paul reminds us that our serving is not for ourselves, but for others and for the Lord.

God reminded me of this one day when I was in "green-stamping" mode. I was keeping mental score, and David was way behind. Then the Lord brought this thought to me: Teresa, this is not about you. It's about Me and how you can join Me in loving your husband through serving with a pure heart—a heart that seeks nothing in return.

In what areas of service have you been "green stamping" your spouse? What steps can you take to make sure you don't do that?

God, help me to develop a servant's heart toward my spouse.

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