When Is It My Turn?

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What can you do to start making service to one another the rule in your marriage... rather than the exception?

It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:24

David used to walk in the house from work with his hand up, as if he were holding a cup. That was his way of saying, “I need a cup of tea. I've had a really hard day.”

In marriages today, where both spouses frequently work, the wife may feel like asking, "When will I be served? I've had a hard day too."

Whether David and I are counseling the husband, the wife, or both, we always tell people that someone in the marriage needs to start lovingly serving the other, trusting God to meet his or her own needs in the process.

The encouragement to serve our marriage partner comes from knowing whom we're really serving. Paul reminded the Colossians that they were to do everything "heartily," as if they were doing it for the Lord, for it was He whom they served (see Colossians 3:23). Likewise, as we serve our spouses we're also serving Christ. Maybe it's part of Christ's teaching that when we've done it for the least of these, we've done it for Christ (see Matthew 25:45). This possibility should further motivate each of us to serve our spouses.

Let's consider a few of the practicalities of serving another.

First, I need to give even when my spouse doesn't give to me, simply because God has already given to me. Second, I must serve my spouse lovingly and with joy, not with anger and resentment. Third, when I find myself growing weary in serving, I need to lovingly communicate my needs to my spouse, then trust God with the results. I can count on God to work in my spouse's life or to minister to me through avenues of His choosing.

What can you do today to start making service to one another the rule and not the exception in your marriage?

Father, each of us must give an account to You only for ourselves. I want to be found faithful in serving my spouse.

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