Strong Marriages

Read a good article over the weekend.  Thought I would share it to start the week:

Jimmy Evans – Marriage Builders

“The best marriages are built on two servants in love. I’ve counseled an enormous number of married couples over the years, and this has always proven to be true. Healthy couples live to sacrifice for and serve each other.

This isn’t one of my ideas. It’s one of Jesus’ basic teachings. In John 13, Jesus was sitting at the Last Supper. He knew he was about to be crucified. Meanwhile, the disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest.

Jesus got up from the table and began to wash their feet—an act of service that was detestable to them. He made an example of it and showed them that the servant is the greatest of all. Rather than argue about which one of them was the best disciple, His followers were to serve one another in love.

A husband and wife who constantly serve each other have discovered the secret to a strong, lasting marriage. They do the dishes for each other. They wash each other’s cars. They run errands for each other. They give foot rubs and backrubs. They are constantly looking for a way to do something that benefits their spouse.

Good things happen in marriage when you’re serving.

When I teach this to couples, it’s often met with excuses. Men and women both are quick to come up with reasons why they don’t serve. All these thoughts are toxic.

Men often say, “I work all day, and when I get home I should be served—not the other way around.” That’s a chauvinistic way of thinking. I know, because it used to be how I thought. I was wrong. When you get home, guys, your work duties may stop, but your husband duties don’t. Your job as a husband and father is to serve and care for your wife and family.

Women often say, “I’ve been serving the kids all day and I’m too tired to serve anyone else.” Some women work all day outside the home. Others work all day inside the home, taking care of the kids and maintaining the house. That’s no excuse. A sacrificial husband needs to come home and help with dinner and the kids, but that doesn’t excuse a wife from serving her husband—even after a long day.

Some people say, “I served him (or her) when we were dating. We’re married now. Married people don’t do that.” But marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Marathons require endurance and constant forward motion. Marriage requires a lifetime of serving far beyond the first few months.

Some people say, “I’ll serve you as soon as you serve me.” That’s what I used to think about Karen. I was worried that she would take advantage of my humility. But today I believe what Joyce Meyer says: The best person does the right thing first. Serve today! Don’t wait for your spouse. Don’t be two stubborn, prideful people refusing to serve each other until the other starts. That’s childish thinking.

Maybe neither of you serve each other now, and you think your marriage is fine. To me, that simply means you’re willing to live in mediocrity. The happiest relationships—the greatest marriages—are marked by servanthood, sacrifice, and generosity.”

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