“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT).
Friend to Friend
Carley and Dan are a couple who have gone the extra mile…not to go the extra mile. They constantly keep score as to who put a new bar of soap in the shower last or who replaced the toilet paper roll last or who opened a new tube of toothpaste last.
“It’s sort of a contest to see who can use the smallest sliver of soap or use the last drop of toothpaste,” Carley boasted. The contest, as silly as it may seem, boils down to who is going to serve the other. Imagine how adored Dan would feel if Carley began to get out a new bar of soap before the sliver war began or replenished the toilet paper before it was totally out.
If you want to try a contest in your home or with your friends, how about seeing who can out-serve the other! The apostle Paul encourages: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT).
When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), it wasn’t simply an act of kindness. He was fulfilling a need the other people had refused to meet. It was customary in those days for the host of a dinner party to have a servant wash the guests’ feet. There were no Reeboks or Nikes in those days. Men and women wore leather sandals as they walked the dusty, often muddy, roads of the Holy Land. Nothing felt better than to sink callused, throbbing feet into a cool basin of water and rinse away the cares of the day. However, at Jesus’s last supper with His disciples, no servant was available to wash the guests’ feet, and no one volunteered.
So, the God-made-man wrapped a towel around His waist and did what no one else was willing to do. He washed the disciples’ feet. Afterward, He sat down and said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15 NIV).
In Philippians 2:4, Paul tells us to look out for the interests of others, not just for our own. “Look out for” is from the Greek word skopos, from which we get the words telescope and microscope. It means to pay close attention. Whether we are using a telescope to get the big picture or a microscope for close examination, pay attention to others’ desires, dreams, joys, and sorrows. This is especially true in marriage.
Serving doesn’t mean slavery. As Jesus put on the towel and served His disciples, He proved to us conclusively that God’s kind of serving flows from choice, not coercion; from strength, not weakness; from gladness, not guilt.
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV).
It may be entirely possible for you to serve your husband, a relative, or anyone in your circle and not feel you’re receiving anything in return. However, your heavenly Father is always watching, and the measure you use to bless others will be used to bless you in return.
For the married woman: Lord, please give me a servant’s heart. Show me ways I can serve the most important person in my life and give me a humble heart to do it.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For the single woman: Lord, please give me a servant’s heart. Show me ways I can serve those in my life and give me a humble heart to do it.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you think the disciples felt as Jesus washes their feet? What do you think it made them want to do for Him?
For the married woman, pick one of the following to do for your husband this week. For the single woman, pick one of the following to do for a significant person in your life.
- Ask what you can do for them today.
- When you’re out running errands, pick up a little something you know they would like. It could be as simple as a favorite candy bar.
- Put a note of appreciation or love under their windshield.
- Cook their favorite meal.
More from the Girlfriends
Isn’t marriage great! OK, I hear you. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. That’s why I’ve created 5 downloadable resources to help strengthen your marriage and your man. Click here for the FREE downloads.
Do you want to learn more about how to pray Scripturally and powerfully for your husband? Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe will show you how! Also, I’m offering a Valentine’s Day Marriage Bundle with discounts on some of my favorite books. Let’s make 2023 a year to strengthen our marriages and pray for our men.
Looking for a life-changing Bible study? Click here to learn about my on-line Bible study on When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories starting February 21.
© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
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