“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”
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, 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 actually 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 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, the wife of your man’s dreams pays close attention to his needs, desires, dreams, joys, and sorrows. She looks closely at his heart and thinks of ways to serve him.
Serving doesn’t mean the bondage of slavery. As Jesus put on the towel and served His disciples, He proved to us conclusively that God’s kind of serving love 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 and not feel you are receiving anything in return. However, your heavenly Father is always watching, and the measure you use to bless your husband will be used by your heavenly Husband to bless you in return.
Lord, please give me a servant’s heart. Show me ways that I can serve the most important person in my life, and give me a humble heart to do it.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Go back and read the entire passage of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. How do you think they felt as Jesus served them?
What do you think it made them want to do for Him?
Pick one of the following and do it for your husband this week.
- Ask your husband what you can do for him today.
- Call the radio station he listens to and dedicate a song to him. Ask them to play it when you know he will be in the car (such as on the way to work or on the way home).
- When you’re out running errands, pick up a little something you know he’d like. It could be as simple as his favorite candy bar.
- I’ll let you think of the fourth idea on your own.
More from the Girlfriends
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