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
Out-serve your spouse. This is not natural to our selfish self, but out-serve your spouse, and you will start to see positive differences in both of you. Service makes them feel cared for and makes you feel fulfilled; Service makes them feel loved and makes you feel rewarded; Service makes them feel respected and makes you feel significant. Of course, unappreciated service can wear you down over time, but trust God. Allow Him to supply the strength for your service. If the Lord is not empowering your service, you will eventually burn out and possibly become resentful. Bitter service does not last, but joyful service does.
Serve your spouse out of gratitude to God for giving them to you. Serve them in the routines of life and when they least expect it. Serve them where they want to be served, not just where you want to serve them. It may be unloading the dishwasher, taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, maintaining the house, or taking care of the cars. Their service may include an organized family, dinner at home, being on time, keeping a calendar, or planning a trip. If you are unsure, ask them how they like to be served.
Furthermore, carry this attitude of out-serving into your occupation. Be one who serves in the work place, especially if you are a leader or manager. Quietly and clandestinely clean up the break room, even wipe out the gooey microwave with its burst of flavors matted on the inside. Service from a sincere heart values and respects others.
Our Savior modeled service. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His very own life as the ultimate act of service. When we enlist in the service of God’s Kingdom, we become His full-time servants. Service for our Savior is a thread that runs through the life of everyone who is led by the Lord. If Jesus is your model for leadership and living life, you serve.
He served the least and the greatest; He served the sinners and the saints; He served the rich and the poor; He served singles and He served families; He served mad and He served glad; He served when He was tired and He served when He was rested. You could not out-serve Jesus because His service was motivated and fueled by His heavenly Father. Intimacy with the Almighty compels you to serve.
Ironically, Jesus served others even at the point of His greatest need. When engulfed in His own personal crisis, He chose to serve others instead of being served. The night before facing imminent death, He served by washing feet. Use this same selfless strategy of service, and watch the world run to Jesus. In the middle of your own Last Supper experience, serve. When you are rejected, serve instead of retaliating. When you are forgotten, serve instead of feeling sorry for yourself. When you are hurt, serve instead of allowing your heart to harden. Furthermore, serve for Jesus’ sake and not your own. Make it a lifetime goal to out-serve all you come in contact with, especially those closest to you.
To out-serve yields an outstanding outcome. An out-serve attitude is other-centered and Christ-focused. You can’t out-serve Christ, but you can be a conduit of service on His behalf. Seek to out-serve others for your Savior.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, how would you have me serve my spouse, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Application: What need does my spouse have that only I can fulfill?
Related Readings: 1 Peter 5:5; Matthew 11:29; 1 Timothy 4:12