Thursday, May 1, 2014

To Love, To Help, To Serve

Let me share something with you... maybe you can relate.

I don't like to do dishes. I don't like to sweep or mop. I don't like dusting. And I really don't like cleaning bathrooms. Laundry, vacuuming, picking up toys... I can handle.

I love preparing to get organized. Creating cleaning charts, keeping my calendar up to date, creating a home command center. But I don't always follow through. I have my organized piles. Most of the time I know where right where to find things. I have great motivation. But my actions aren't really intentional. My husband wishes I was a little more intentional in my actions and not just my the motivation in my head.

I am a "stay-at-home" mom. I use that term lightly because it just means that I don't have a full time job working for another company outside the home. I am a wife, a mom, a maid, a cook, a personal shopper, etc. But I am home almost all day. There are errands to run, grocery shopping to do, some yard work, laundry to start, continue, fold and put away, floors to sweep, mop, and vacuum, shelves to be dusted, bathrooms to clean, dishes to be done, meals to be prepared, a Thirty-One business to keep alive, and OH YEAH... and a year and a half old son to take care of, teach, play with, feed, and put to bed. A stay-at-home mommy is a busy, rewarding, hard job. It's hard to keep up with everything that is required - it's hard to do it with a right heart sometimes too. BUT - it's a privilege I (we) chose, and therefore I need to work my hardest at it.

My husband - wants, needs, and appreciates a clean house. After a long day at work, he wants to walk in the door and spend quality time with his family. Not quantities of time cleaning. It shows him that I respect him when our home is clean. And as much as I "get that"... I'm not very good at helping fulfill that area of our marriage. I argue with it, I give excuses. Yes, we can all be realistic and admit it's not always possible to walk into a clean house, especially when you have young kids at home. But I should still be trying my best, with a right heart and pure intentions, to be that helper for my man and meet his desires and love languages. Even if I don't understand them. Why... because I promised to love, cherish, and help him. Your relationship should be a priority above all others.

Here are some biblical principles for marriage:

  • God created wives to be helpers to our husbands (Genesis 2:18)
  • God commands wives to respect our husbands (Ephesians 5:33)
  • God commissions our husbands to be leaders of the home (Ephesians 5:22-24)
Sometimes these are tough truths to handle and it requires some humbling in our selfish, independent hearts. Sometimes we are so quick to lead our men, boss them, and criticize them. In Courtney Joseph's book, Women Living Well she writes, "God desires that they (our husbands) be servant leaders, but whether they are actually doing that should make no difference as to our attitude of being their helpers."

She suggests three simple concepts when it comes to helping your husband.
1. Know your husband. Know what he likes and what he doesn't. Help him when he asks, without questioning him. Always have an attitude of helpfulness. Look for ways to meet his needs.

2. Do not compare your husband to your friend's husband, your brother-in-law, or your pastor! Your husband is your husband and he is unique. Don't expect him to be anyone else besides who God has called him to be.

3. Do not wait for your husband to "deserve" to be helped. Do what is right no matter what he is saying or doing. Have the right heart and attitude.

So today I challenge you - wives - work hard at whatever you're doing with a humble, right heart. Whether you understand what your husband is asking of you or not, choose to love him for him and to show him you respect him.  Respect is an attitude of the heart that will be displayed in our actions. Be a servant leader, a support system, and a helper. Your marriage will be better for it and so will you.

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