February 13, 2008

Serving in a Me First Society

Sharon Jaynes

 

 

Today’s Truth.

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13: 14-15).

 

Friend to Friend

For years, I’ve heard the phrase that marriage is a 50/50 proposition. But the question is who gets to decide when one spouse has hit the half-way mark? “It is impossible,” notes author and marriage expert Dennis Rainey, “to determine if your spouse has met you halfway because neither of you can agree on where ‘halfway’ is. Each is left to scrutinize the other’s performance from his or her own jaded perspective” (Dennis Rainey, Lonely Husbands, Lonely Wives (Renamed Staying Close) (Dallas: Word, 1989) 31.)

 

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 refilled the toilet paper roll last or who opened the 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, though, 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 encouraged us:

 

Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other (Romans 12:9-10 NLV).

 

Let’s stop and think about Jesus’ last days with his disciples before the crucifixion. I imagine that his mind was racing with final lessons he wanted to make sure his followers understood before he ascended to heaven. On their final night together, as they were eating the Passover meal, “Jesus rose from the table, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13:4-5). When he finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his seat. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 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: 12-15).

 

Can you imagine the disciples’ awe as their Lord and Master took on the role of a servant and stooped to wash the mud and dust from their filthy feet? I can understand Peter’s cry of protest.

 

When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, it wasn’t simply a nice act of kindness. He was actually fulfilling a need that the others 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. At days end, nothing felt better than to sink calloused throbbing feet into a cool basin of water and rinse away the cares of the day. However, at the last supper, there was no servant available to wash the guests’ feet and no one volunteered.

 

Therefore, God-made-man wrapped a towel around his waist and did what no one else was willing to do. Afterwards, He sat down and said…”Now you do it, too.”

 

Jesus calls each of us to serve one another. It seems we are much more agreeable to serving our friends than serving our husbands. And yet, when we serve our husbands, we are in effect serving Christ Himself. “When you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me,” Jesus said.

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to have a servant’s heart, not just today, but every day. Show me ways that I can serve my husband and love Him the way You would have me to. I pray that I will stop thinking about what I should get from him, but what I can give to him.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

 

Now it’s Your Turn

Today, let’s read a portion of Scripture about Jesus. It’s found in Philippians 2:1-8. Below is the passage in the NIV translation.

 

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only at your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!

 

How could we apply those verses to our marriages? 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 word 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 the needs, the desires, the dreams, the joys, and the sorrows of her man. She looks closely at his heart

 

What are some ways that you can look closely at your man’s needs today?

 

More from the Girlfriends

If you would like a little “wow!” back in your marriage, let seven simple secrets, biblical wisdom, and honest stories of both men and women inspire you to be the wife your husband longs for. It’s all right here in Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes. Take a fresh look at the wonderful, unique, and God-ordained role only you have in your husband’s life.

 

 

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