“Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.’” (John 13:7 NLT)
When I was first married, I was 21 and my bride was 19. I remember well my new wife’s first attempt at cooking dinner. She knew I liked macaroni and cheese, but when I entered the door to our little three-room apartment, I was literally gagging at the smell. But, as any loving husband would do, I tried it. It was awful.
In the kindest way I could I tried to explain to her that something must have gone really wrong and since the smell was horrible, amidst her tears, I set the macaroni and cheese on our little porch. I glanced out a few minutes later to see the local stray dog sniffing it, then turning and walking away. “Thank You, Lord!” The dog helped support my opinion, and our first crisis was averted.
Marriage is a partnership between two very imperfect people. Yet, God designed marriage to be, at least on some levels, the training ground for having a meaningful and purposeful walk with Him. How so? Jesus said in Matthew 20:28: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
How do we follow Jesus’ good example?
When we come to Jesus, as when we begin our life as a husband or wife, most of how we see and interpret what to do in those relationships is by hindsight. In marriage we mostly rely on what our parents did. Did dad take care of the car, fix the washing machine, hang the pictures, take out the trash, etc. Did mom cook, clean, sew, take primary care of the kids, etc. – the list will vary according to the routine of your parents.
But largely, what’s modeled by our parents becomes our expectation. The plot thickens because many newly weds today both have jobs, which complicates the roles they must assume. What’s my point?
When we begin our walk with Jesus, as we begin our new role as husband or wife, what if we focused more on what needs to be done and less on who should do it?
My goal in this season of my life is to serve my wife, family, and others as a means of serving and honoring my Savior. What does that mean? If dishes need to be washed, I’ll wash them. If I can help with cleaning, I’ll help. I’m good at warming things in the microwave and I make a killer peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but beyond that, I’m pretty useless in the kitchen.
My wife is excellent in the kitchen but because of her arthritic hands, she needs my help with some things. We share roles based on our strengths, personal preferences and what needs to be done. Now we’re striving to out serve one another.
Isn’t that the attitude we should have when serving our Savior? Remember, to serve others IS to serve Him; to put others first – beginning with our spouses and family – IS to put the Lord first. I’ve not always been a good husband, but by God’s grace, I’m getting better. I’ve not always been a good example as a follower of Jesus, but by His grace, I’m improving.
So, who does the dishes? Whoever gets to them first!
Blessings, Ed 😊