Do you ever feel like a mule? Man, was I dragging my heels, and kicking and screaming on the inside today when my husband and I got into a discussion about a phone call that needed to be made. The conversation went something like this.
Me: Well, if that’s what needs to happen, you’re going to have to do it.
Him: Oh. But it was your idea.
Me: But you’re related to her.
Him: But you’re a woman.
Him, a few minutes later: I’d really like to know ahead of time if you’re going to not follow through on something so I don’t sit around and wait for it to happen.
Me: (hurt, speechless and pouting on the couch)
I stewed about it some more and decided he was right. It was only a phone call, after all. And it was painless. But it was another reminder of what’s expected of me as a wife. Actually, as a Christian in general but the husband-wife relationship seems to be the hardest place to accomplish it.
Earlier this week I was reading the account of Jesus washing his disciples feet found in John 13, and I was reminded of the importance He placed on servanthood.
“‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.'” (vv. 12-15)
Christ, the Messiah, the King, took on the role of a servant and performed the lowliest task around. (Any RRBC’ers out there remember what it was like the year we washed each other’s feet during chapel service?) It’s humbling to kneel before someone, take their foot in your hand and gently wash it as an act of service.
We lose some pride and some of our rights when we choose to serve someone, even if there’s no chance of being served in return. But that’s not the way we want it, right? We’d rather the deal be, “I’ll serve you, if you serve me.” The way Jesus wants it is to serve even when we aren’t being served.
I’m reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss‘ book “Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free” and one of this week’s truths was “We’re never more like Jesus than when we’re serving others.” That hit home hard with me. I’ve gone through weeks recently where I’ve kept score in my head of the number of times I’ve done this or that for my husband, waiting for him to return the favor, then growing resentful when it doesn’t happen. After I read that statement, I quit keeping score, or at least tried to. Human nature says I’ll fail time and again at it. And I found that when I served and then served some more and then served some more, I wasn’t angry, or resentful, or tired. I was … joyful?
I didn’t expect that. I hoped I’d be content, but full of joy to change the umpteenth poopy diaper, to wake up early with the toddler again, or to prepare his snack for his night class?
Really. It’s true. If you don’t believe me, give it a try. And don’t expect your husband necessarily to notice or say anything. Just do it, and know that Jesus is pleased that you’re following His example and becoming more like Him.