When Matt and I were dating and in our premarital counseling with our Pastor/Friend, Rick, we kept hearing one statement that really resonated with us.
If you want your marriage to be amazing, focus your lives on trying to out-serve each other.
I grew up being taught to serve others and to give selflessly to others. Matt was given a similar upbringing. Even with this background, serving each other in marriage can become hard.
When we were first married, it was super easy. I mean, it was the honeymoon phase. Practically everything was easy then. For us, serving/out-serving each other may have looked like this:
Matt would scrape the ice from my windshields each morning.
I would get a yummy treat at the grocery store for Matt.
Matt would come home with a surprise from an ice cream shop or Sonic.
I would take out the trash although that was usually Matt's job.
Matt would make the bed.
I would have a hot bath ready for Matt when he got home from a hard day.
Matt would have bath water ready for me when I got home late and he got home early.
We would each leave sweet notes for each other when we left for work.
One of us would offer to do the dishes when the other person cooked.
As time has passed, we haven't stop serving each other but we HAVE stopped serving each other as much as we once had. It also seemed to get harder to serve each other. Honestly, I think that it just became something that we actually had to think about. The honeymoon phase passed. Life got a little busier.
This week, Matt and I were both sick with the stomach virus. Matt woke up in the night vomiting and such. I stayed up all night with him to take care of him. I also was sick during that time so I was dealing with my own "BLAH". However, during that whole time, I was just thinking about Matt. I was thinking about what he needed. I got him wash cloths, towels, a trashcan etc.
The next day, we woke up and still felt crummy but we needed some "Sick food" as we have called it. I felt really yucky so Matt volunteered to go to store to pick up what we needed. He didn't complain one bit about the longer list of things we needed.
Thursday night, after the sickness had passed, we were laying in the bed. I looked at Matt and I said "This sickness made me realized that we haven't been serving each other as much." Matt looked back and his response was "I thought the same thing. I miss that."
And with that, we both felt a renewed sense of service and wanting to serve. Now the "tough" part comes with walking out what we remember and know in our hearts to do. The best part? Our love for each other will help us to carry it out.
How do you and your spouse "out-serve" each other?