This is a guest post written by Alison who talks about this marriage issue, bringing a clear view and perspective to this area of our lives.
My husband is a car guy. He likes fixing them, reading about them, talking about them, watching videos of fast ones, and revving the engines of loud ones.
I’ll admit – I don’t get it. I am not a car girl.
The other day, after fixing something-rather on his big old rugged Jeep, my man asked me to take a ride with him. Everything in me wanted to say no. I mean, a car is a car is a car, right?
Not to my husband. His car is special. His Jeep has a name – Dale. “Because Dale sounds like a guy who wants to go into the mountains and do cool stuff.”
And I realized that the choice before me was a big one. Sure, maybe it sounds like nothing to ride in the Jeep to grab some groceries. I was tempted to think that way until I thought about it from my husband’s perspective.
The simple act of climbing into that loud rugged Jeep is an opportunity for my husband to share something he loves with me.
It’s an opportunity for me to serve his heart – to love him well.
We’re told to love well numerous times throughout the Scriptures. In John 13, we’re even told to love one another as God has loved us. That is a high calling.
Let me be the first to say that I like the idea of serving more than I actually serve. I like to say that I’ve loved well before jumping in to truly love. Thankfully, we were created by a God who understands our weaknesses and intercedes on our behalf.
It tells us in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus “always lives to make intercession for them.” (NKJV) We don’t have to muster up the strength to serve on our own. We can’t force ourselves to love someone well.
Back to my decision to either jump in that muddy Jeep or cuddle on the couch with a book: I said yes. I said yes not because it was my first choice and not because it was easy. In fact, selfishness was roaring inside of me and reading a book sounded mighty tempting.
Then I remembered that service isn’t about me. It’s not about what I can do to love someone well. It’s not about how well I give of myself. It’s not even about the act of doing the actual serving.
Serving is about loving to serve. On my own – even when I try my best – I make serving my husband about me. The temptation was strong to believe deep down that I had chosen well, that my choice to hop into the passenger seat was my own doing. But it’s not. It never will be.
I must daily choose to acknowledge that the Lord is the one doing the interceding on my behalf. He did it for Simon Peter in Luke 22. “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.” (Luke 22:31-32, NKJV)
Whether we’re talking about the failing of faith or the failure to serve, we have to quit trying to our best because our best is not good enough. Instead, we should run full speed ahead to the cross, laying our best at the throne of grace and clinging to the promises of God.
My husband summed it up well. “Babe, I just love to love you.” Those words – what a sweet balm to the soul. That is the heart of service. Loving to love. Loving to serve. This doesn’t ever come from our own strength. Instead, it comes from Jesus who was sent to the cross in the greatest act of love and service the world has ever seen.
I jumped into that Jeep with a happy heart knowing that 1) My man felt deeply loved and 2) God had shown me my need for Him. I couldn’t make the decision to love my husband well without His grace and interceding on my behalf. His power is made perfect in my weakness.
That is the beauty of marriage: it shows crazy, wild, grace-filled love to the world.
Live well. Love well. Be bold.
Bio: Alison is a wife, blogger, and Jesus-follower growing in grace and truth daily. She loves coffee in the morning, experimenting in the kitchen, camping with her husband, and reading in a hammock just about anywhere. Her blog – Life of Scoop – exists to encourage bold authenticity grounded in God’s grace. Basically, it’s some good soul talk in the midst of the mundane.