LOOK AT WHAT I DID!!!

January 13, 2011

in Acts of Service

I did that © Lyudmila Stozharova | Dreamstime.comDo you brag to your bride whenever you do something for her? Is every act of service punctuated by telling her about it, and expecting her to rave about it?

Similarly, do you ever not do something, or feel like not doing it, because you feel she won’t notice you did it?

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” [Matthew 6:2 NKJV]

 

Moolala note: Yes, that was my bride that won the Kindle – and thanks to all who helped to make that happen. I hope one of you wins the drawing for the next one!

4 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

HappyHubby - Yes, this is addressing those who can't do anything without having to blow their own trumpet about it. What you say about surprises and anticipation is very true - and I have written about it a couple of times. (Plan for the future to feel good now http://bit.ly/TrsT60) Thanks!

HappyHubby
HappyHubby

Thank you for the work you do, publishing this blog and giving me the opportunity to be blessed by your thoughts and insights. This post has troubled me somewhat. If your posting is aimed at chronic "look at me" behavior, especially if a person won't do anything kindly unless they can be immediately rewarded, then I agree. That is a troubling behavior, perhaps even toxic to a relationship. I am currently learning a wonderful lesson about another facet of serving within marriage. I had always perferred to do "sneaky service" for my wife. To the point where if I got "caught", I would be disappointed at not being able to pull off the surprise. A few months ago I was introduced to an idea that has opened my eyes to serving in ways that bless my wife more, bless my marriage more, and bring us both greater joy. It started with a simple idea: If I plan a surprise weekend away for my wife, I will delight her for a weekend. However, if I tell her I am planning a weekend for us, I also bless her with the pleasure of anticipation. Since then I've been experimenting with the idea of whether my service, done in her sight, is a greater blessing to her than sneaky service. The answer, I have found, is often Yes! When my wife is overwhelmed by her responsibilities, telling her I will help, rather than secretly helping, reduces her emotional and physical burden. By doing service for her, so that she can see it, shows her that after 20 years I am still trying to serve and please and delight her. Doing service for her that can be seen by my children, blesses her and teaches them to serve. Of course, I still do little acts of "sneaky service". The surprise still delights and blesses her, and therefore me too. Marriage is unlike any other relationship. Loving and serving our wives should be a top priority. We should be giving the service that is really wanted and needed. And sometimes that need is to see your love in action. Should we expect a reward for that service? My feeling is, a qualified yes. If we are truly trying to buid a one flesh marriage, then we should be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves". We know that loving service to our wives builds that one flesh marriage. It encourages our wives to serve us in return, which further builds that relationship and encourages us to continue to serve. So, by serving my wife, I should expect my relationship to grow and her to serve me too. I have often been blessed to see the wisdom of God, in how He serves us. God is no vending machine, automatically dispensing whatever we pray for. His service, in fact, is often given in the hour of our greatest desperation and need. Why wait so long? Clearly part of the answer is that He wants us to recognize His hand. And He expects our relationship with him to grow and for us to serve Him (by serving the "least", in the church, etc.) In a way, it is service given, designed to be seen, with the intent to bless the recipient more by being seen, but whose ultimate aim is even greater blessing. Shouldn't we seek to emulate His example? Hopefully I have painted a picture of unselfish service to one's wife, service whose intent is to bless and not primarly to glorify the giver. But what about seeking props for what we do? Is that bad? I believe the answer is, a qualified no. This life seems designed to make us feel inadequate, unloved, worthless. Mark Twain famously said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment" I too can go a long time between compliments. But eventually my emotional well dries up and I begin to wither. I don't need the world to tell me what a fine fellow I am, but I do need my wife to tell me what a good husband, person, and father I am. And I need to hear it regularly. I could also spend quite a bit of time on the topic of gratitude, how it blesses the giver as well as the reipient. And how we should be willing to recieve that gratitude. Perhaps it would be fair to summarize with something like: Worthy service is mostly a matter of one's heart. If the desire of our heart is only to get praise, we need to reexamine our motives, and change our hearts. If the desire of our heart is to truly serve, then give the service that is truly needed and wanted. Sometimes that need is best met, and the recipient most greatly blessed, when we give very visible service. And not only do we need sincere praise and uplifting regularly, but the sincere praise of our wives is perhaps the most important praise we will ever receive, second only to that we get from God. It is worth the effort to do the work to get that praise. And in the case of our wives, sometimes we have to go get it, even after we've done the work ;)

Take Two
Take Two

Eleutheros, I think you touch one of the most important lessons we learn from marriage (or perhaps from marriage experts). When you do something special for your wife, expect nothing in return, not even a "Thank You". And then be thankful for it, lest you become arrogant and think yourself important. Now if your wife does something for you, even if the task is practically undetectable or poorly done, you need to praise her as if she had sacrificed her life for your good. Make sure to remind her you are unworthy of being her husband and she is the best wife ever. If for some reason you forget, or haven't gotten around to the groveling yet, well....let's say, you might as well be urinating on her clean and folded laundry. And above all, never apply the Bible to your wife’s actions or words. The Bible clearly and emphatically states that all husbands should avoid any input into the spiritual life or conduct of their wife. Under no circumstances should a husband use the Bible unfavorably toward a woman that would in any way blemish the clearly stated command “to always love your wives by doing exactly what they want”. If we ever forget these clear commands we can only hope our wives will quietly dispose of us.

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

One of the most important things my precious one taught me about how to love her was to express my thankfulness to her, often, for the things she does- She wanted me to notice these things and say, "Thank you for... ( doing the dishes, the laundry, organizing the closet, letting me rant, etc.) Granted, this is a different take on what you are explaining here, but, from this, my point to add is that one can't expect to receive this kind of gratefulness unless you are willing to give it first. And when it starts, it quickly spreads because everyone likes to feel appreciated. Thankfulness, expressed, even worked on winning over my recalcitrant supervisor! Be good! Dennis!

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