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How Do You Serve Your Spouse?

"I make the bed every morning, and fix dinner once a week. It's not Mother Teresa stuff, but you gotta start somewhere."

—John Ortberg, pastor and author,
married to Nancy for 22 years

"Jesus served his followers by washing their feet. In his culture that was the job of a servant. I asked my wife and she had no desire for me to wash her feet, but she had a lot of other good ideas, such as: take out the garbage, vacuum the floors, wash the dishes, dust the blinds, and keep the lawn looking nice. I followed Jesus' example, and I live with a happy woman."

—Gary D. Chapman, marriage and family expert,
married to Karolyn for 43 years

"It may seem a small thing, but Dianna and I have gotten into the habit of always asking the other if we need anything when we're up. Just grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge or putting a dish in the sink is an act of servanthood that allows 'preferring others over yourself' to begin at home."

—Jerry B. Jenkins, best-selling novelist,
married to Dianna for 34 years

"Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Really listen. Rick is a methodical thinker and speaks only when he believes he has something worth saying; I, on the other hand, jump from thought to thought and talk all the time. For years I equated verbose communication (i.e., my ways) with greater wisdom and, yes, being right. I learned the hard way over the course of years that I was wrong. My husband has much to say if I'll only give him the time to do so and humble myself and listen."

—Julie Ann Barnhill, author and speaker,
married to Rick for 18 years

"One of the greatest ways a husband can serve in marriage is to lovingly touch his wife—in a non-sexual manner and without wanting sex. In my marriage, my wife loves having her scalp massaged. Many nights she falls asleep with me reading, holding my book with one hand and massaging her head with the other. She knows I'm not trying to manipulate her into 'something more,' and I know it's something she truly loves and feels served by—in spite of the shoulder pains or my arm falling asleep!"

—Tim Gardner, director, The Marriage Institute,
married to Amy for 16 years

"To really serve my mate, I need to 'go to school' and study her as if in pursuit of a Ph.D. In my case, it's 'Beckology,' and I have to know her like no other on the planet. I have to tune in to her feelings, her fears, and her dreams. Only then can I serve her as Christ served the church."

—H. Dale Burke, pastor and author,
married to Becky for 30 years

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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Gifts; Marriage; Selfishness; Service
Today's Christian Woman, Summer, 2005
Posted September 12, 2008

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