A couple usually puts special effort into their relationship while they are dating and engaged. Early in the marriage they are eager to please one another, but after awhile, as they settle into marriage, they tend to begin investing that energy in other areas of life like career, family, friends, and outside activities. Before they know it, both the husband and wife start feeling neglected. They can each easily see the ways they are there for their spouse, but they don’t feel their spouse is there for them any more.
God wants us to serve one another in marriage. Jesus gave us the perfect example of this when He humbled himself to wash His disciples’ feet. Jesus even washed Judas’s feet, and He knew Judas was about to betray Him. We need to follow Jesus’ example and cheerfully, humbly serve our spouses with unconditional love. God challenges us to love in a way that not only serves our spouse, but also to be willing to do it sacrificially, placing our spouse’s needs above our own. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Ephesians 6:7).
For us to demonstrate a Christ-like attitude in our marriage, we must change our motivation from “How can my spouse meet my desires?” to “How can I meet my partner’s wants and needs?” We should love and respond with agape love by taking our focus off of ourselves. If Jesus, being God, took on the role of a humble servant (even unto death), why should we think we should live our lives for ourselves? We should each seek to glorify God with our life by having a servant’s heart towards our spouse regardless of how they behave towards us. We don’t naturally default towards having a servant’s heart. We need to be intentional about it.
We wouldn’t think about showing up to work and not being intentional about doing our job; yet, that is what so many couples do with their marriages. We need to put the same passion and intentionality into our marriage today as we did when we were first dating. What are some ways you are intentional in your marriage relationship?