My husband and I will celebrate our 7 year anniversary next month. Now, in the grand scheme of things, I know that this is not a long time. My parents have been married for 37 years. My grandparents were married for 50 years. And my great-grandparents, believe it or not, were married for more than 65 years.
So, 7 years is really just a drop in the bucket.
I am not going to pretend to have loads of marriage advice to dispense to the world. I am still learning myself! Instead I want to share one area that I am working on right now in my own marriage. One area in which I need growth.
You see, I have a nasty habit of keeping track of things. My list-making, goal-setting self can get obsessed with creating a balance sheet–a “who did what” list. I cleaned the kitchen and folded the laundry. What did you do?
And where does my habit of keeping track of things lead me? Right into resentment. I may still be learning about marriage, but I do know that resentment is not love.
In fact, when Jesus talked about love he said this: “No greater love has any man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
I need to lay down my life for my husband. Not in some grand one-time gesture, but in the small, daily moments. In service.
5 Simple Ways to Serve Your Spouse Today
1. Make A Favorite Treat
My husband loves homemade cookies and brownies. I love to eat them, but I often feel too rushed to make a batch of cookies. However, when I do take the time to make his favorite (my mom’s recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies in the world!), I show my husband that I love him.
2. Do The Least Favorite Chore
Everyone has a least favorite chore. Mine is folding laundry (especially socks–seriously does anyone have a good system for this?!). Maybe your spouse doesn’t like taking out the trash, doing the dishes, or mowing the lawn. Surprise them by doing their chore for them with no strings attached. Don’t even mention it or draw attention to yourself. Just do it.
3. Let Them Sleep In
This Saturday morning take the kids to the park or out for donuts and let your spouse sleep in. Give them the gift of uninterrupted quiet time. Every parent knows how valuable that is!
4. Leave an Unexpected Note
My husband works until midnight two nights a week. Some nights I try to leave a note on the front door for him to see. It may be a simple “I love you,” a quote from a poem or song we both like, or a line or two about my day.
You can leave a note on the bathroom mirror. Send a text with “one reason I love you.” Write a love letter. Even just a line or two to let them know you are thinking about them can make your spouse’s day.
5. Give A Back Massage
Give a good, deep back rub. Massage muscles weary from stress and work. And if a back rub leads to more physical affection–even better!
I hope that by repeatedly doing these (and other) small acts, I can develop a habit of service that impacts our marriage for years to come. After all, God willing, we have many more years of love ahead of us.
Bonus: Read Gary D. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Discover how your spouse best receives and gives love. It might surprise you! And, it will certainly help you love them in the way that makes them feel most loved.
How do you serve your spouse?