Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family

Monday July 15, 2012

I sigh.

I roll my eyes.

I shake my head.

And those are just the nonverbal reactions…don’t get me going on how I might whine.

I’m pretty sure my attitude is not always a joyful, willing one when it comes to serving.

Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages and more, says the first sign of a healthy family is an attitude of service.

Those familiar verses in Ephesians 5:15 – 6:4 give us plenty of instruction to help us toward a healthy, godly lifestyle. (Yes, those are the “submit” verses, among others.)

Consider the verbs there: love, submit, obey, instruct. All of those indicate an attitude of service.

And you know the good thing about service? It’s hard to say no to.

“What can I do for you?”
“Would you like some help with that?”
“Do you want me to grill tonight so you don’t have to cook?”

It’s hard to reject.

And two more good things about service.

It’s contagious. When someone unselfishly serves you, you find yourself wanting to pass it on.

And it’s always there. Sometimes service is given more cheerfully than other times, but even in the worst of times or the least ideal of families, dinner is fixed, bills are paid, and the laundry is done.

So acknowledge it. Appreciate it. Share it. Celebrate it.

To your husband:
“Thanks for working so hard for us.” “Thanks for making the lawn look great.”
To your children: “I love the way you help your little sister with her shoes.” “Thanks for not arguing about that.”

Encouragement helps create a servant spirit, an attitude of service.

In most families, the little apples don’t fall far from the tree—so model service for your children.

Encourage it. Share it. (“How did you serve someone today?”) Celebrate it.

The impact of a servant family goes far beyond its four walls.

So when tempted to sigh or roll my eyes, I need to set my mind on the One I’m to model.

The One who washed feet.
Born in a feed trough though rightly a king.
Bruised and striped and scarred for me.
The One who has me “engraved on the palms of [His] hands” (Isaiah 49:16).

Joining Laura, Jen, and Michelle with words from the heart.


Jean Wise said...

Good advise here, Laura. Love the idea that service is contagious.

Faith said...

good thots here and timely for certain members of my household, me included!! LOl....i'm gonna share this with my daughters today. I actually put a "chore chart" on our fridge with some family expectations for the summer months (reminding my oldest that this house is NOT a dorm!) and one of the first things I put was "have a servant's heart". I can't wait to point them to this post! we all have been a lately :) Thanks for sharing!!

Annette Whipple said...

Thank you for the timely reminder, Laura.

Kathleen Basi said...

Yes, I'm afraid I'm a sigh-er and eye-roller, too. :/ No wonder the kids don't want to help out...

Joanne Sher said...

Absolutely needed this reminder too! Thanks, Laura!

Christina said...

I sigh and complain more than I serve. Thanks for this much needed encouragement!


My husband is often serving me ... wow, I am spoiled.

Shonya said...

Oh yes, thank you for that reminder, and the thought that it's when it's from the heart and an attitude of joy that it "counts".

Shelley said...

Visiting here from SDG. I loved this statement ...

The impact of a servant family goes far beyond its four walls.

My husband and I are practising this in our neighbourhood ... trying to be servant neighbours ... so yes, our servanthood definately goes beyond our front door.

Enjoyed my visit here today!

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