Enter Each Other’s World
One of the greatest gifts we were given at the very beginning of our marriage was the opportunity to sit with and learn from a handful of inspiring, remarkable couples whom we greatly admired, as they graciously poured out their wisdom for us young bucks. One of the rhythms we found in each of these couples—and that we continue to see in thriving couples we meet along the way—is the intentional way they serve one another. It seems to be a keystone value across the board. Think for a moment of the couples you admire most, and I promise you, if you were to map out their weekly rhythms, focusing on each other’s needs would rise to the top of the list.
Of course, most of us wake up each morning thinking of our own needs first, almost involuntarily. I sure need some coffee. . . . Whew! I’ve got that meeting coming up today. . . . Man, my muscles are tight; I sure could use a massage. . . . We just wake up immediately aware of our own needs and our own agenda. As Jan Peterson said, “We all start out self-centered. . . . Our wants are our world.” It takes a great deal of practice and considerable intention to train our eyes to see in a different way. No marriage can flourish when our eyes are consistently focused on ourselves.
In fact, a life focused only on ourselves is no life at all. As a good pastor friend of ours says, “People interested only in themselves will have the most difficulty in life and cause the most danger for others.” People who consistently choose to show genuine interest in those around them are rare and magnetic. We gravitate toward them. If a marriage only serves one person, it will start to fall apart. We have to intentionally shift our eyes, choosing to see, care about, and get to know our spouse’s world as well as our own. Thriving couples are thoroughly interested in each other’s lives.
“The greatest among you will be your servant.” – Matthew 23:11
Take some time to listen to your spouse’s life this week. Ask them to share a few ways you could serve that would be particularly meaningful to them.
Create a daily habit of serving your spouse. Find a small, specific daily task that you can do to communicate love to your spouse, then consistently practice it.
What is something your spouse has asked you to do for a while now? Change the light bulbs in the hallway? Go camping? Plan a date night? Initiate intimacy? Reflect over your conversations and choose just one thing you could surprise them with this week.
Where is your spouse uniquely gifted? Take a moment this week to notice and name just one area where your spouse shines.
Let’s keep the conversation going.
@jennigraebe @chrisgraebe @navpressbooks
@jennigraebe @chrisgraebe @navpresspublishing
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