Disclaimer: this is a vulnerable post but I share this in hopes that if you find yourself even remotely in my shoes, that you’ll find humility to repent and ask for forgiveness.
My husband has the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen. They’re so deep and I always tell him that they remind me of horse’s eyes which he doesn’t take as a compliment, but I mean it as one–ha ;)
He picked out his latest pair of glasses last year all by himself and I think they’re handsome on him and frame his eyes well.
The sweet man has struggled with his eyesight since he was a little boy.
Meanwhile Miss 20/20 vision over here has never struggled with my sight…even though I faked my eye exam at school in the 3rd grade. I wanted attention, ahem, I mean glasses…clearly another story for another day.
Sometimes when Stephen and I are in deep conversation and I want to see his eyes, I’ll notice smudges on his glasses.
While he’s talking, I gently remove them, wipe them clean and place them back on his head.
I likewise often find myself pushing his glasses back up on the bridge of his nose ;-) they often slide down.
I am always pleased to do this because it allows me to see him well.
Tonight, we were discussing a passage of scripture and really diving into some depths.
The reflection of a lamp and his smudges were annoying me because I couldn’t make full eye contact.
I grabbed them as usual and it was then that God spoke to me.
“Why don’t you view every act of service to your husband like this one?”
In other words,”why do you gripe, complain, and nag at him instead of joyfully serving him in other areas?”.
I lost what Stephen was saying.
I gulped down the pride I felt coming up in my own heart.
I now saw his soft eyes again.
Eyes full of love.
Full of passion for Jesus.
Full of incredible compassion for me.
I knew I needed forgiveness.
I quickly searched the areas I hate serving him in.
Things like reminding him that toothpaste is on his mouth.
Why he can’t wear a particular shirt because it’s wrinkled.
((Hello I could have it ironed anyways))
The list goes on (my point is not to expose a list of annoyances), but they’re all small simple things like wiping his glasses.
Yet wiping his glasses I do from a place of compassion.
He can’t see the way I can see.
Why is any other area I could serve him in any different?
Maybe because I’m the big sister of two brothers, the reactions I have at times felt justified as I was used to being “helpful” ;-)
Maybe I felt like I was helping him with his appearance or other areas I saw his need for my input.
Instead of quietly serving with a heart of love like he does with me day in and day out, I’ve honestly nagged.
I’ve often viewed serving my husband as a chore.
I’ve not looked at helping him with his wardrobe as a joy.
Sweet man is 6’3 with a 29″ waist on his pants…Being an American who was born in Kenya and having a thin frame, he’s a natural runner and let’s just say this presents challenges with his clothes.
He grew up on the missions field in Africa and spent his single years on the field where he literally gave shirts off of his back (still does). Instead of caring what people think about his outward appearance, he focuses on what truly matters internally and eternally, while I’ve found fault with outward things.
I’ve not looked at the areas that I have the ability to help him with as joys.
I’ve sometimes seen them as obligations and annoyances.
Not all of them, but enough that the conviction was strong.
I looked back through his clear glasses into my favorite pair of eyes and I was overcome with joy and love.
I asked for forgiveness for being so cruel at times and not serving Him in love. I cried.
I read a Facebook post a few days ago of a father of 4 kids sharing updates on his children.
I’m particularly engaged in this family’s posts because of their beautiful story and service in ministry, which is too long to go into.
Their eldest son has had some rather extreme physical challenges. I remember praying when Stephen and I were newly married as this young man’s life hung in the balance.
Today he’s doing much better, but is still fully dependent on his parents.
The father wrote about this particular son, “He’s been fairly happy. My main selfish concern is that I want to go on a vacation with my wife. But, if he is happy, I’m happy. Years ago I had a breakthrough when changing his nasty 12-year-old diaper. I told him “it’s an honor to serve you son,” and broke down crying. I’ve said it ever since when changing a diaper or showering poo off of him. I wonder how the Father thinks about us?”
This post planted a significant seed in my spirit.
One that only 3 days later would blossom to show me how selfish I am.
How very little of a joyful servant I’ve been at times.
I’m so thankful that my Heavenly Father gets down in the dirt in my life. He sent His glorious Son into my mess to serve me joyfully with love.
He sacrificially laid down His life for me.
He’s given me a husband who beyond my wildest imaginations is a wonderful picture of His servant hood and love.
Stephen has stood by me in some of the most crazy scenarios you wouldn’t even believe.
Only 2 and a half years of marriage have presented us with major health challenges and chaos of our often far too adventurous life ;-). Yet through it all, he has faithfully served and faithfully loved.
I am thankful.
I am thankful to have him.
Thankful to love him, to be his wife.
And I’m incredibly thankful that I can serve him with joy realizing God wants to move through me to love on him.
I’m sure I will continue to annoy Stephen and I’m positive some days especially when he famously has toothpaste smeared on his beard that I’ll be frustrated.
But I pray the revelation of knowing there is One who has gone before me in perfect love stays etched in my mind and spirit.
I pray that beyond “in sickness and in health”, that I can serve my husband with joy, seeing him as the gift he really is. Not diminishing it in my own selfish ways.
I pray that you too would love those whom God has placed in your life and serve them like Jesus would.
That you would wash the “poo” off of them and wipe the smudges off of their glasses so that they too can see His Perfect Love.