I love talking about the garden or perimeters God has placed us in. Where you and I live and get to worship Him is truly an amazing place.
However, the creation of our spouse was a whole other level of His creativity and genius. Our spouse, among the billions of people in the world, is unique in so many ways. His or her family experiences, walk with God, friends, education, choices, ambitions and gifts make him or her, well, him or her.
My hope is, in reading this, that an idea here or there will prompt you to think or even evaluate your service to your spouse.
I have broken down the area of serving your spouse into several areas and I wrote about it in my book, Servant Marriage. I followed a model of personhood that Paul, through the Holy Spirit, wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:
"May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And I pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Your spouse has an amazing spirit, given to him or her by God. This spirit is also given to you by God as a gift. This gift, like so many gifts of God, needs to be personally cared for and maintained by you.
Your spouse has an almost incomprehensible soul. His or her mind, will and emotions will be under your care and influence for decades. This area of his or her being will also require care from you in a servant marriage.
Our spouse is, above all, a spirit being. At the core of him or her is a spirit that best operates if his or spirit is being fed and nourished.
Before I talk about your spouse, I want to first talk about you. You are a spirit being as well. Taking care of yourself spiritually is definitely the first order of business to be able to spiritually serve your spouse.
In Romans 1:15 (NIV), Paul says, "That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel..." I cannot serve very well spiritually if I am not spiritually consistent and growing. The reverse happens if a spouse is spiritually weak and inconsistent. He or she will negatively impact your marriage rather than positively impact it.
I said all of this to say that reading your Bible, praying, worshipping and growing spiritually daily and regularly are critical to having a servant marriage. If you do not serve God well, you will be more likely not to serve your spouse well either.
Regular church attendance and meeting regularly with a friend of the same gender is very helpful. When you grow spiritually, everyone in your life benefits.
Your spouse also greatly benefits when you pray together. As a servant, you do not have to worry about this being your personality or not. It is your responsibility to attempt to connect together spiritually.
Praying together daily or regularly in the presence of God and God the Father-in-law is a blessing to Him. I believe He loves being with both of you at the same time as well as individually. He created this trinity of marriage with you both so that He could fellowship and commune with you together. In a servant marriage, your spiritual walk involves both of you together, and not just you as a single man or woman.
Lisa and I have some friends we enjoy individually. However, when we get together with them together, it is a totally different dynamic. I think the Father feels the same way. Remember, marriage is a three-person entity, not just two. Therefore, I encourage you to enjoy the third person in your marriage together on a daily or regular basis.
Beyond praying together, some couples read the Bible together, which is great. When Lisa and I do this, we discuss what we learn for ourselves, not what we think the other person should be learning or applying.
Spiritual time together is a way for the servant to honor his or her spouse. Some couples do worship together, perhaps by using a worship CD. Some couples read devotions together. Being consistent in spiritual time together is vital for your marriage.
I believe it is our privilege to, over the course of our entire lives, get to know and learn about the unique creature our spouses are as they evolve throughout our servant marriage. It is not only our privilege, but our calling to serve them till death do us part.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Servant Marriage. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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