So… last week I had the flu. All week. Sunday to Sunday.
My sweet husband was healthy, and practiced serving me in me those first few days, letting me sleep while he watched our precious girl.
And then, on Wednesday, the first day I felt semi-human again, he got sick too.
And so did Emily.
So I got my practice in too.
It’s one thing to be Doctor Mom when you’re healthy and up on energy. It’s even one thing to be Doctor Wife when just your husband is sick.
But being Doctor Mom and Doctor Wife while you’re still battling sleep deprivation, complete exhaustion, and a deep cough that feels like it might just kill you?
Well, that’s another thing altogether.
We were all a little high maintenance this week. I don’t remember another time when I’ve prayed “Jesus, help!” quite so many times in a day.
But, in fact, when it comes to serving our spouse, we often need the help of Jesus, even if we’re not battling the aftereffects of the flu.
It’s hard to serve. It means we have to step outside of our own needs and see the world through someone else’s eyes. It means we have to put our desires on the back burner and look to the dreams of another.
I think that sometimes it’s easier to serve strangers. To give generously to those whose needs are obvious…and far removed from our own.
But to give to those closest to us? To daily serve those who bump into our happy and drain our resources and show us their flaws? To meet the needs of those who might not be meeting ours? That is hard.
That is love.
We are called to love unconditionally, and that means serving without reservation. That means looking for ways to make your spouse’s life a little easier, instead of becoming embittered that they aren’t making yours any easier.
There is a trick to this, by the way. It’s all about who you expect to meet your needs, to fill your cup.
High maintenance or not, your spouse is not going to be perfect. They won’t be able to read your mind, and they certainly will not be able to meet your every need. If you’re expecting them to do that, you’re going to end up sorely disappointed, and unable to adopt an attitude of loving service.
But if you look to the Lord to fill your cup, the only One who can truly meet your every need, you’ll find what you’re looking for. And as you receive His love, you are full and free to love and serve your partner, without reservation.
Even when you have the flu.
(Although, admittedly, it takes a lot more God-power and a few more “I’m sorry”s.)
What is one way you can serve your spouse this week, without expecting anything in return?
Looking for more? Check out these amazing posts on Service!