While reading, I immediately thought of two men in my life who have lived this out in the past year. As many of you know my mother has been ill for many, many months. During this time Kevin has treated me like Jesus would if He were living in this house. He placed my needs above his own.....and my parent's needs above his own. Month after month he served me. When I would return from trips home; he would greet me and make me feel special and loved.....never a "guilting", never a cross word because the house wasn't put together or the meals weren't on the table....never a word of "I wish you would stay here." but always loving me and asking when I would go again.
The other man who demonstrated Christ's love in such an amazing way was my father. He placed every desire and want of his own down in order to love and serve my mother during this time. Not only did he provide the act of service; he did it with such care and love. He wouldn't just put my mother to bed.....he would fold down her covers just like she liked and then ever so carefully place her in bed, and layer by layer her would tuck her in. Kissing her when he was done and making sure she was comfortable before she would fall asleep. When she was needing to sit up, he would fix her cushion just "so", put her in her chair and then wrap her ever so gently with her favorite blanket. When she was cold he would turn up the furnace to where he was sweating continuously all without one word of complaint or even a statement about his preference.
I imagine when my dad stood at the altar 52 years ago and stated he would love mother "in sickness and in health" and "until death to part" he didn't have this season of their life in mind. Those words are so easy to say on a day when you feel alive and vibrant and ready to take on the world as a couple. But this season came all too early and my dad picked up the towel, wrapped it around his waste and washed the feet of my mother. He was an earthly example of what Jesus demonstrated by washing the disciples feet.......a servant's heart.
This kind of heart will only be poured out if we practice early and often and we are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This servant's heart can only happen day after day when the journey gets long and hard; when we have placed ourselves in the position of a servant to our spouse and family. When we no longer look to our own wants and quietly strive to meet their needs and wants above our own.
So, this week I have placed this quote on my bathroom mirror as a reminder each day to serve Kevin more intentionally......I want to encourage you to do the same.
"Treat Kevin more like Christ would treat him if He were living in our house."
I want to ask myself, "How would Jesus serve Kevin, speak to him, meet his needs, love him." Will you do the same for your spouse? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in laying down your pride and desires and picking up the towel and serving the one who God has given to you.