Thursday, September 10, 2009

Serve.

Garth and I were all about breaking tradition when we were planning our wedding. This is why we had our pastor read from John 13:1-5; 12-17. It is a passage we are both very compassionate about because we wanted to model it in our own marriage.

"It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him...When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. 'Do you understand what I have done for you?' he asked them. 'You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

Wow. I can just imagine the disciples being so distraught and uncomfortable as the King of the Universe washes their stinky feet. But that is what makes it such a powerful illustration, right? And yet, I feel this type of living has been lost - especially in marriage. We live in a culture that glorifies the Burger King motto ("Have it Your Way") and romantic comedies ooze butterflies and "happily ever afters."

Gary Thomas said it best, "What if God didn't design marriage to be 'easier?' What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place?" The whole thesis of Gary Thomas' book Sacred Marriage is "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"

As I reflect on my marriage, I have to take a step back and analyze. Am I serving Garth as best I can? Am I pursuing holiness over happiness? Ummm no. Case in point - last night I was so tired after working ten hour days for an event this week, and I was STARVING. This was a horrible combination that led to much crankiness that Garth just did not deserve.

So I write this whole post as a reminder to myself that marriage isn't about me. It is about being able to do God's will better together as a couple than apart. It is about serving each other as Christ served the Church. It is about sacrifice, compromise and unconditional love. It is about glorifying God in all we do which leads to the utlimate "happily ever after."

51 comments:

Samantha said...

I think this is an absolutely wonderful passage! Thank you for sharing it! Sad I wont see you tonight, but I still LOVE YOU!

Lucy Marie said...

Wonderful passage. I think many people forget how powerful it really is when reading it because we don't always take into consideration the context of it. When you think about it, these men walked everywhere, in sandals, over hot dirt and sand. Their feet would be nasty! So for Jesus to place himself on the floor, in a position of service to them, washing their feet, would have been no small act.

Your comparison between this passage and marriage is wonderful. What a reminder - marriage is about holiness rather than happiness. I certainly don't live like that.

Christie said...

Great post! It supports thoughts I've had but not acted much on- you've given me inspiration to try harder, so thank you.

Lauren Kelly said...

I'm not even married, but this was GREAT!!! :)

willtherebecake said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing it.

Griswold Fun said...

I enjoyed your post! I am reading "Sacred Marriage" right now and it is making me do a lot of thinking and gut checking.

recipes for the life said...

Oh wow! There is so much depth in that thought. Beautiful! Marriage is all about understanding, caring, sharing and giving. Its definitely not about you or me. No egos allowed.

♥ Chaitra

New England Girl said...

Absolutely wonderful. :) You are both so awesome and I love your views on so many things. xox.

Mary Michal said...

Well said. This is definitely something I should pay more attention to in my own marriage.

Whitney said...

That's a great passage and this is a great blog post! It's such a wonderful reminder even to an old maid single girl like me! Ha!

Shannon said...

Very great post!!!

The Rest is Still Unwritten said...

This was a great post and something I think we can all focus on a little more in our marriages.

Mrs. A said...

what a powerful scripture I love that you used it at your wedding. Thanks for the reminder that marriage isn't all about me.

Mrs. Potts said...

What a beautiful post and a great reminder for us to not serve ourselves.

Suzette said...

What a perfect reminder! Thanks for sharing this! IT is SO easy to get wrapped up in ME and you lose what God designed to be so special if you follow His directions!

Meg said...

Thanks for this post, friend. It's so true and very needed for marriages today. I haven't read that book yet, but it's on my list to read. Have you guys read Love and Respect?

- Sarah :-) said...

Ouch! that's so true and I've never thought about it like that...

I've never heard of that book, either. I'm guessing you'd recommend it? Sounds like it would be a good, yet challenging read.

pocket full of pink said...

AMAZING post!!! Thank you!!

Justine said...

I agree, I think sacrifice is one of the most important things in marriage! In any relationship, really. Great post! :)

PS LOVE the picture! :)

Brittany Ann said...

Amen! And so poignantly explained. This will very helpful to so many of us married bloggers. We all need to ask ourselves these questions.

Lucky in Love said...

The first time you wrote about Sacred Marriage, um like when I started my blog, I went right out and bought the book. We are planning on going through it together at the start of the year because we have a work book as well. I just love that quote about being holy in your marriage. What a reality check!

Skyelynn said...

What a great post! I have never heard of that book but will definitley look it up. I love the phrase about marriage being more about holiness rather than happiness. Thank you for sharing this one :)

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

Glad the macaroni and cheese recipe was of help, enjoy it!

Sassy and Classy Southern Mrs. said...

Thanks for sharing! I think we all need a reminder that it isn't always about us but how we serve and honor HIM in our marriage.

Sole Matters said...

what a great post!!! i think thats whats wrong with a lot of marriages today. im not married but i hope to be one day...thanks for posting this great message!

AmberDenae said...

What a beautiful post, Lindsey!!! Very inspiring!

AmberDenae said...
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Andrea said...

Beautiful reminder! :) And what a great passage to read at your wedding.

Demara said...

I agree!

Jessica said...

Wow, what a beautiful post! You've really inspired me to look so differently at marriage and being a wife

the future mrs Hinz said...

great post! i hope that i can be the best wife i can when i get married and keeping God as the center of your marriage is def the only way to live. thanks for sharing.

Gretchen and Jimmy said...

1. I soooo needed to be reminded of this... I have been so stressed and really taking it out on my soon to be husband (in 22 days!) reading this post reminded me of how I should be towards him.

2. What a beautiful wedding picture!!

Jenny G said...

Thanks for this awesome post and reminder to us about what God intended marriage to be!

Llama said...

That was simply beautiful. Boy, did I need THAT! I was just the same last night, even though we aren't married yet, I feel as if we are, and I need to treat him that way. just touching, thank you.

Jenny.Lee said...

This is an awesome post Lindsey. I'll have to check out that book. It sounds like a good one.

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Wow, I could not have ever said that better then you! I totally agree and think at times we as humans forget that.

Kassie said...

That was so beautifully written! I hope to have that one day.

d.a.r. said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder!!

Jane said...

Love this.

...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

Great reminder!!! Something I need to hear on a daily basis.

a H.I.T. said...

What a beautiful post. It serves as a great reminder to us all.

Lil' Woman said...

Wonderful passage and a great message to keep in mind.

Anne Carr said...

Great reminder about serving our husbands!
I can totally relate to giving my hubby undeserved crankiness... After working all day, coming home to a messy house and a stack of dirty dishes, having to pull off dinner... all after being exhausted and having a lousy day at work. Yeah. Not a pretty picture. And then having to clean up afterwards and probably throw in a load of laundry before turning around and doing the whole thing over again tomorrow?
"God, help me with my attitude" is something I pray quite often!

My husband is such a loving, godly, and wonderful man...and I always feel so horrible when I end up in a less-than-servant-like mood because he is so loving to me always. *sigh*

Once again a reminder that I was justified when Christ saved me, but the act of being sanctified is a life-long process!

Amber said...

I love this! JD and I try to live this as much as possible (of course, none of us are perfect but we do try) and it's awesome to see that others are doing the same!

I'm doing a giveaway that ends tomorrow. If you're interested, I'd love to have you join the fun :-)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Great post! I think we all need this reminder every once in a while. Love that passage. So cool that you used it in your wedding!

Sandy Toes said...

Beautiful...
sandy toe

MissJody said...

This.is.a.wonderful POst!
I think the same with my marriage...
Very beautiful passage.

Tasha said...

Great passage! Way to keep things in perspective!

Miss Sassy Pants said...

I'm struggling to remember this as we round the last corner before our wedding this weekend. I've been so busy being stressed about everything and I know it's affected how I've treated Chris. We're actually doing the foot washing ceremony during our ceremony instead of doing the unity candle or sands...

MyRunningJourney said...

Great post!!

Mrs. Lukie said...

I love this post. It is so true, that God did not design marriage for us to be "happy." He designed marriage for us to serve HIM. And how easily we all forget this, from time to time.