The Call to Selfless Serving: Keeping an Eye on Eternity

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My heart grumbles as I do the dishes by myself while my husband watches TV in the other room. I bang the cabinet doors just a little louder as I dramatically rush into the family room to grab the crying baby he seems to be ignoring. He knows I’m ticked, so he offers an explanation, “I’m sorry. I had a long day at work today. I was going to get him.”

I return to the kitchen with a baby on my hip only to continue angrily through my chores. “Serve me!” my sinful flesh silently demands. And so I stomp and stew and steep away all the eternal rewards God would have given me had I only served with a pure heart. But I don’t. No where near it.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

And thus, I miss the point.

It’s really quite tragic. My attitude says that, somehow, I’m greater than Jesus. That I SHOULD be served. It says that shaming my husband (whom I love?) today is worth more to me than treasures in heaven.

The truth is, the very opportunity to serve is a gift from God because of the possibility for a future harvest of righteousness.

For it is God who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of righteousness in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)

Why is it so much easier to wash everyone’s feet but his? I take him for granted.

So, let’s not do that, shall we? Let’s work hard, serve humbly, give up our rights, and show true, selfless and godly love to our husbands this week.

And when we don’t feel that our husbands are worthy, let’s do it for the glory and pleasure of God.

Let’s be like Christ, for He humbled Himself. He became like us, washed our feet, and ultimately laid down His life.

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel…[then he said,] 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. Very truly I tell you, 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.” John 13:5-17 (NIV)

I feel compelled to clarify, in Mitch’s defense (my hubby), while this is a true story, it is not a nightly occurrence. He’s actually pretty helpful.

How does the thought of selflessly serving your husband speak to you?


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  1. Robin says:

    Such a struggle! Our husbands are suppose to love us as Christ loved the church. He is the one who has the weight of responsibility, the spiritual leader. I wouldn’t want that responsibility. When he doesn’t fulfill that it is so hard for ME to be that self-sacrificing person. Don’t you ever get burnt out? 22 years and 5 kids later. I sacrifice because that’s how my mama raised me. But is there joy? No. Simply No. I’m burnt out. I am not a stay at home mom. Multiple failed businesses on my husband’s part dictate I work. Which only adds to my being burnt out. I press on. Run the good race. But I am burnt out. Please pray for me.

    • Robin, I am praying for you now sister. You’ve endured challenges in marriage that I haven’t yet. I hope this article didn’t sound pat. This is not easy. I am praying that God would intervene in miraculous ways and infuse your life with joy, not because the circumstances are good, but because He is good. Know that you will be rewarded for your faithfulness in eternity!

  2. Ashley Veach says:

    You wrote this so long ago… Not sure if you’ll ever even see this comment.

    I definitely feel I was led to this post tonight. Feeling very similar. But I can’t get to the same place you got at the end. Not 100%…

    What’s the point of being married if it’s just one more person to walk all over me? Isn’t he supposed to be my safe haven, as I am supposed to be his? That’s what God wants? For my husband to not try to make my life better just as I try to make his better? I just don’t understand that.

    • Yes, absolutely, your marriage should be a safe haven. God’s design is that your husband love you so fiercely that it mirrors Christ’s love for His church… so much so that He laid down His own life. Anything less is the result of an imperfect, broken world.

      That being said, we can’t control our husbands, and we can’t change their hearts. Our only responsibility is for our own attitude and actions –that we wholeheartedly follow Jesus during our short time on this earth. And Jesus offered a radical message for how we’re to live, loving others and washing their feet as He did. I would argue that our husbands are one of our best opportunities to put those commands into action.

      There is a point to being married, even when it’s unequal love and unequal sacrifice. Because when you exercise this love, God is radiantly glorified through you. You can know that you will be rewarded in eternity (Heb 11:6). For me, it’s all about perspective.

  3. Linda Porche says:

    What a “down-to-earth” post! (So much so that my toes are hurting!) I reallu
    Y needed these words; thanks!

  4. Emily says:

    Wow. Very convicting to me! I was unkind to my husband after I spent a lot of the night up with a sick baby. Then it hit me, if I can’t be kind to him just because he isn’t jumping up to serve my every desire, how can I expect to love those who revile and persecute me? Ouch!

    Thank you for your post.

  5. Tiffany Bell says:

    This totally spoke to me tonight, I was doing almost the same thing in the kitchen and then when my husband went to deal with the errant toddler who doesn’t want to stay in bed I became even more upset because of the way he handled it. . . I needed this post and God led me to it. Thank you for writing it 🙂

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