Friday, January 30, 2009

Who is supposed to serve?


I received this email yesterday from Nancy Leigh DeMoss. How I appreciate her ministry!!

Who is supposed to serve?

In the past couple of decades, there’s been a movement challenging men to love and serve their wives. Every woman I know is very encouraged when we see God turning men’s hearts toward the Lord and their families.

We need to remember that God didn’t make men to be helpers to their wives. God made the wife to be a helper to her husband. In today’s evangelical world, it’s “politically correct” to challenge men to go home and serve their wives. It’s not so popular to talk to women about their responsibility to serve their husbands.

If we as women focus on what we think we deserve—what men “ought” to do for us—we’re likely to get hurt and resentful when our expectations aren’t fulfilled.

If your husband’s learning to serve you, that’s great. But remember, you’re never more like Jesus than when you’re serving other people.

25 comments:

C. C. said...

What an incredible post! I try to keep my opinions to myself when it comes to this issue. I believe I am considered a "door mat" to my husband to many people. We have two children and he probably didn't change six diapers in all their growing up. He only cooks (grills, specifically) because he likes to not because I won't. As a matter of fact, he has to be somewhat patient with my over-attentativeness (is that a word?) at times. I heard a comment an older woman made one time when asked why she always got out her husbands clothes for him each night; she answered if she didn't serve him someone else would!

There is nothing more distasteful to my mind than a man who acts like a woman (doing the homemaking and tending to the children) and a wife who has an air of entitlement; you know "serve me." I have made the comment (which is not proper, I know, to be so insensitive to others' beliefs) of "I would like in a cardboard box before I would let someone else raise my children." Meaning I would not willingly just send them off to day care (and now school - we homeschool) because I wanted all the things money can buy. I would do without rather than have them be in an environment I don't feel to be positive.

One might say my husband is spoiled; he doesn't know how to run any of the appliances (washing machine, etc.), but I am trying to live the way God tells women to live and I will NOT change for anyone else's opinions anymore than will I ALLOW myself to be served by him - that is just unnatural. I'll let God be the judge of me and not my lower human nature who begs to be carried around on a satin pillow being hand-fed bon-bons!

Kim said...

Amen! I LOVE Nancy Leigh DeMoss! I listen to her show often! Great post!

Cyndi Lewis said...

I agree! Amen! There are times I fall into the "poor me- my husband never serves me" trap. Then I remember that I am my DH's helpmeet not the other way around!

Miss Jen said...

Hmmm...what a great statement, much to ponder!! Thanks for so much sharing!!

Many Blessings,
Miss Jen

P.S.
Mrs.U, how neat that you have been in contact with Nancy!

Anonymous said...

C.C.,

You have to remember that some men do enjoy serving -- it's their love language and the easiest way for them to show love. My husband does the laundry and the dishes. Not every night but, he's sensitive to come home and help out because that's his way of loving me.

I wanted to be that woman whose husband needed her to do all of those thing but God, in His goodness, saw that that would have been a huge area of pride for me. I would have thought I was better than other women. So, he gave me the husband he gave me.

Should women be helpmeets? Absolutely. But it will look different for each of us. What every woman needs to do is ask her OWN husband how she can serve him. For some men, sex is IT! And, loving, serving and respecting in light of who our own husband is is how each of us can love Jesus. That's what it's all about. Others' perceptions fall away when Jesus is at the center of our serving our husbands and families.

Leigh

Tori said...

Amen, Amen and amen!
Great post, I needed the reminder. When you have a wonderful husband like mine it's easy to get used to his goodness and being expecting it. Thanks for the challenge this morning!

Mrs. U said...

Miss Jen,
Oh how I wish I knew Nancy Leigh DeMoss in person!!! I think she must be the sweetest lady!! Unfortunately, though, the email wasn't a personal email, but one that I get from her ministry. You can go to her website and find out about receiving daily emails from her!!

His,
Mrs. U

Doug and Terrye said...

What a gracious reminder of our role in a God-ordained family :)

Terrye in FL

Angela said...

Ephesians reminds us...
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church... Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
I too believe we have different roles in our home - but I am sorry CC finds a man who shares in the homemaking 'distasteful' - in many marriages, circumstances mean that he may do those things simply BECAUSE it is part of the way he shows love to her [I think of my own dear parents, and all that my father did to help my disabled mother]
I fully endorse the final sentence of Anonymous - if JESUS is at the centre of our relationship, everything else falls into place.
As I understand Scripture, we are called to serve one another in love - and it is what we should want to do willingly and joyfully [whether wife or husband or Christian friend] and if our beloved seeks to serve us in some way, we do not EXPECT it, but we ACCEPT it graciously.
Blessings - Ang xx

Anonymous said...

submit!!! submit!!! submissive...

Mrs. U said...

Sorry Anonymous. I'm not really sure what your comment means. Please explain.

His,
Mrs. U

Kate said...

Amen! It's so easy to focus on what our husbands ought to do for us, and much harder to see things from their point of view: what they wish we'd do for them. I know I'm selfish, but sometimes I realize I'm selfish in ways I didn't expect. If that makes sense!

~Kate
"Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman?"
http://proverbs14-1.blogspot.com

Thumperdd said...

Good post...brave in today's world, I'll admit. This is a constant work-in-progress in our home. I was a single mother for so long that I think I'm used to taking care of everything. This is something I pray on most days - I need the patience to let go and let someone take over. You inspire me to become more of a servant in our home.

But, I do agree with Angela's response. In my heart I feel that we're supposed to serve everyone in love. That was one of Jesus' greatest teachings and I'm not sure He meant that just for wives.

Thanks for yet another thought-provoking post. Isn't it wonderful that we live in a society where we can express our inner most thoughts without fear???

In Christ,
Danita

Anonymous said...

Sounds awful, I feel sorry for you all!

Mrs. U said...

Anonymous,
Why do you feel sorry for us? Because we joyfully submit to the Lord's ways and, in turn, make our husbands happy? Is THAT why you feel sorry for us? Truly, it is WONDERFUL to life according to the Word of God!

His,
Mrs. U

Anonymous said...

I knew I wanted to marry my husband because he would make such an amazing father. He helps do everything with our kids and loves doing it. I thank God everyday for the life we have with our family. It doesn't have to be the way many of you are describing. Maybe you all picked the wrong men for the wrong reasons. You are telling yourselves that you are living the way God intended in order to ignore your true feelings. That's no way to live. I suppose if you set your expectations as low as possible then you won't ever be disappointed but it's a shame that you'll never experience what it's like to have a truly wonderful marriage and be able to say that and know you truly mean it. You sound like nice people though so I'll try not to judge you.

Kate said...

Anonymous:

It's not about lowering our expectations or ignoring our feelings, or about picking the wrong men. We serve our husbands (not perfectly, but we try) because we love them and are willing to sacrifice for them. That's what love is. We care for and respect our husbands so much that we are willing to give things up for them.

The relationship between a husband and wife is supposed to model that between Christ and the church. Ephesians 5 talks about this. "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." And to men: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..."

In my marriage, I respect that my husband is my head and I am to submit to him. But I also know that my husband loves and respects me, and he is more than willing to take my opinions into account. So when a decision has to be made, we talk about it, and he welcomes my thoughts, but the decision is his to make. Maybe that sounds unfair, but I am truly glad that I do not have the burden of leadership. God knows what is best.

It's not that we have low expectations; it's just the opposite! We aren't just working for great, happy marriages. We're working for godly ones. =)

~Kate
"Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman?"
http://proverbs14-1.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I guess you can assume a lot in these sorts of blogs. While I see where you are coming from, I want you to admit you may not be seeing the whole story. And that's because so much is left out.

Let me explain. You have stated your reason why you chose to marry your husband: some people could have misconceptions about what you said. Your choosing your husband because you thought he would be a good father could be viewed as sexist/not really love. Why wouldn't you choose him because you adored him or he adored you? I think you leave a lot out of your story, as do all of the other women. My point is: we all have limited space and want to stay on the subject.

I agree with you that some of this is hard to swallow. And some of the responses show very little history or personal selfishness. Real life is painful because we are selfish and sinners and getting to a place where we love to serve others is (by and large) a process.

Most importantly is this: the women who participate in this discussion(I assume) love Jesus. And if they love Jesus, their desire is to be like Him. The Bible says that Jesus Christ came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. He did not come to be served and He absolutely did not come to keep women down. He came to give new life and new desires to selfish sinners who didn't have the will to choose Him.

And as for your not trying to judge anyone: you already have. And it's okay. You are a sinner just like the rest of us. No better, no worse. And I personally, love and thank you for writing, for thinking and for pushing back! Leigh

Laura of Harvest Lane said...

Oh, we don't like to read those kinds of words, do we? It is a right reminder for us though.

Blessings,
Laura

Laura of Harvest Lane said...

By the way, I was commenting about the post, not the comments.
~smile~

Laura

Rona's Home Page said...

I really enjoy serving my family. I receive great joy from making a dinner or a pot of coffee then making sure my husband and son have their serving first.

Thank you for the post. I really enjoy reading your blog.

trish said...

This is a wonderful blog. I hope to make some time in the near future to come back and visit.

simplysanctified said...

What a good reminder - to always have a servant's spirit! Thank you!

A Gracious Home said...

Nancy is a favorite of mine. I love her books and radio programs. Doylene

Marie said...

My husband shows his love by doing whatever he can to make MY day easier. He never complains that something is a woman's job.

I show my husband my love by doing whatever I can to make HIS day easier. I never complain that something is a man's job.

Good Christian husbands and wives both need to be selfless.

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