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Serving: The Antidote to Pride in Marriage

We want to encourage you to read this post together and talk about its implications for your marriage.

“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.” John 13:14-15

If you trace every marital breakdown back to its original starting point, you will invariably find some element of pride at work in one or both spouses. One of our favorite quotes on pride is by C.S. Lewis who wrote,

“Pride is the mother hen under which all other sins are hatched.”

It was pride that caused Adam and Eve to think they could get away with disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. It was pride that caused Satan to be cast out of heaven (see Isa. 14:12-14). It was pride that caused most of the squabbles among Jesus’ disciples. So Jesus decided to give his followers an object lesson about serving.

The Son of God did what only the lowest of household servants would do—and what none of the disciples even CONSIDERED doing. Jesus went from man to man, removing each man’s sandals and washed his feet. Then he basically said, “As my followers, this is what you are to do for each other.”

Husbands and wives, the health of your marriage depends on your mutual willingness to serve one another. Be ready to do the most menial act of service out of love for your spouse.

Here are four benefits to serving our spouse sacrificially:

1. It trains our heart in humility.

Choosing to serve our spouse brings an uprooting of pride in our heart. At every juncture where we don’t want to stoop down and serve, it is a revelation of the presence of pride in our life that has yet to be eradicated.

2. It elevates our spouses’s worth to us.

When we are invested in something, we feel good about the effort we put in. When we sacrificially serve our spouse, we begin to see them as WORTH serving. Our heart becomes more bonded to them.

3. It reinforces to our spouse their own value.

As humbling as the experience was for Jesus’ disciples, do you think they felt loved? Honored? Valuable? Treasured? As you serve your spouse you are injecting a daily dose of value and worth into them! You can provide this better than anyone else.

4. It brings the heart of Jesus into our marriage.

Serving sacrificially is a reflection of Jesus in our life. When we look for ways to “wash our spouse’s feet,” we protect our marriage from pride. We are choosing to bring the love of Jesus into the center of our marriage through our tangible acts of service.

Every day, look for ways you can serve your spouse in a way that follows Jesus’ example and you will build your marriage!

Resources to Improve Your Marriage

Would you like to engage more fully with your spouse and build your marriage in a healthy, biblical way? Through books and articles, Heidi and Brad Mitchell help couples grow in their faith to build a marriage on biblical principles. Through Christian marriage conferences and couples’ retreats, Heidi and Brad share biblical truths of how to build your marriage on the foundation of God’s Word. Their careful application of Scripture, along with personal stories and practical tools, has been used by God to transform marriages and redirect families. If you’d like Heidi and Brad to speak at your next marriage conference or couples retreat, connect with them here.