The Epiphany of Joy, Chapter 11: Joy in Serving (3 of 3)
I strive to live out the apostle Paul’s instruction to husbands in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . .” (Ephesians 5:25 NIV). I consider myself a servant husband–it gives me pleasure to serve my wife in any way I can, from cleaning the house to picking up Hannah from gymnastics to having dinner ready when she walks through the door at the end of a challenging day. Likewise, Mary lives out Solomon’s description of a wife of noble character in Proverbs 31:
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her . . . .
–Proverbs 31:25-28 (NIV)
There’s nothing sexier than my wife mowing the lawn on the big red lawn tractor while sporting a white baseball cap and ear buds!
One Friday afternoon I dropped Hannah off at the gym for acrobatics lessons. I climbed up the bleachers to read my Kindle and I half-watched as Hannah practiced balancing, jumping, and landing on the thick mats. Toward the end of the session, as I started to pack up to leave, one of the gym moms mentioned something which prompted me to jump into the conversation: “Tomorrow morning we have to take Hannah to a birthday party,” I said, “then we have to drive her to her aunt and uncle’s house, then tomorrow night we’re attending a wedding.” Five women turned around simultaneously and stared at me.
“You know what your schedule is for tomorrow?” one of them asked.
“Uh, yes, I do.”
“My husband is clueless,” she told me. The other women nodded in agreement.
Another woman lamented: “My husband doesn’t care what’s going on.” More nods.
“Yeah, mine’s lucky to know what’s happening today, let alone tomorrow or the next day,” another wife griped.
Wow! Talk about an eye-opener! I can’t be the only surviving servant husband in the world, am I? This dramatic reaction from these gym moms blew me away! “Thank you for being, as the ladies at work say, ‘the most beautiful husband ever,’” Mary texted me one day. Beautiful? I receive that. I love responding to the privilege of being a servant husband; I’m designed for it! That’s why I was put on this earth. I try to pay attention to my wife’s needs, even if it’s just to keep my mouth shut and listen and nod my head when she’s venting. Even if it’s just sweeping up dog hair or putting the chickens up for the night or bringing home a bouquet of flowers from Wal-Mart and putting them in a vase before she gets home from work. Even if it’s massaging her feet while we veg in front of the TV and watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead. As Anakin Skywalker said in Star Wars Episode I: “Mom, you said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other.” I don’t want to reside in that universe, so I’ll continue to live out my Christian walk with an attitude of service and love.
After all, that’s what Jesus called us to do.
Copyright ©2014 by David C. Hughes