My fiance recently said to me “I want to serve you,” and I was so struck by that. Indeed, if everyone had that mentality each day of their marriage, I am confident that we wouldn’t see so many couples and marriages struggling.
I recently came across a quote from St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” It reminded me of the same. Love is built on little acts of service to one another – even the daily dishes.
How often couples grumble about those daily duties… who does them, how much of them we do, whether they are done well enough, and so on. The reality is that most of us don’t like to serve. We prefer to be served. After all, it’s easier and requires less work. Much of life is work. Why would we want more?
But as an active volunteer, I know that service is the foundation of joy, purpose, and a life of fulfillment. Without service, I’m just leading a self-centered life.
Several times I have heard marriage referred to as ministry – which at its heart is about God, relationship, service, and work. I think calling it that is pretty fitting. If we do marriage well, it will draw us both closer to Christ.
As someone getting married in May, I am pondering what exactly marriage as service and ministry means for me, but here are some thoughts:
- I will take the Lord’s lead in guiding me in my relationship.
- I will look for ways to serve my spouse’s needs and well-being.
- I will have a spirit of love and charity.
- God and prayer will be at the heart of our marriage.
- Growth in our spiritual lives will be a priority.
- My first service is to my husband and family.
What is love? It's not Valentines, roses, or sweet little treasures. It’s the attitude of “I want to serve you” each and every moment of each and every day.