Out-Serve or I Deserve?
I haven’t put toothpaste on my own toothbrush for a very long time. I get to wake up every day with it waiting for me on my side of our double vanity. Mike gets the pleasure of waking to a full pot of hot coffee each and every day made by yours truly.
Many years ago, a good friend and mentor gave us great marriage advice: Have an attitude to out-serve, not an attitude of “I deserve.” I’ve heard stories of couples trying to eke out the last little bit of toothpaste or bar of soap – not as an act of frugality, but because they don’t want to be the one who has to replace it. There’s that “I deserve” attitude.
Frankly, the small things we do to serve each other in our marriage take very little effort or time. How much longer does it take to put toothpaste on two toothbrushes instead of one? Not much. But how much impact does it make in the relationship? Tons! Not because it’s a big deal, but because I know he thought of me.
Sometimes the acts of kindness are even more meaningful. He knows how I like my towels folded (triple folded and stacked with the fold side out), so he does that for me. I know he doesn’t like the sheets at his feet tucked in; so when I make the bed, it all gets tucked in only on my side. These little extra efforts we extend not only tell our spouse that we love them, but we know them. There’s nothing better than the feeling of being known and understood - an incredible gift we can give to our spouse each and every day.
Let’s commit to a few small, meaningful things we can do daily to serve the spouse we were blessed with. Because, really, the small things are the big things.