Going the Distance Together

Continue with us in our devotional challenge!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. What's the difference? Think about the running events in the Olympics as an example. The sprints are between 100 and 400 meters in length, a little more than a quarter-mile, once around the track. The marathon is 42.2 kilometers (26 miles plus 385 yards). Sprinters burst from the starting line and run at top speed a race that is measured in seconds. Marathoners pace themselves to run with concentration and endurance for two to three hours. Sprints require leg power; marathons require lung power.

As a Christian, you may feel like a sprinter at times, racing through a myriad of tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines. You say things like, "I just have to make it through this week," or "If I can just hold it together until the kids are out of school." But in reality, Christ has called us to remain faithful and obedient over the long haul, through the grueling marathon of a lifetime. You can see it in the following passages:

"Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But those who endure it to the end will be saved." (Matthew 24:12– 13)

"Everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me [Christ]. But those who endure to the end will be saved." (Mark 13:13)

"Remain in my [Christ's] love." (John 15:9)

"He [Christ] will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good." (Romans 2:7)

"So you must remain faithful to do what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father." (1 John 2:24)

Christian marriage is a marathon in tandem. You and your spouse have linked hearts to serve God and get through life – with all its joys and pains – together. Your long-distance race is about winning as individuals; it's about helping each other go the distance and finish well. And aren't you thrilled to have a running mate, a partner, and a helper?

You have probably discovered by now that the love that brought the two of you together – that passionate, fiery, romantic love – may be alright for a sprint, but it's not enough to get you to the finish line. You need passion, fire, and romance, to be sure. But you also need persevering love, long-term concentration, dedication, patience, and endurance. Here are several important qualities of persevering love:

Total commitment. The starting point for persevering love is an all-out commitment to each other. It's the tough stance that says, "Our marriage is bigger than any issue. No matter what is arrayed against us, we will stand together. Neither of us will ever go through a trial alone. We will stay the course – not because we have to, not even because we promised to. Rather, we will hang in there because we care for each other more than anything in this world."

Unconditional acceptance. Persevering love says, "No matter how good or bad you look, no matter how much money you make or lose, no matter how smart or feeble-minded you are, I will still love you." That's the essence of our wedding vows – for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. Unconditional acceptance chooses to continue loving even when life dumps on us a world of excuses for falling out of love.

Deep trust. Persevering love is the product of deep trust between you and your spouse. Trust says, "I will depend on you to guard my heart and my life, to fight beside me always." You may need a lot of people to pull you through a crisis. But more than anyone on earth, husbands and wives should rely on each other. This level of trust grows richer over time and under the pressure of trials, as you each prove yourselves trustworthy to each other.

Tenacious endurance. Every kind of trial in life – emotional burdens, financial difficulties, spiritual doubts, physical pain, relational stresses – presents a new opportunity for you and your spouse to hang on together. Commitment helps you stay connected to each other through trial; endurance is the determination to outlast the problems, to help each other get to the other side. Think of the intimacy and friendship that can develop and your relationship when both of you are committed to getting through every trial.

Abiding faith. In order for your love to finish well through life's pressures, it needs to be grounded in a sincere, abiding faith in the God who designed marriage. Any of us can stubbornly pursue a lifestyle that our culture deems important and live independent of God. Sometimes a severe trial moves us to let God have his way with us and to see what truly matters in life. We often don't really appreciate the important role faith plays in our marriage until a crisis forces us to throw ourselves on God.

Diligent preparation. Whenever you and your spouse find yourselves in a lull between the storms of life, take the opportunity to prepare for potential stormy weather ahead. The law between the storms is the time to shore up your marriage. Work on a Bible study together. Take a second honeymoon – or third, or fourth. Read some good books on marriage enrichment, and discuss them together. Attend a Christian marriage conference together. Seek out a Christian counselor, and ask him or her for pointers on how to deepen your friendship for the long-haul. The more you invest in your marriage between the storms, the better prepared you will be to endure the storms together – and even come through them stronger.

Reflect Together
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being high, how would you rate the strength of each quality of persevering love in your marriage? How would you rate the strength of your contribution to each quality? How would you rate the strength of your spouse's contribution?

Total commitment
Unconditional acceptance
Deep trust
Tenacious endurance
Abiding faith
Diligent preparation

Pray Together
Thank you, mighty God, for not giving up on me, my spouse, or our marriage. Thank you for your commitment to go the distance with us. You are with us through the highs and the lows. In every trial and pain, your presence and comfort help us persevere. Build into my heart this week the qualities of persevering love: commitment, acceptance, trust, endurance, faith, preparation. Equip me to love my spouse in every way over the long haul. And help us to finish well – together. Amen.

Renew Your Love
Which quality of persevering love did you rate the weakest in your marriage? Which quality did you write your contribution to be the weakest? Select one quality you would like to see grow stronger. Make it a matter of focused prayer this week. Also decide on something you can do this week to demonstrate that you were committed to loving your spouse for life. For example, write your commitment in a card or note or make it a point to verbalize your commitment, using comments such as, "I will love you no matter what" or "I will be with you through the good times and the rough spots."

Getting the Message

Continue with us and do our devotional challenge together as a couple!

Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the profits. But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his son. Hebrews 1:1–2

Think about the lengths to which people go in order to communicate with one another and be understood. We make the effort to learn a foreign language to move a growing business to an international scale. We take classes and read books on how to write and speak the "King's English" better. We do those little exercises to increase our word power.

Human beings really get busy when there is a challenge to clear communication. Someone invented sign language, allowing those with speech and hearing impediments to communicate. Without this effort, society may have missed valuable contributions of people like Helen Keller. Someone else developed computerized voice technology, allowing those with serious physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, to speak. Brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking and the entire scientific community have been the beneficiaries of such advances in technology.

Consider also the challenge God undertook to communicate with us in the Old and New Testaments. We couldn't speak his language, so he put his word into our language. We couldn't step up to his intellectual level, so he stooped to ours, explaining the Gospel in contemporary terms and illustrating eternal truth with stories even young children can grasp.

And even though we have the Bible in our own vernacular – including a plethora of contemporary translations – we often are not adequately equipped to understand God's Word and apply it. So God took the communication process even further. He sent his Holy Spirit to tutor us from the inside out, verse by verse. As a result of God's effort to communicate his love, we enjoy an intimate relationship with our Creator. And had God not revealed himself to us through his Word and his Son, we might never know him personally.

Is it any wonder, then, that communication is so vital in marriage, the most intimate of human relationships? We believe that communication is indispensable to the ministry of serving love and marriage. Meeting each other's needs is a vital element of a divorce-proof marriage. But if your spouse does not communicate his or her needs to you, you are flying blind when it comes to meeting those needs.

When our radio program aired daily, nearly every day, a love-starved husband or wife would lament to us the pain of a marriage lacking in communication. When couples do not share their lives and hearts with each other consistently, the atmosphere in the home can get colder than an Arctic winter. Without communication we fall out of sync and disconnect, leaving plenty of room for chilly distance and selfishness to grow.

Communication is the process of sharing yourself verbally and nonverbally in a way that your spouse both understands and accepts – though not necessarily agrees with – what you were sharing. Studies show that couples who communicate frequently have a more satisfying relationship. And couples who achieve deep levels of communication enjoy the most satisfaction of all.

So what does effective, meaningful communication look like in an intimate relationship? To answer that question, we must again look at God's model of communication with us, his beloved. Throughout Scripture we see at least three basic levels on which God has communicated with us. You and your spouse can evaluate the effectiveness of your communication by asking yourselves if these three levels are fully operational in your day-to-day interaction.

Information and History
God went to great lengths in Scripture to share with us volumes of important and interesting information. He tells us how the heavens and the earth were created. He includes countless biographies not only of godly men and women but also individuals who refused relationship with him. He recites in painstaking detail how his Son was born, lived, died, and was raised again to redeem fallen mankind. He describes the early decades of church history. In Scripture, God has provided information for us in panoramic, over-arching summaries in jot-and-tittle details.

Effective communication in a marriage must include information of any kind. Obviously, you need to be talking constantly about the details of personal schedules, finances, and childcare, for example. But your spouse also needs to know on a daily basis about your activities away from home, your work projects, your interactions with other people, the surprises that happened to you, and any number of events and happenings you encounter while apart. By sharing information with your spouse, you are welcoming him or her into your world, which encourages intimacy.

Opinions and Beliefs
In addition to the information in Scripture, God generously shared with us his opinions and beliefs about our life here on earth. He left with us the law and commandments of the Old Testament, the sermons and parables of Christ, and the instruction of the Epistles. And because God is God, his opinions and beliefs on any topic constitute truth. He is always right. His opinions and beliefs are moral absolutes for us, defining what is right and what is wrong.

Our opinions and beliefs are not perfect like God’s, but they are no less valuable to intimacy in a marriage relationship. Your spouse needs to hear what you believe about what is happening in your family, your community, your church, and the world. When you share your opinions and beliefs, you are welcoming your spouse into your thoughts, which encourages intimacy.

Feelings and Desires
Throughout the Bible, God reveals a wide scope of emotions – joy, anger, jealousy, love, grief, disappointment, and others. Jesus wept. Jesus became angry. Jesus loved. Jesus also held little children on his knee and participated in joyful weddings. God had emotions, and he chose not to hide his feelings from us in Scripture. We also sense the yearnings of God's heart and his Word, his deep desire for relationship with us, his sorrow when we do not respond to his love.

Your spouse needs to hear not only your information and your convictions, but also your feelings and desires about what is happening in your life. This doesn't just mean that you express your emotions by laughing, crying, or venting in front of him or her. It also means describing what is going on in your heart with words such as, "I feel like…," "It hurts me when…," "I'm so happy about…," "I really wish that…" when you share your deep emotions and yearnings with your spouse, you are welcoming him or her into your heart, which encourages intimacy.

A key to meaningful, intimacy-building communication is to develop proficiency at all three levels. Become an expert in the serving love of sharing with your spouse what you know, what you think, and what you feel. Your marriage will be richer for it.

Reflect Together
How would you rate yourself on these three levels of communication? How well do you share information and history with your spouse? How openly do you communicate your opinions and beliefs? How freely do you reveal your feelings and desires? In which area of communication are you strongest? In which area are you weakest?

Pray Together
Thank you, God, for sharing yourself so freely with me in your Word and by your Spirit. Thank you that for my benefit you recorded the information and history of your dealings with humankind. Thank you for being open and pointed about what is right and wrong, and how my life can please you. And thank you for sharing your deep heart, your love for me, and your desires for our relationship. I want to implement your example of open communication in my marriage relationship this week. Strengthen me at all levels of communication, for your glory and the good of my marriage. Amen.

Renew your Love
Practice expanding your communication with your spouse this week. Each day, take note of items of information you want to share with your spouse, perhaps even writing down a short list. For example: "Our receptionist announced her retirement today" or "The Sunday School director called to ask if I would teach a class." Do the same to identify some of your opinions and beliefs, such as: "I don't think I'm going to get the raise I wanted "or "I think the City Council is doing a great job." Then move on to list some of your feelings and desires, something like: "I'm so happy that you are going to be a discussion leader in Bible study "or "I'm really worried about my mother's failing health." At some point each day, share with your spouse from these three levels, even if you must use notes to do it.

Who's number one?

Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Philippians 2:3–4

Over the years of our radio program, we have heard many sad stories from people who called in. A lot of these people were on the brink of separation or divorce, or they had already ended their marriages. When we probed about why their marriages didn't last, most of the answers we received sounded something like this:

"He was never there for me."
"She didn't care about my needs."
"I always felt like a second-class citizen to him."
"I had a wife, but I was really alone. There was sex but no real intimacy."
"He was always too busy for me. I felt so needy and unfulfilled."
"I never got the attention I needed from my wife, so I found it elsewhere."

Marriages that go the distance and thrive are marriages where husband and wife serve each other by putting each other first after their allegiance to Christ. Serving love means that you place a higher priority on meeting your spouse’s needs than on meeting your own. We don't want to sound like prophets of doom, but our research and experience have convinced us that if you don't put your spouse first, it may eventually cost you your marriage. It's that important.

Putting your spouse first has a vital prerequisite: thinking of your spouse first. The success of a marriage – or any relationship, for that matter – really goes back to Paul's straightforward words in Philippians 2:3: "Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself." This doesn't mean that we must adopt and nurture an inferiority complex. It doesn't mean thinking less of ourselves than we should as God’s dearly loved and valued creation. Rather, it means seeing ourselves as we really are in Christ and regarding others as even better.

Paul goes on to explain where this attitude comes from: "Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross" (Philippians 2:5–8).

Who is greater, you or Jesus? Who deserves more honor and glory, you or Jesus? Who is stronger, more compassionate, more faithful, more wise? Clearly, it's not you. Jesus is number one in all of creation. And yet he thought of you as better than himself when he became a man and died to meet your need for a Savior.

This is the attitude you are to adopt toward your spouse. The contrast is not as dramatic, of course, since you are not perfect and neither is your spouse. In some areas you may be stronger or wiser, while in other areas your spouse is stronger or wiser. But whether your spouse is top dog at the moment or not, if you follow Jesus' model, you will think of your husband or wife as more important. 

When you think of your spouse as more important than yourself, you won't have any trouble putting him or her first in your life. You will lovingly serve your spouse by doing for him or her what you wish others would do for you if you were in the same circumstance. Here are a number of practical guidelines for putting your honey first.

Assist your spouse with his or her more menial tasks, such as making the beds, taking out the trash, cleaning, yardwork, or whatever. Yes, you may have already decided between yourselves which jobs are "his" and which are "hers." But if you view your spouse as more important than yourself, you should be doing all the jobs anyway. So wherever the task might go smoother or faster with two people working and you are present and able to help, jump right in.

Communicate how important your spouse is when you talk about him or her instead of grabbing the spotlight for yourself. Always speak positively and constructively about your spouse around your children. When you are with other adults, make a point to bring up complimentary tidbits about your spouse: a recent job success, a creative project, I ministry he or she has undertaken, an award one, an exciting event coming up on his or her calendar, for example. Then let your spouse tell the details. And you should share your positive comments as generously in private – alone with your spouse – as you do in public.

Never berate, demean, or humiliate your spouse in public or private. Such words and actions fairly shout, "You are not important to me!" This doesn't mean you shouldn't confront or correct inappropriate ways. On the contrary, such activities – when they are done lovingly – can also convey your spouse is of great importance to you. In effect, you are saying, "I love you too much to let you continue in a wrong or harmful direction."

Try to outdo your spouse with courtesy and kindness. One couple we know practices this guideline in restaurants, among other places. George knows that his wife, Carly, likes to sit where she can see the people, not where she is staring at a wall. So when they are escorted to a booth, George always directs Carly to the side of the booth with the best "view," where she is facing the most people, even if that means he can see only a wall beyond her. Carly occasionally protests, offering George her favorite seat. But George enjoys treating Carly to a view seat, and Carrie loves the fact that her husband is so tuned in to her interests.

Make time alone a priority. Nothing says "you are number one in my life" like putting your spouse first with your time. And nothing communicates second-class status (or third or fourth) more than elevating your schedule and activities above time spent with your spouse. We are not talking about spending every waking moment together, of course. But you are wise to carve out significant portions of your week for one-on-one conversation, where you are focused on one another instead of work, a hobby, the TV, your phone, childcare, or even a church function. This may require some practical scheduling on your part, but don't overlook the spontaneous, such as, "Let's get Kelsey to watch the kids for a couple of hours and just go for a drive together." Check out our book 40 Unforgettable Dates with Your Mate for some great date ideas!

If you want your marriage marked by serving love, you can start by putting your spouse first.

Reflect Together

Many things vie for first-place attention and devotion in our lives, such as our children, a career, a hobby, church meetings, or civic responsibilities. What are some activities or interests that tend to monopolize your time? In what ways do they distract you or siphon your energies and time away from your spouse? How does your spouse feel when your over-involvement in these activities rob him of her of your attention?

Pray Together

Lord, it is amazing that you have time for all your children to the point that we all sense we are extremely important and deeply loved by you. You created the heavens and the earth and hold the universe together by your power, yet you're never away or busy or too tired to respond when I call to you or need you. And you are just as interested in and available to my spouse. I praise you for your attentiveness to me in light of your role as a ruler of all. Teach me this week to view my spouse with the same focus and love that you view me. Help me to keep him or her in first place, directly after my devotion to you. Amen.

Renew your Love

Write a letter to your spouse about your priorities. Express in your own words your desire to keep him or her in first place in your life. Identify the interests and activities your spouse may consider his or her rivals for your devotion, then express how much more important your spouse and your marriage are to you than these other things. Confess any areas where you have allowed something other than your spouse to be your primary focus.

Working through Your Spouse’s Sexual Past

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Q. My spouse was not a virgin when we married, but I was. How can I work through the difficulties that are sure to come up?

A. If you are in a marriage with a person who has been sexually active with others before your marriage and was not married at the time, and if that person has confessed and sought forgiveness from God, then grace and forgiveness extend into your relationship. We don’t believe it was unbiblical to marry such a person. However, you need to realize that there will be consequences for that person’s choices. Your spouse may carry guilt into your marriage, even when it comes to your sexual relationship. Even forgiven sins can creep back into our minds and control our thoughts if we’re not careful to continue combatting the guilt we place on ourselves with the reminder of God’s gift of grace. Sometimes, individuals will have trouble separating the guilt from sexual sin in their past from sex within the context of their marriage. This is something you will have to work through as a couple. It can be done, but it takes biblical truth, prayer, and patience. In addition, your spouse may compare you with previous sexual partners. You need to find a way to work through this together, and to forgive and forget as much as possible. The issue will not go away unless you deal directly with it with God’s help.

There are some tough issues that need to be worked out. You need to be realistic about what this means for your future. You need to talk to someone older and wiser—a pastor, mentor, or biblical counselor. Keep in mind that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Every person who steps into a marriage relationship is bringing past mistakes, failures, humanity…yes, sin—maybe not sexual sin, but still sin before a holy God. Both of you are always going to need grace and forgiveness.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24

Find a need and meet it

Continue on with us in our devotional challenge!

He got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with a towel he had around him. John 13:4–5

You're in the middle of your 5:00 AM shower and it hits you. You forgot to tiptoe past your sleeping wife into the kitchen and put on the coffee maker. Now you won't have time for a needed coffee jolt before you leave for work at 5:30. But when you step out of the shower, there on the bathroom sink is a steaming mug waiting for you. You smile. She didn't have to get up to do it – but she did.

Your husband took the kids to school on his way to work as usual, even after clearing the driveway of three inches of snow. Now the school has called to say your second grader has a fever and needs to be picked up. You bundle up and head out to your car, which was parked outside all night, with an ice scraper in hand. Not only was the driveway clear, but your man has scraped off your windows so you are ready to go. What a guy!

It happens the first Saturday in April every year. Your spouse burrows into the job of preparing the tax return – a job that would scramble your non-numeric brain. It's an all-day ordeal, often lasting well into the night. You feel guilty every year that you can't help more, but your spouse assures you that it's no problem. Instead, the next morning you always find a beautiful card with a handwritten note saying something like, "As I think about last year, I am so grateful that you love me and that we share our life together. I love you."

He knows you hate to pump gas, so he always keeps your tank full. He never mentions it, never complains about it, never criticizes you, and never forgets – even if he has to duck out late at night to make sure your tank is full for the next day. He has missed only once in the last six years – when he was down with mono. And even then he apologized for not being there to get gas for you!

Isn't this the kind of marriage you signed on for? Of course it is. Every one of us – whether consciously or subconsciously – came into marriage hoping for and perhaps expecting a spouse who understands our needs and spends his or her life meeting them. Major needs and minor needs. Physical needs, emotional needs, social needs, spiritual needs. Your particular gender needs as a man or a woman. Your unique personality needs. You yearned for someone to notice them, care about them, and work to fulfill them.

Has that hope been realized? Is your life one happy little vignette after another, just like the stories above? Are you the object of your spouse’s attention and affection to the point that he or she constantly meets your needs?

Let's turn the tables for a moment. Have your spouse’s wishes and dreams for a loving, serving spouse been realized? Are you the hero of an endless string of happy-ending stories in your marriage relationship because you're so good at meeting your spouse's needs?

Truth be told, no one's dreams for a totally selfless, need-meeting spouse has been completely realized because no one has a perfect spouse. But does that mean that such a serving love does not exist? Not at all. It does exist, and it is available to every husband and wife. It is the same kind of love Jesus demonstrated on the night before his crucifixion, the night he washed the feet of his disciples. You and your spouse may not be able to demonstrate serving love as perfectly and consistently as Jesus did, but thanks to the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit you can consistently grow in the way you meet each other's needs.

Let's take a closer look at Jesus' example of serving love. It may help you and your spouse to understand the dynamics of serving love in your marriage.

Do you think the Savior might have had other things on his mind that night in the upper room? Of course he did, very serious things. He knew that the final hours of his earthly life were ticking away, that a brutal death awaited him. And yet, with the weight of the world's sin mounting on his shoulders in the agony of impending betrayal, arrest, rejection, and physical torture filling his thoughts, he turned his attention and compassion to his band of disciples and their dirty feet.

Two observations here. First, whenever your spouse forgets to make your coffee or doesn't fill the gas tank or otherwise fails to meet your needs, don't be too hard on him or her. This is not Jesus you're married to; this is a loving but sometimes forgetful, sometimes distracted, sometimes stressed out human being. Be patient and forgiving.

Second, don't use your own busyness and stress as excuses for not serving your spouse selflessly. You're not Jesus either, but in his strength you can look beyond your own needs to meet his or hers.

Who really deserved to be served that night in the upper room? Certainly not the disciples. Jesus was their leader, their master – and they all knew it. If anybody should have been afforded the cultural courtesy of foot-washing, a task reserved for the lowest servants, it should have been Jesus. But that wasn't important to the One who took the basin of water and a towel to model what he had earlier taught: "The greatest among you must be a servant" (Matthew 23:11).

And to make sure his disciples didn't miss the point, when Jesus finished, he said, "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right, because it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. How true it is that a servant is not greater than the master. Nor are messengers more important than the one who sends them. You know these things – now do them! That is the path of blessing" (John 13:13–17).

Let's be honest about this: your spouse doesn't always deserve the serving love Christ calls you to share. Agreed? Alright, now let's be brutally honest: Neither do you. Serving one another by noticing and meeting needs, great and small, is a ministry of grace. Jesus did not consider washing the feet of a bunch of self-centered disciples (they spent part of the dinner hour arguing who was the greatest) to be beneath him. Neither should you withhold loving, need-meeting service from your spouse, even when he or she doesn't notice, doesn't thank you, doesn't reciprocate, or doesn't deserve it. Rather, according to Jesus, living out serving love at home is "the path of blessing." 

Reflect Together

What are some of the ways your spouse has demonstrated serving love toward you this week? Think about the big things, such as working at a job, staying home with the children, or taking care of the house or yard. Think about the little things, such as doing one of your daily chores, running an errand for you, or refilling your coffee mug. What are some of the ways you have demonstrated serving love toward your spouse this week in these two categories?

Pray Together

Loving Savior, I am humbled by the example of serving love you provided for me in the upper room during the last supper. You alone are worthy to be served, and yet you were the servant. Your disciples didn't fully understand and/or appreciate what you were doing, but you did it anyway. I need your Spirit of serving love in me this week. Keep me focused on serving instead of being served, especially when I feel that my needs are being ignored. And fill me with your Spirit to love my spouse through these practical means of service. Amen.

Renew Your Love

Become a student of your spouse this week. Watch him or her closely through the eyes of Jesus, the serving Savior. Take note of his or her needs in the following categories, and consider some ways you can serve your spouse this week by meeting those needs:

  • Physical needs
  • Emotional needs
  • Social/relational needs
  • Spiritual needs
  • His or her needs as a man or woman
  • Unique personality needs