Serving Starts At Home

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The other night, Paul and I had an argument. It was a biggie. Not biggie in like, this marriage is over, but the kind of biggie that made me realize that we both needed to change certain things about us. When I met Paul, I knew. No, I didn’t know he was the one. After all, Paul was the complete opposite of what I attracted (like most women I attracted the non-committal type…a lot). Instead, I knew that I felt 100% at home with him. Just like our wedding song, Paul “Feels Like Home”.
And just like home feels (comfortable and safe) we became that way too. Perhaps a little too comfortable. Early in our marriage I stayed home with Alejandro and since Paul worked long hours I felt it was necessary for me to manage everything household related. It was my way of contributing. From budgets, to payments, to grocery shopping…everything but managing our 401K. That was Paul’s job. Fast forward almost 8 years and I now realize that is the biggest mistake we have ever done in our marriage. Paul was somewhat stumped when it came to everything I mentioned above and I was exhausted and easily irritated.
So during that argument I realized – something had to give. And then I said it. It was the hardest thing for me to say. “Perhaps I need to learn to serve you instead of leading”. I could see Paul’s face was full of confusion. It looked like he liked the idea of me finally relinquishing control but it also looked like he was somewhat worried. So his immediate response was, “No, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We’re equals”. I laughed. Well, of course we were. And any person that knows me knows that I could never be a doormat and that I could easily care for myself. But it was evident to me that I needed a knight in shining armor as much as he needed a damsel in distress to save. We both wanted those roles but we were quite comfy in the roles we currently had. Nonetheless, these characters needed help.
And so, I started looking into what it means to serve your husband. A lot of things I found were, for the most part, hard core if you take it word for word. And I honestly didn’t feel like I would be true to myself if I did what some women suggested. But I liked the modern variations I found online. For instance, just doing nice things for your spouse when he least expects it. I made Paul coffee the other day without him even asking for it. It may seem small but sometimes a small gesture of serving goes a long way. Or being more affectionate with him. I will be the first to admit that I am the non-romantic, non PDA type of gal. But I needed to ease up a bit. So handholding a bit more is something I need to work on. The one thing we both need to work on is letting him lead. This is the tough one I mentioned earlier. I admit, it’s just darn easier and faster if I just do things myself but this is where our problems started. It’s taken a lot of coaxing on both ends but slowly, he’s easing me into him taking control of certain things. And vice versa. The other day we got something in the mail that needed to be addressed almost immediately. Normally I would take care of it right then and there. But instead I gave it to him. I stressed the importance of it to him and let it go. Was I worried? Yep. My hubby has a tendency to procrastinate and/or forget so letting go meant that it may very well be forgotten. But like my mom said, “He might not forget. Or he might. And if he does, trust me, he’ll learn his lesson. It may affect both of you if he does, but you need to undo the way he’s become accustomed to living his life”. Sigh.
In my opinion, I have found that serving your spouse simply means just being a better Christian woman at home as well. Pray for him. Pray with him. Speak kindly to him.  Humble yourself around him. Serve him. Honor him. Not an easy task for this strong willed girl but if my life is changing then I need to change it at home too.

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