At Open Door, we are in the middle of a series that covers the last part of our purpose statement, “Leading the world to God through service”. We are discovering what it looks like to serve others. Why is serving the most effective way to lead others to Christ? This week we are going to examine what it looks like to serve at home. Often people only see the good deeds that we do for others, but they do not know our faults and our failures. Sometimes that can obscure our own view of ourselves and we think we are better or worse than we really are. The issue I am wrestling with this week is what does it look like to serve at home where good deeds cannot mask or hide our failings.
In Genesis 2 it is recorded that God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so God created for Adam a “helpmate”. Someone who would come along beside Adam and help him and he would help her. The intent was that they would serve one another. As I read these verses this week, I pondered what serving one another in our marital relationships should look like. Three things were stated that I want to help us apply.
Adam said this is bone from my bone. Bones are necessary things, but we prefer not to see them. When the inside stuff gets on the outside, we have real problems. In marriage, we all have inside needs. Things that can’t be seen, but still where we need to serve each other. This area is usually more important to women. There are so many unseen things in relationships that require attention. Our emotions. Our thoughts. Our attitudes. Our desires. Our dreams, hopes and plans. For our relationships to prosper it will require us to pay attention to these needs. It is often difficult to serve things that you cannot see, but we all have “inside” needs that we should focus on serving.
Adam then said that woman was flesh from his flesh. The things everyone can see. All of us have external needs. Often in relationships the woman will say that her needs are not being met. The response of many men is, “what do you mean?”. You have a house, car, clothes, food, anything you want. The reason that is often our response is men tend to master the “flesh” needs. Physical needs that need to be served. Our marriage relationships require that we serve the physical or “fleshly” needs of our spouse. This is not the entirety of service, but it is part of the way we serve each other.
Genesis 2:24 (NLT) then says “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” Men tend to be “outside” focused and women often are “inside” focused, but for us to serve well at home, it takes both sides being committed to serving each other. “Leaving and cleaving” as it has been called, is a commitment to your spouse that says I will serve your needs to the best of my ability. I may not always get it right, but it will not be for lack of effort. If two become one, then for the one to be healthy, the inside and outside needs must be served.
Take time this week to practice serving at home. When we serve well at home, we will be better equipped to serve the world!