I was going to write this post tomorrow, but I think it's fitting after Julie's comment on yesterday's post:
"Domestic chores and responsibilities would be a major area for a couple to discuss their expectations about before marriage, I think. That seems to be why so many non-Christian couples move in together before making a more serious commitment."
Domestic chores and responsibilities: laundry, taking out the trash, pick up, taking care of kids, pet care, lawn care, paying bills, bringing in income, scrubbing toilets, grocery shopping, running errands, meal planning, cooking, dishes, home organizing, home maintenance, making the bed, vacuuming, dusting, changing diapers, and planning the household schedule are just some of those things.
Yesterday, I talked about expectations and these would be some of those issues to know what your expectations are, however today I wanted to talk about selfless service.
To be richly satisfied in your marriage one would have to be willing to serve selflessly!
Although it's important to know what you expect, doing things for each other shouldn't be a check list of "This is what you do and this is what I do and in order to have a happy marriage you must do your to-do-list!"
The attitude should be: "It would be a joy to willing to do "your" chore without complaining about it or expecting praise." This is selfless service!
For example, John's "chore" list includes cleaning out the kitty litter box (When I was pregnant they said not to do that task, so he took over and kept it up after the kids came!) Well, he's been super busy with our church Passion Play so the other day I surprised him and cleaned it out.
I had two choices how to respond:
1) Annoyed that he was "slacking" around the house.
2) Bless him by doing his "chore", so he can bless others in the Passion Play.
As a single person you have plenty of opportunities to practice selfless service.
- Am I looking for ways to help around the house, or do I still expect, mom, dad, roommate, brother, sister to do it instead of me?
- When I see a candy wrapper in the hallway of my church, do I stop to pick it up, or do I expect the guy behind me will do it?
- When I have a glass or plate in the livingroom, do I gladly take it to the kitchen, or do I let mom do that?
- Do I help in the kitchen when I can or do I leave all cooking and cleaning up to mom?
- Do I only do bare minimum around the house, just what I am asked to do, or do I go beyond my own personal list and help others?
- When I see dad outside doing a project, I willing help him or wait till he asks and then grunt and moan that he's taking me away from my video game?
- Do I look for ways to help out or pretend to not notice that a certain chore (taking out the trash for example) needs to be done?
These are just a handful of questions to ask yourself. But if you are practicing selfless service before marriage, once married it will come more naturally. You'll be looking for ways to serve and not to be served. And this will be RICHLY SATISFYING!