Serving Your Spouse Is Serving Jesus

Do you realize when you do something for your spouse you’re doing it for Jesus Christ? When you serve and help your spouse, you’re serving Jesus. In Matthew 25 Jesus said:

“’I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“When the ‘righteous’ asked him when they did all those things Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Those who didn’t do those things which met his needs, he said, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed.’“

Serving Jesus

In light of Jesus’ words we hope the following paraphrases will challenge your resolve to do for your spouse “as unto the Lord.” The Husband’s Paraphrase comes from the book, The Politically Incorrect Wife written by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby. It is based on Matthew 25:35-40. Inspired by their writing, Cindy Wright put together the Wife’s Paraphrase. Ask the Lord to show you what He has for you to learn:

THE HUSBAND PARAPHRASE

I was hungry for breakfast, dinner,
and sometimes even lunch, snacks,
a kind word, a warm hug, to talk to you,
to be loved by you.
You gave me something to eat.
I was thirsty to feel accepted by you,
to take the leadership role in our home,
to be admired by you, to be respected by you.
I mowed the lawn and needed refreshing.
And you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger. My mood was bad.
I had been unreasonable.
I had been mean, thoughtless,
forgetful, unhelpful, and self-centered.
You invited me in.
I was naked, you did all my wash—
even when I dropped it on the floor.
You sewed on my missing buttons.
And you ironed my wrinkled shirts.
You let me bare my soul to you.
You saw the real me that others never see—
with all my quirks and uncovered ugliness.
And you never exposed me before our children, family, or friends.
You clothed me.
I was sick—
you know my colds are worse than anyone else’s.
Sometimes I said things to you I didn’t mean.
I got depressed and
You cared for me.
I was in prison. My job got to me some days
and I withdrew from you.
When I was lonely you were there for me.
You prayed for me.
When I was consumed with a problem,
when I was unforgiving, when I didn’t deserve anything
because of the way I’ve treated you
and I was so ashamed…
You came to me.
Jesus would say to you,
“When you did these things for your husband,
you did them for Me.”

And then following is:

THE WIFE’S PARAPHRASE

I was hungry to spend time with you,
needing to sit together, talk together, and be loved by you.
You saw that I was busy doing more than I could handle
and you asked me, “How can I best help you?”
As we worked side by side,
I realized my hunger was being fed
because now we could relax together.
In this way you gave me something to eat.

I was thirsty to know Christ in a deeper way
and you helped quench my thirst
through washing me with the water of the word
by sharing insights the Lord had given you
during your own devotional time with Him.
You have given me something to drink.

I was a stranger (sometimes even to me).
I wasn’t kind in how I treated you.
And yet you blessed me instead
by finding a way to make my heart smile.
Despite everything, I knew you still loved me.
I’m so thankful for how you find ways
to bring laughter into our lives together.
You invited me in to be your partner.

I felt naked emotionally.
When I needed warmth
because of the cold, harsh circumstances of life,
You wrapped your arms around me
and made me feel secure.
You clothed me.

Additionally

I was sick and sometimes depressed—
especially when hormonal changes grabbed at me
physically and emotionally,
and you looked after me.
Through your compassion,
plus your ability not to judge me during those times,
I sensed the love of Christ.

I was in prison—
you’re aware that hurtful memories
and insecurities revisit my thoughts.
You prayed for me and with me
and gave me the grace and space I needed,
(and sometimes a quiet hug)
until my emotions settled down enough
that I could face things
more sensibly and optimistically.
You ministered to me.

Jesus would say to you,
“When you did these things for your wife,
you did them for Me.”

Serving Jesus When You’re Serving Your Spouse

If your spouse does any of the above things for you, thank the Lord for the blessings you’re experiencing. Thank Him for kindness in how he or she treats you in your marriage. Not every spouse treats his or her partner “as unto the Lord.” So we shouldn’t take that for granted.

If there are any areas of needs expressed in these paraphrases that you lack in receiving from your spouse, pray your marital “partner” will help you in these ways. Accordingly, the Lord will be pleased with and will reward his or her actions.

If either of these paraphrases challenges you as a spouse, we hope you’ll respond to the tug of the Holy Spirit. And then, may you work to make the changes in your behavior accordingly.

Never Alone

Dr David Ferguson told in his book, “Never Alone,” of a time when the Lord convicted him as he read Matthew 25. He realized he fell short in how he treated his wife Teresa. Thus he felt convicted that he fell short in serving Jesus. He said:

“I realized that I had not only robbed Teresa of the attention she needed, but I had also robbed God of attention. In a mysterious way, the Savior had actually suffered due to my neglect of Teresa. She had been wanting for attention, and I had not provided it. I sensed Christ saying, ‘I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’”

This is explained a bit more in the article, Love God – Love Your Spouse. We encourage you to read it.

Please remember that everything you do for your spouse, you are doing it “as unto the Lord.”

source: marriagemissions.com