A friend recently let me borrow the book “Secret Keeper Girl: Eight Great Dates for You and Your Daughter” by Dannah Gresh and I set it by my prayer chair wondering if I would ever get to it. Little did I know that God had a power punch in store for me from this small, fun-looking book! The book described a special date between a mother and a daughter. It suggests dates to plan that offer object lessons to teach your daughter about being a godly young lady. I only read a few pages when I came to the line that instantly put me to weeping. It talked about offering your daughter a hand massage. It said:
“Your first act of pampering will be to give your daughter a hand massage. Get down on your knees and lovingly use some fabulously scented hand cream to give her a great massage.”
Immediately upon reading this I was cut to the quick. I pictured Jesus as he washed his disciples feet as described in John 13:1-17.
It is overwhelming to imagine our Lord and Savior on his knees washing our feet. Do you think the disciples were more endeared to him after this experience or less? Why did Jesus do this?
- As an example for those who follow him to do also
- To show how much he loved them
Doesn’t this apply perfectly to our relationship with our children? We want to be examples of godly living and we want to show our love to our kids in tangible ways.
I knew instantly that I was not serving my daughter in this way. Not only my daughter, but anyone in my family for that matter. What about you? Do you consider yourself a servant like our Lord Jesus did?
It’s not easy is it? I must admit that the majority of the time I am a “do-it-yourself” kind of mom. I want my girls to be capable and I expect them to participate and contribute around the house.
When my husband and I were first married, prior to my life being transformed by God’s grace, I thought marriage should be 50/50. If I didn’t feel he was “pulling his weight” around the house I used to think it hilarious to say things like, “you don’t get a disability check every month!” or, “are both your legs broken?” Now, I don’t say things like that anymore but there may be times when I am unwilling to “give” beyond my perceived 50% even today! Sadly, many times my actions show that my attitude toward serving others hasn’t changed much!
This is completely anti-gospel living! Jesus is my example and my leader and I am not following. I am in rebellion to His word and to His direct mandate!
In our society today if a woman serves her husband, she is seen as weak, unintelligent and old-fashioned. These are the stereotypes that so many hold. The fact is, this isn’t a male/female thing. This is a gospel thing! Galatians 5:13-14 tells us that we are to serve one another. We are all called to serve.
After reading this portion of the book and studying some of these scriptures, I made a decision to do something special to serve my oldest daughter. First I reminded her about the passage and apologized for my failure to serve and to be an example of service to her. Then I told her that she and I were going to stay up late and have some special time. I gave her a manicure and pedicure and we talked about all kinds of things, just the two of us. It was a precious time. Strings were tied between us that would have been left undone without this purposeful act of service. When I say strings were tied I mean that when we have a positive interaction with someone (any relationship we have) it’s as if we have tied a string between us. When we say or do something unkind or hurtful it’s as if we have cut a string. Each of us is daily tying and cutting strings, many times without thinking of it. By loving someone on purpose, in action (1 John 3:18) we are purposefully loving them, making an intentional point to tie those strings. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that what we desire with our children? A close, loving relationship rather than one where more strings are cut that is filled with resentment and bitterness.
Something else to consider as we talk about serving others is our motive. Hopefully we serve others out of love for Jesus and a desire to be like Him. Equally as important to examine is why we don’t serve. See if any of these apply to you:
- We fear being walked on, taken advantage of, seen as a doormat, afraid we will lose the respect of those we love.
- We are selfish, self-centered, too busy going about our own agenda to consider the needs of others, we don’t want anything to interfere with what we have planned, “my time is too precious!”
- We fear creating unrealistic expectations–once we start, when will it stop? Will they begin to expect it from us? “I may never get a break!”
- We don’t want to lose our sense of power, prestige, position, control. “What if my family starts to believe they’re really important and worthy of this special treatment, they will become dependent on me–no longer be self sufficient?” Our family is precious and worthy of our best treatment aren’t they?
- We will lose our identity. “I will no longer be me, but only “so and so’s wife, or so and so’s mom” because my only purpose in life will be to wait on them and meet their needs!” Our flesh shouts “WHAT ABOUT ME?”
What is the common denominator in all five of these excuses? Every one of them is based in fear (see 2 Timothy 1:7). If we have fear, it does not come from God but from the enemy and we need to renounce it and replace it with truth.
Pray with me: “Lord only you can remove these lies, these deceptions that keep us from obeying what you have clearly told us to do in your word. Renew our minds, create in us a clean heart, help us to abandon ourselves fully to your way, leaving all the consequences to you. Amen”
I hope you are thinking right now of someone you can serve and a specific idea about how. Remember, it’s not serving if you do what you would like to do for them, but only if you do what they would like to have done! My best friend’s husband is a neat freak and really wanted their closet cleaned out. My buddy is not concerned with such things and kept procrastinating because it seemed so meaningless to her. Finally one day she decided to “just do it” and was amazed at the results! Her husband felt so loved by that one simple act of service simply because he knew she had taken the time to do that especially for him! He was a prince to her for several weeks after that. Do your own experiment and let me know the results.