5 Ways to Serve Your Spouse

Showing Love Through Actions

By Suzanne Gosselin
  • September 09, 2015

I recently read a story about a man in New Jersey who has written his wife a love letter every day of their 37-year marriage—more than 10,000 notes in total. While Bill Bresnan’s gesture may seem like an impossibly romantic ideal for the rest of us to follow, there are many ways—big and small—we can serve our spouses every day. Here are a few of them:

  1. Do something simple. Like Bresnan and his 10,000 love notes, look for something simple you can do every day to serve your spouse. Perhaps you can make him a cup of coffee each morning before work, or load the dishwasher for her each night. Maybe you can care for the children so your beloved can take a nap or enjoy some down time. Be sure to ask your spouse what acts of service are most meaningful to her. I once joked with a friend that in this stage of life, while I’m caring for three young children, “kitchen cleaning” is my love language.

  2. Unplug. Our technology-rich lives are full of distractions. Smartphones, TVs, and computers all compete to steal our focus. Paying attention to your spouse is one great way to serve them. Set aside some time each day to unplug from technology and focus on your mate. One couple I know has a “no smartphones after dinner” rule. They look forward to this uninterrupted time to talk and connect.

  3. Prioritize intimacy. Media paints some unflattering pictures of sex in marriage, but these examples couldn’t be further from God’s plan for intimacy. Paul writes that sexual oneness in marriage reflects the profound mystery of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). Husbands and wives serve one another by cultivating a thriving sexual relationship in which they seek to meet one another’s physical needs.

  4. Sacrifice. I think we’d all like it if neither spouse ever had to sacrifice to serve the other. But the best acts of service require sacrifice—sacrifice of time, personal preference or both. Paul acknowledges the battle between our selfish natures and our calling to serve. “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Selfless service is an overflow of God’s love in our hearts.

  5. Serve spiritually. Spurring your spouse on to greater spiritual maturity is one of the greatest investments you can make in his life. A friend says the greatest way her husband serves her is by praying for her each night before they go to sleep. You can also serve your spouse by helping him make time with God a priority and attending church together.

You may think that Bresnan’s relationship with his wife was like one big romantic movie, but he offers this surprisingly practical advice: “The key to any relationship is that you both have to work at it every day,” Bresnan said. “And never go to bed mad. Talk about everything. Everything should get resolved before your goodnight kiss.” That’s great advice from someone who’s lived it.

Dr. Stanley shares more ways we can build strong relationships in his message, “A Strong Family.”

Related Topics:  Marriage  |  Love  |  Service

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What happens to my notes

31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.

32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

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