Sacrifice and Service

A marriage seminar leader asked each person to sit alone for a few minutes and write either five complaints or five compliments about their spouse. The paper they write would be confidential. Most papers had a list of complaints, and few had complements. One was interesting perhaps outstanding: No complaints. Grateful for your service and sacrifice.
Relationships: Marriage is the most intimate, enduring, and pleasant relationship in the world. But in most marriages’ spouses find it difficult to maintain a cordial, healthy, and peaceful relationship. One spouse may manipulate the relationship, another could be abusive. Ego clashes and power play destroys peace in the family.
Expectations: Rachael demanded Jacob to give him a son. Jacob said it was God who had withheld that blessing. (Exodus 30:1-2) Sometimes, spouses want their expectations or desires and needs (physical, social, emotional, mental, spiritual…) to be met by their spouses, which could be only met by God. Even the right expectations from the wrong person will lead to disappointment. Instead of looking to God as the resource, spouses look to their partners for their needs to be met. When that does not happen; frustration, anger, disagreement, and even fights begin.

Attitude of submission: Marriage is considered as taking service from the other, in most cultures husband receives service from the wife. Paul exhorts them to submit to one another out of reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
Attitude of sacrifice: The fulcrum of family is sacrifice. Sacrificing self and esteeming others is key for family growth. It is knowing the desires and expectations of others and offering that before they could express. Providing opportunities to develop the knowledge, and skills to display their talents and gifts is sacrifice. In many cultures, women are expected to sacrifice while men are destined to enjoy life.
Attitude of gratitude: When the wife cooks food at home, is it a service of love or job description or a Duty or a Dharma? Should that be acknowledged, appreciated, and awarded? In many cultures, there is no need to thank the wife. The Christian worldview is to express gratefulness.
Do I gratefully serve and sacrifice?

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