I had an interesting conversation recently with a young woman who works in a store I frequent.
“My friend is having difficulty in her marriage. I told her it was because she was always trying to do for her husband. She has always been there for his every wish!”
She only shook her head when I tried to explain that as a Christian wife, we are helpers to our mates, and we should enjoy doing for our husband the things he needs.
This isn’t called slavery – it’s called AVAILABILITY- It is making a conscious decision to put other’s needs first, and make my own needs secondary.
We see Isaiah the prophet beautifully portray a man who was available. Who would go and deliver the difficult message to the people? Because Isaiah had seen his own miserable condition and the glory of God, he could only say, “Here am I; send me.”
In our desire to develop godly character, we must prioritize, lest we feel that we have to be running from pillar to post being available to anyone at any time!
It’s crucial that we put the Lord first in all things. He must be first in time, in devotion, in service. Once we have that settled in our hearts, there’s no question if I’ll be in church for services or if I have time in the Word each day. We won’t allow being available to others to interfere with this first priority. If we, like Isaiah, see our condition before salvation, and the glory of our great God, it will be our greatest desire to be available to Him Who holds the first place in our heart.
Our next priority, if we’re married, is to be our husband. Being available to him means that his needs are more important than mine. I’m afraid my store clerk friend would gasp here, but this is what true love looks like! Running an errand, making sure the shirt he needs is washed, fixing a food he enjoys, and even being available in the physical aspect of the marriage are all part of being available. “How can I help you today?” would be a good question to get into the habit of asking your husband.
Let me offer a caution here – It’s only after the first and second priorities are taken care of,that we’re free to be available to our adult children, our friends or other associates our lives touch. We will often have opportunities to serve others, to babysit, to fix a meal, etc. and it will bless your life and those you serve. But take a look at the priorities first, then agree to help out. Jesus did only those things that the Father willed. We are wise to check with our Father too!
Prioritize and then make yourself available. It will be a blessing – not a chore. It will strengthen your marriage – not destroy it!