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How to Have a Servant’s Heart & Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage

When I (Robin Gray) think about what it takes to have a successful marriage, I look at the example set by my maternal grandparents. Married for 68 years, my grandparents exemplified the love of God in their lives and instilled in me the belief that marriage can be Filled with Joy when you have a Servant’s Heart.

Matthew 23:11-12 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

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That idea first took root when I was a child.

Visits with my grandparents were frequently spent in the kitchen with my grandmother. I remember my mother commenting once on what we were making and my grandmother replying that she wasn’t particularly fond of it. Astonished, my mother asked why she made it if she didn’t like it. My grandmother simply replied, “Because your father likes it.”

I’ve never forgotten that conversation or what it says about marriage. Our society encourages serving ourselves and our needs, rather than putting the needs of others first.  It’s implied that serving others means giving up ourselves, but my grandmother showed me there is joy in putting your spouse before yourself.

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How to Have a Servant’s Heart

  1. Keep your focus on Christ.

    • Jesus Christ is the example of serving others. He was sinless, yet He sacrificed his life for each one of us. That same sacrificial attitude in marriage shows a depth of love that can transform your relationship.
  2. Make your spouse a priority.

    • While children need our guidance and support, we should not neglect our spouse. Make time for them each day, even if you need to schedule time together away from the children.
  3. Communicate.

    • This may not seem like part of serving your spouse, but it is a key piece of knowing them and their needs. If you can’t communicate, how will you know what your spouse needs from you, and vice versa?
  4. Pay attention to the little things.

    • Our efforts to serve our spouse don’t have to be grand gestures. It’s often the small things you notice about your spouse’s needs that will have the greatest impact.
  5. Don’t have expectations.

    • This is true in all aspects of marriage. Serving your spouse doesn’t mean a strained relationship will suddenly be healed or that they will follow suit and start serving you.
  6. Prepare to change.

    • When your focus moves from you to your spouse, your heart will begin to change. Your habits will become more focused on serving them rather than satisfying yourself. Ultimately, this change in you may create a change in your relationship that can strengthen your marriage.

I have No Regrets from cultivating a Servant’s Heart

While my husband definitely does a better job of this than I do, I have never regretted the times I’ve put him first in our relationship. Like my grandmother did for me, I set a strong example for my daughters of what a marriage can be like when we chose to have a servant’s heart toward our spouse and how it can Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage.

Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment?  We could all use a community to help us in Reclaiming Hope & Joy in our marriages!

We just finished a 31 day Series to help us Reclaim Hope & Joy in Marriage by Intentionally Investing in our Christian Marriage.  Get the articles Free in this downloadable e-Book. And Be sure to check out the Wives Only FB Group where Christian Wives chose Hope and Joy in every Season


What are some ways you can serve your spouse today?


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Robin Gray

Robin’s story is not a conventional one. She married her childhood sweetheart outside Chuck E. Cheese in the rain and they made a conscious choice from the beginning that their marriage would last. Together they raised three strong, interracial daughters, served in youth ministry for eleven years, and recently transitioned to ministry in a young church plant. Life has thrown them many curveballs, but through the bumps and bruises, they work together to share God’s love with each other, their family, and the people around them. You can follow their story at In The Gray Area!

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