On Serving My Family in a World Where Serving Isn’t Cool
I wrote a post a while back for The Humbled Homemaker called “Make Your Home a Sanctuary: 5 Questions to Get You There.” It was popular on her site and was met with a gracious and affirming reception.
Recently, however, it was picked up and shared by a large Facebook site with no Christian ties. The negative reaction was truly surprising. Some women hated it, and were eager to share their opinion. They were particularly thrown off by the idea of “serving” their families. That word struck a definite nerve.
Believe me when I say, the reaction in the comments thread was far more negative than positive.
Here’s one comment that summed up the general sentiment in a relatively “polite” way:
“For me it is the implication of serving your husband and children that I find sad. It doesn’t matter what your role is, whether you’re a sahm or a wm the fact that it’s ok to “serve” your family is a sorry state of affairs. If your job is to look after the children and house then that’s fine and we all do our jobs to the best of our abilities but to SERVE your husband and preach to others to do this is why so many women feel unfulfilled. Marriage is a partnership with both parties helping the other to the best of their ability without one serving the other. I find it sad that in 2015 this view is still being held and preached.” -Alex V.
It makes me a bit nervous to feel despised, but it did get me thinking. Because truly, apart from Christ, that logic makes sense. With the gospel out of the equation, what more is there in life but to pursue our own best interests? If sacrifice will not be rewarded, it is sad. It’s ultimately meaningless.
1 Corinthians 15:19. even Paul says,
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But I know differently.
I have personally taken the leap of faith to both believe in Jesus and believe that His way is best. I’ve chosen to lay down my life to elevate those around me –my family being my first and best opportunity most days.
I know that God’s promises are true because I’ve put them to the test! I’ve discovered the benefits of living His way!
What’s more I believe that I will be rewarded for my quiet obedience to God within my home. This confidence is pleasing to God!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
So when I read reactions such as the one above, I wonder,
How to tell her that sacrificially serving my family is exceedingly fulfilling?
How to tell her that true, deep, unimaginable joy is found in the unexpected economy of the kingdom of God?
After Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He said,
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet… Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:14-17 NIV
Serving one another is the way of the Christ-Follower. And because we know the extent to which Christ humbled Himself and laid down his own rights to serve us, we are willing to do likewise for others as an overflow of His love in us, not for what we will get in return.
This is true love!
Ultimately, I chose not to respond to the comments on that thread.
As much as I wanted to defend myself, I realized I can’t make a logical argument for serving in the home. It doesn’t make sense apart from a life that’s rooted in and regenerated by Christ.
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.” John 15: 19-20a
And so, I pray.