Marriage isn’t easy. It has taken me 28 years and 8 months to publicly post what I have known from the start. I would love to blame my wife for this but that would be a self-fulfilling prophecy – my wife is not the reason my marriage isn’t easy but that would change if I said she was.
Relationships in general are not easy, at least the ones that matter the most. We approach all situations from our point of view and act in the way we would like others to act in the same situation. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it’s in the Bible (Matthew 7:12) so it must be important. On the surface the Golden Rule seems simple but the application is much more involved.
One day a friend asked, “what is the last romantic thing your spouse did for you?”
As a man, coming up with an answer to this question is simple. All I have to do is think back to the last time my wife and I went out for dinner, followed at some point by lacy undergarments and… I will stop there, you probably don’t want to hear the rest and I am sure if I share anymore, my marriage will be even more difficult (my wife proofreads most of my blogs). Thankfully our friend asked my wife not me. I would not have been comfortable sharing this answer with her or anybody else – I guess I better get comfortable, I just shared it with the whole internet. My wife on the other hand had an answer that was not uncomfortable or overly personal like my gender specific stereotype answer. My wife said “he did the dishes.”
Who would ever have guessed that doing the dishes is romantic?
From my point of view the only thing that can connect washing dishes with romance is the fact that dishes are used to serve food. I guess there is one more possibility, it could be romantic if the dishes are washed while wearing lacy undergarments, but I don’t own any and no one wants to see me do that, especially my wife.
Although the romantic type of relationship is limited to our spouse, the “doing the dishes” principle applies to all relationships including our relationship with God. When it comes to the word “romance” or “romantic” we only use it in the context of a love interest but behind a true romantic gesture is the motivation we must have in all relationships. We need to serve the needs of the other person.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
God’s law and the words He gave through those who represented Him to the world all hang on loving Him and loving those around us. They are summed up in serving the needs of others. We must act to meet the needs of the other person based on what would best serve them, not on what you would want in that situation. This is what we all want done to us so this is what we should do to others. This doesn’t only apply to human relationships but also to your relationship with God. We do not serve God through our own ways, instead we serve God by living out His ways.
Now off to be romantic – the dishes have been piling up while I wrote this blog.