Marriage Truth – Service Changes Things

We’ve come to the end of this series on Marriage Myths. I appreciate your responses. Genuinely. But, it’s just about time for the Collective to return to a bit of creativity, a bit of collective sharing.

The Marriage Myths are destructive, sure. But what about Marriage Truths?

Marriage Truth No. 1 – Service changes things.

I’m taking my lead from Amber. She’s right good.


When the walls of occupation fell inward, I was left stranded somewhere between ministry and the law. A darker version of myself, I swirled like a wall cloud but you stood strong. Do you remember that night you met me at the door, took my books from me and led me to the bedroom? My bible and guitar were in the corner and the room was dimly lit with candles. You told me that supper would be ready in an hour, asked me if I’d like a gin. I said, “probably not yet,” and you nodded, “okay.” Through the closed door, I could hear you humming “Just as I am.” The crackling of chicken fried steak echoed in the kitchen.

We grew into our marriage, that garment that first wore like a stiff-starched shirt. In our fourth year, you called me while I was away. “Today I went to a new church,” you said. “I don’t know where you’ll be going when you come home, but this is my new place of worship.” You dragged me to the smallish congregation that met in a middle school gym. The people poured into us, suffered our Reformed Theology, cracked our shells of cynicism, brought us cookies and homemade bread. Sometimes I think they might have saved us.

Two weeks ago, you asked me to go fishing with Jared. “Guilt-free,” you said so I grabbed my rod and a stale set of flies. We stood on the banks of the pond, Jared and I, and stripped woollies through a spring fed pond. The thud of a bass is less intoxicating than the flash of the trout, but it served me well all the same. Jared listened as I broke my dams, spilled stories into the pond. It was freeing, really. Story sharing is cathartic. I suppose you knew that, Amber.


Are you practicing quiet servant leadership with your spouse in the day-to-day? Or, are you beating your head against bricks, begging them to “for the love of God,” change? Consider servant leadership. See what happens.

“With humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves….”

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6 Responses to Marriage Truth – Service Changes Things

  1. David Hendren says:

    I like this post. A lot.

  2. dubdynomite says:

    Again, this is great stuff Seth.

    A lot of us say that there is nothing we wouldn’t do for our spouse, but most of the time we are thinking too big. I do my best to remember this when we get home from work and she is tired, but there are piles of dishes in the sink, piles of clothes in the laundry room and general disarray in the house keeping her from rest. I’ve become a near master of laundry, cleaning and cooking; I do it because it needs to be done, sure, but I am more motivated by doing it for her.

    Sometimes, the little ways we can serve each other make as much difference as the much bigger sacrifices we’ve made.

    And, I think, the key to serving well is serving quietly. You shouldn’t be doing it to gain some sort of bargaining chip. You’re not allowed to hold it over their head. You have to do it out of love. You can out-serve your negative feelings, your anger, and even your hurts, and there is no doubt that things will change. But it may be you changing first.

    • sethhaines says:

      There is so much that is money about your comment.

      1st – “You shouldn’t be doing it to gain some sort of bargaining chip.” Oh man am I guilty of this. I think most dudes are, at least from time to time. And no need to say what the bargaining chip is… Ladies… it’s just the truth. I suppose selfless service doesn’t consider the reward. That’s some hard striving.

      2nd – “But it may be you changing first.” I almost wrote about this. A mentor once told me, “if you are busy thinking about all the ways your spouse needs to change, you are not considering the ways in which you need to change.” I find that to be pretty spot on. Good words here, dub.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Good stuff, Seth. We are having a hard time being of service to each other right now. Praying for everything that needs to happen in this season we are in to get done so we can move on.

  4. Kathy says:

    I like this alot too. I have always said that it is the little things. Always. At least it is with me. I agree with Dub and lest you think I’m raggin on my man by agreeing, I say these were good words for the woman too. Sometimes we want a bargaining chip also . . . for whatever. Do it all out of love and if I can’t muster up enough on any particular day, I need to remember who exactly I am serving. Looking forward to more marriage truths.

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