“This is what makes our marriage work. The longer I am married the more I realize the key to my marriage is love through service.”

I spent the day giggling and smiling with my children. And after carefully tucking each one into bed, kisses, hugs, drinks, and hugs again I finally walk out into the living room. Popcorn, wrappers, blankets, and sheets line the living room where our Friday movie night had been. With my sleeves rolled I clean, wash and scrub and smile. This is not always the case for me. But tonight I feel a sense of love in what I am doing.

My husband is gone away to a football game tonight with his old college roommate. Even though I am left with tucking and clean solo, I am still smiling. As I scrub off dinner into the sink I am filled with love for my husband. And just as I am serving him tonight, he has and will do the same for me. In fact a couple months ago I was gone for a women’s retreat for three days. He picked up the kids from sitters, cleaned, and cooked the whole time.

This is what makes our marriage work. The longer I am married the more I realize the key to my marriage is service. And service in the way the other feels love. When my husband and I chose to serve each other, put our own comfort, our own preferences, when we are patient when we have every right to not be, when we listen to what each other has to say during the most distracted times, when we give our energy, that is when I am filled with the purest love from my husband.

So tonight, as I cleaned the house after wrangling our kids into bed, I did smile. And I proudly admit that I am happy to serve my husband. This is love. This is how I am learning to love.

It’s taken over a decade to get here. And I’m not here to say how perfect our marriage is. It didn’t come easy for us. In fact, we spent years barely making it, watching other couples work simultaneously while inside hurting. When you want a marriage to work and see others seemingly in bliss, it can hurt. It did for me. I wanted that so badly. I wanted to have the same love language and be floating on clouds too like other couples boasted. But instead we had years of misunderstandings, resentment, and eventually, it took a whole lot of money just to understand how completely different we are.

But one of the greatest lessons I have learned however that instead of letting our differences divide us we can use that to our advantage. I used to dwell on all the ways we are different, I now like to think of my marriage as a ying-yang relationship. We are learning to let our differences complement each other. And if we let it, we use each other’s strengths to help the others weakness. My husband does complete me.

love through service

We’re now the dream team covering each other’s butts and learning more and more every day how to love. For all these lessons and more I am determined that riding off into the sunset is a life-long work. It’s taken a lot of time for us to learn how to love each other the way we do. And we still have so much to learn. Some days are still hard. It is hard to serve and give up something I want. But for my husband and I, it is worth it. I know that we’ve grown into something beautiful. We fist bump each other often and say things like. “Go team” because we have learned to work as a team.

These thoughts of the importance of service have been heavy on my mind, and with them, I have been reflecting on my own service.

What is the love you have worth giving up in order to serve your spouse?

In what ways can I serve my spouse greater?

  • Can I be more patient with my spouse in their mistakes or my expectations?
  • Do I help my spouse in their weakness instead of resenting them?
  • Can I show love to my spouse in the way they like to be loved even if this may not the same for me? (If you do not know your love languages you can find out here and I highly recommend it)
  • Am I willing to give up comforts such as sleep, leisure time, or time working on passions to be able to serve my spouse?
  • Do I make time with my spouse a priority?
  • Do I encourage my spouse’s passions and build them up?
  • Am I focusing on the things I love about my partner or the negative?

Sometimes shifting my perception of my husband really helps the situation. And focusing on his positives helps me grow in love. I will be posting on Instagram 10 things I love about Him if you’d like to head over and see my wacky list.

I know there are areas for me to work on. And thankfully I have tomorrow and more to work on it. I almost titled this post, “Love Through Service”, until I realized that the point of me writing this is to reflect on how I’ve grown and to acknowledge the sweet fact that I am in this for eternity and I have a whole lifetime to learn love in the most beautiful way. So tonight, I clean, I cook, I smile.

How have you learned to love in your own marriage? I would love to hear your journey through your own marriage. How can you better serve? Remember we are all on our own journey of baby step improvements. Keep on keeping on my friends. And remember to celebrate success, especially in marriage.

other awesome canary jane posts

THANKFUL FOR PEOPLE (thankful heart series)

HEALING FROM A MISCARRIAGE