Philippians week 2
Week two in Philippians
Paul starts the second chapter stating we should not to serve in selfish ambition or vain conceit but to work in humility and value others before ourselves.
What would the world look like if we were to live this way?
What would your own homes look like?
Paul is writing to the church in Philippi—to the body of believers from when he was there teaching. His letter could cover many aspects of a believers walk through this world but when I read this chapter God brought to my thoughts my family and how well I serve in humility and humbleness in my own home.
Imagine what a difference it would make in your marriage if you thought, “How can I serve my spouse before myself?”
If you want to see a difference in your marriage, start serving your spouse first. This does NOT mean you do all the house work or you are forced to meet needs for sex or anything of the like. Unfortunately, the culture we live in takes the words “serving your spouse” to mean those things but that is NOT what it means.
It means serving your spouse’s heart first and not concentrating in selfishness on how they are filling your heart.
I promise seeking to meet the needs of your spouse’s heart before your own will in turn have your spouse seeking your heart and serving you first.
When you have a marriage with two people continually humbling themselves and placing the other first great things happen.
You become closer than you ever imagined.
You fall deeper in love than you were before.
You begin to truly see your spouse as a not just a life partner but a partner in Christ.
I could list pages on how to serve your spouse’s heart, but I will use one example from my own marriage.
Listening to your spouse at the end of the day, ask about their day and really listen with engagement when your spouse is speaking. Ask questions and let your spouse know you are truly interested in their day.
This was a hard one for me.
Nearly a decade ago I had a very stressful job and so did my husband. When I came home after a stressful day the last thing I wanted was listen to my husband tell me about his stressful day.
I was placing myself before him. In my mind I thought hearing about his hard would only add to my hard. I selfishly thought I had no room in my heart to help shoulder his daily burdens.
Just as anytime selfishness appears in marriage it caused a rift between us.
My husband needed to talk out his day. He needed to process the burdens he carried from it and in my selfishness I withheld him from that process. It left my husband feeling like I didn’t care about him or his hardships. Then in his pride he held on to that anger towards me instead of humbling himself and letting me know he needed me to help shoulder his daily burden.
This went on for a long time and it left our marriage tense.
Because we are called to humble ourselves, serve one another, and help carry the burden.
My husband took the first step and he let down his pride. In humility he told me he could not carry the weight alone any longer. Once we finally talked about it and I humbled myself—going against my flesh of selfishness—I began to ask him every evening about his day.
I allowed him to talk it out with me and in turn I told him my burdens of the day. We found a new beautiful partnership in that discussion every night.
When I ignored his need to speak about his hardships I was also holding in my own hardships which didn’t allow him to carry some of my burden. In my selfishness I thought I could not help him carry the weight of his burdens because I was already carrying so much of my own, but when I laid down my selfishness and we began sharing our stress everyday we were able to serve one another. With discussion and understanding we lightened the load on the other not added to it. This is just one example in my own marriage where I had to lay down my selfishness and take the first step in serving my spouses heart first.
Paul goes on to talk about in verse 14 “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”
This one really hit me in my motherhood. I don’t know how many times in a day I would grumble at my children.
Spilled lunch on the floor and I am cleaning it with a grumble.
Smudged fingerprints on a wall I just re-painted last week, I am annoyed and grumbling.
We come upstairs and they ask for a snack or a drink and I have to go back down to the kitchen to get it, I huff and grumble.
When I am folding laundry that needs to be done but I continue hear begging little voices to play with them…you guessed it…I grumble.
I grumble because I am more concerned with my needs and wants before theirs.
I grumble and I forget it is a gift to actually have these children to clean up after and one day all too soon they will be big enough to clean up after themselves.
I grumble because I want to do things my way and on my timeline but I forget time does stand the same in the minds of little ones. They just know now and now they want their mama engaged with them instead of her doing chores.
I grumble because I think, “Why couldn’t they ask for a snack before we climbed the stairs,” but I forget that their minds process needs and wants differently than mine.
Serving them while they are helpless to help themselves should not leave me grumbling with huffs and sighs, but I should serve them with grace, compassion, and a Christ like demeanor.
Our children will reflect back to us how we serve them.
An example from my own life.
Those grumbles and huffs mentioned above, those were all to common from my lips as I served my oldest. When her baby sister came along and I asked her to help serve with grabbing diapers for me, or getting a blanket guess what I received as a reply?
Huffs and grumbles.
She mimicked the behavior I showed her. She mimicked my selfishness. I should have been showing her, with my example, that serving is something you do out of joy and reverence for Christ.
I have tried very hard to change my attitude toward serving and to do so with humbleness and humility and I have seen that spirit reflected back in my oldest daughter in how she chooses to serve others. She is reflecting back selflessness and joy in helping and the more shes sees it from me the more she reflects it back.
Paul’s letter was not written specifically with the mom of the house in mind but Paul’s words apply to us in all circumstances. His words apply in how we treat the body of the church, strangers on the street, and our own households.
His words apply to how we project love into our spouse’s hearts and how we set examples for our children to lovingly serve others.
Read Philippians chapter two and tell me what God revealed to you.