Saturday, December 11, 2010

Clean Socks and a Servant Heart

What exactly is a "servant heart"?  This blog post really got me thinking about it this morning Everyday Ordinary Dawnings.

In our homes, are we teaching our children to be servants, or is it "every man for himself"?  How do we respond to cries of unfairness, why should I have to clean up HIS mess?  I know that my standard response is that I have to clean up messes I don't make all day long, so why shouldn't everyone.

True, but perhaps not the best response.  It may be "fair" or equitable, in the interest of keeping all these equal.  But all things aren't equal.  We are called to serve each other in love.  Not in maintaining a proper balance of who owes who.

I joke about being the only lady in a house with five men.  Some days I get to be the princess.  Many days I am the serving wench.  That is actually a pretty good representation of my life.  But - is that the correct attitude?  It is funny, but is it correct? 

Having a servant heart means serving without thought of what I am getting back.  It means being the helpmeet that my husband needs - serving his actual needs, not just what I think I want to do, or what he should need, or even what I read in a book (written by a woman) about how I should serve him.  It means serving my children gladly.  In serving them with a glad heart, I can set an example of service to them.  If I holler, "Who left this here?  Do you think I am your servant?" this is not setting much of an example.

My husband just came in to get ready for work and commented that he has no clean socks.  Ouch.  That is a need he has.  I guess I could go on about how busy I have been lately (though I have had time to blog and facebook, so there you go), or about how many pairs of socks he and the boys go through, or about all the things I need to do today.  Or even suggest that perhaps after working at the shop all day he can be a modern fellow and take on 50% of the housework (maybe I can make a chart on Excel for him!).

Or I can just admit that I fell short there - I blew it.  Laundry has piled up and I missed getting the whites done.  And he did not speak harshly to me, he did not complain or grumble.  He just noted that he doesn't have any socks. 

And he set an example for me.  He mentioned it gently, and now I really want to rectify this, to make sure that he has socks and his needs are met.  If he would have snapped at me, "Can't a guy who works all day get a pair of clean socks?  How much time are you on the computer, anyway?" I would probably be less inclined to go do his laundry with a smile.  Would this gentle approach work better with my sons, as well? 

Wouldn't hurt to try!


  1. Ouch! How many times have I heard that as well from my husband!? "I don't have any clean socks" or worse "I guess I will wear this pair of undies again today" Yep, that's my job and I blew it. I got too busy with the details of my life that I didn't make it to my husband's needs, which should be a priority in my life. But like your hubby, he is usually gentle in his "reminders" so that I get the message loud and clear, even if his voice wasn't "loud".

  2. So...I'm bettin' the either in the washer or the dryer by this time?

    It's right to serve. It's right to model servanthood for our kids. And it's right to teach and expect our kids to become servants as well. Developing that balance of being a servant, but training our kids to become servants is an artform, I think.

  3. I have one of those extra-large capacity washers, and I am embarassed to admit that I filled it COMPLETELY full of whites this morning - and yes, they are just about to go in the dryer!

  4. Beautiful thoughts on teaching by example our children how to serve. It's a lesson served in bits and pieces and learned that way as well, I think. I guess that's a good thing, because I for one still need practice.

    Now I'm off to wash dishes....


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