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Compete to serve

  • Written by Nelson T. Dy
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 216

It makes sense

I AM stricken with absolutely no fashion sense. As long as I am not naked, any clothes will do. But Lucy wants to select and color-coordinate my office wear for the next day. When she does this, I don’t want her to do it. I told her, “I married a wife, not a butler.” Our arguments go like this, “Ako na... ako na.” (Let me do it! Let me do it!)

Many marriages are not as easy. The tragedy is that the spouse expects the other to make them happy. The husband expects or even demands the wife to serve him hand and foot, yet lifts no finger when the wife is about to collapse from the workload. The wife has to plead for the husband to take out the trash or help with the dishes.

The story is told about a man who had a glimpse of hell. There is one banquet table, full of sumptuous food.  However, everyone has long spoons tied to his hands. The spoons are so long that one cannot bring food to his mouth. A feast fit for kings is right before them but they are perpetually starving. The man is then shown what heaven looks like. He saw exactly the same arrangement. But this time the people are feeding each other with their long spoons!

Marriage can be that kind of heaven. When each is bickering about the shortcomings of the other (“You are never helpful enough!” “You are never sensitive enough!”), it is hell. But when they have a friendly competition on serving one another, it is heaven on earth.

Jesus gave what I consider as the perfect example of out-serving each other. In the Last Supper, the apostles were arguing who was the greatest among them all. Shameful, but that is also how we sometimes behave, right? But Jesus startled them when, even though He was their Teacher and Lord, He stripped his outer garments, wrapped a towel around His waist, and washed the disciples’ feet.  
    
So how would you wash your wife’s feet today?
    
Moral of the column:  If we expect a marriage to be like a business transaction where the husband gives 50% and the wife gives 50%, they are doomed to disappointment and frustration. It is much more rewarding that the couple gives 100% to each other. That way, together the marriage enjoys 200%!
    
And my fashion sense? Like Peter, I would protest, perhaps out of misplaced pride. But I have learned to accept what Lucy is doing. Now people are telling me I look more and more like a human being.
    
For more insights about relationships, check out my books How to Mend a Broken Heart and The Honeymoon Never Ends, available at major bookstores nationwide. Comments or questions are welcome via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.