I made my wife really happy yesterday.
Monday is my day off, and I committed the day to getting some projects done around the house, and one in particular brought about by some decorative sticky-backed circle mirrors that left holes in the drywall when Nikki tried to remove them in order to apply a fresh coat of paint. So off I went to Menard’s for some patching supplies, debated between repair methods, brought some spackel home and tried to make a wall look right again.
Not that I don’t like making the homestead better, but I admit there’s a lot of other things I’d prefer to do with my time, i.e. mountain biking, camping, making gear for camping, road riding, reading in my cool hammock that is perfect for camping, etc., etc. I love projects, but more so the I-wonder-if-I-can-do-that kind. Once I’ve proven I can do something, it gets harder for me to repeat, so patching walls (and anything related to painting for that matter) is low on my priority list, especially when there’s a new homemade camp stove design I want to attempt.
If you’re having trouble following me, let me summarize: I’m selfish. This hopefully isn’t a grand surprise to you. I’d say most of us are most of the time and the times we are not take concerted effort. Like using my free time to patch walls; I had to make a conscious choice to make it happen. And it hurt a little. I had to think of my wife’s plans (to get our daughter’s room painted in a timely fashion) as more important than my plans (putzing around with pop cans, razor blades, and denatured alcohol).
This is Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2, to think of others as better or more important than ourselves. He says that this is the key to unity in the body of Christ – putting others first in love. And he’s right and it does work. Patching the wall (and re-carpeting the stairs with a remnant from Menards which I also did yesterday but which doesn’t fully count as a selfless act because I hadn’t ever carpeted anything before therefore making it a challenge ergo something I WANTED to try), was relational gold for my wife. It expressed to her my love and showed her that she’s important to me, which is part of my privilege and responsibility as a husband. I ought to do stuff like that more often.
Paul’s call to humble ourselves and serve one another in humility is supported by the example of Christ, who did not consider equality with God something to use to his advantage, but instead made himself (came down) like a lowly servant, becoming “obedient to death”. Sometimes we feel like serving others, especially knocking off that next item on the honey-do list, will literally kill us. Well, maybe it will, and maybe we should do it anyway, because when we serve one another, even in little ways, we glorify our servant King Jesus Christ who put himself last of all, and did so on a cross.
Rob Konold is preaching on this passage in Philippians this Sunday. I encourage everyone to take it to heart and enjoy the relational and spiritual fruit that comes from self-sacrificing humility.