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When Strangers Observe Your Relationship, What Do They See?

Get caught loving and serving your spouse.
By Tricia Goyer


On a recent business trip I saw two couples who stand out in my memory.

The first couple sat down by me at a restaurant table at the airport.  “Why are you talkin’ to me?” The woman’s voice was nearly shouting as she glared at her husband. “I’m hungry, and you know I don’t like anyone talking to me when I’m hungry.”

“Yes, I know.” The husband’s words came out as a sigh, and he slumped into the chair and waited as she went to order food.

Contrast this couple with the one who sat at the table after they left. It was a young couple with two preschool-aged kids. They didn’t even speak English, but I didn’t need to understand their words to witness their love and respect for each other. They smiled at each other. They worked as a team, helping to calm two tired kids. They talked with soft voices and gentleness.

Our world is in desperate need of married couples like this—those who strive to love and to serve, even when they’re hungry, tired, and overwhelmed.

Jesus’ followers are called to stand out. To act in a way so unique and appealing that people sit up to notice, “What in the world … ?”

This difference is love, shown through a serving heart: 

  • A husband opening the door for his wife and complimenting her.
  • A wife snuggling to her husband’s side with a hand on his knee and a smile.
  • Children speaking to their parents with respect and volunteering to offer a helping hand.

Scenes like this get your attention, don’t they? Jesus knew they would. In John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

There is a way to be noticed … in the right way. Get “caught” doing these things: 

  • Watch your tongue.
  • Display gentleness and respect in your body language.
  • Don’t think, It’s all about me. Love, give, serve.
  • Work as a team in challenging times and with difficult kids.
  • Read God’s Word to learn what a better way looks like.
  • Turn to Jesus and ask His Spirit to fill you and guide you as you strive to live noticeably positive.
  • Finally, make kindness your first response, trusting your family members will do the same.

Copyright © 2014 by Tricia Goyer. This article is adapted from a post that originally appeared on MomLife Today®, FamilyLife’s blog for moms.

FamilyLife is a donor-supported ministry offering practical and biblical resources and events to help you build a godly marriage and family.

Next Steps

1.  Read other articles by Tricia Goyer.

2. Meditate on John 13:35.  What can you do to make your marriage relationship more Christlike?

3. Learn how to build a lifelong marriage at a Weekend to Remember® getaway.



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