Full-Serve vs. Self-Serve

I’m dating myself here, but I remember the days when there were two options to choose from when getting gas: Full-Serve and Self-Serve. 
My mom always chose Full-Serve, and a friendly attendant would approach our car to offer a range of services including pumping gas, washing windshields, and checking the oil.
Times have changed! Full-service is no longer an option. You might say service is a thing of the past.
How similar is this to our relationships?
When relationships are new, we fall all over ourselves to impress our suitors. We spend immeasurable amounts of time on our appearance to become attractive, brainstorm endlessly about ways to delight them, and gaze dreamingly into their eyes, hanging onto every word as though spoken from the lips of angels.
With marriage our relationships evolve.
We begin to let our appearance slide, saving razors and make-up for special occasions. Delightful surprises become less frequent, and the former voices of angels somehow become static. Focus becomes less spouse-centered and more self-centered, with emphasis on what is NOT happening in our relationships. Most often, what is NOT happening is common: affection and intimacy, both emotional and sexual.
To revive the fading spark, try “dating” your husband. Start by knowing what NOT to do. For many women, a relaxing evening might include a hot soaking bubble bath complete with candles and soft music. However, setting such a scene for your husband after a stressful day is most often NOT what he needs to unwind. Suffice it to say that women and men have different needs and desires, and serving our husbands should include filling his heart with things he longs for.
Does he like…
  • Home-cooked meals? Surprise him with his favorite recipe.
  • Unstructured time to relax with the family? Put away the to-do list and enjoy a lazy afternoon.
  • Watching movies? Make popcorn and rent his favorite genre after the kids are in bed.
Investing time into demonstrating that his passions are important to you goes a long way in expressing that he is a priority. Speaking of passion…
(Mom, now would be a good time to move to the next blog post!)
One of the MOST EFFECTIVE ways you can connect with and serve your husband is through sexual intimacy. Sexual intimacy not only bonds two hearts through emotional expression, offering an incomparable avenue through which two souls become one, it supplies many physical rewards such as increased endorphin production, stress release, and the most obvious physical pleasure. Consider stepping outside of your comfort zone and initiate sexual contact when your husband least expects it. This is a time in a relationship when actions speak louder than words – VOLUMES!
The rewards? Several. Among the obvious are excitement and pleasure, emotional and physical intimacy, and improved relationship quality. Bonus: the humility that accompanies a servant heart changes the perspective on many issues. Wives seem to have a more light-hearted approach to annoyances, and husbands become more attentive to their wives’ desires. I can say from personal experience that when my husband, Bryan and I make an effort to connect physically – even as the stress of life weighs us down – everything else seems easier, almost all right with the world. We face obstacles as an allied team and find ways to shrug off petty arguments nearly as quickly as they begin.
Serving our husbands takes much more effort than waiting for them to serve us. However, it more than fills our tanks!
By Stacey Micklevitz
Stacey Micklevitz is a frequent contributor and a member of the messy marriage team

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