I’m not a natural servant (i.e. servant heart). When I read that book (The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman) to discover my love language I think perhaps “serving” was only on the list on how I wanted to be loved but no where near made the match for how I wanted to love others. I wish it was. I think servant hearts are the most amazing people. I marvel at them. I’m drawn to them. I married one of them. And though I do enjoy being on the receiving end, that isn’t why I’m attracted to these people.
<the picture isn’t my actual love language scoring>
They’re intentional with their relationship and seem to be way less selfish that most other people. How could that not be amazing?!
I think I often find myself in self proclaimed survival mode. A.k.a. I have four kids, a husband in ministry, homeschool, blah, blah, blah…. and I use this as an excuse to avoid serving or being intentional with the relationships I’ve been so blessed with.
I don’t want to paint the picture that I ignore serving or my friendships but I think I might occasionally pull out my I’m- just-surviving-so-let-me-do-that-for-now thinking and therefore absolve myself and hide.
AN EXAMPLE. I know a couple who encompass both service and intentionality. They invite different people to their homes almost every Sunday for dinner. They might have just met them that very Sunday! It astonishes me.
I’d be thinking: I’ll have to clean, cook, shop for the food, oh and plan the menu, and hold a conversation with strangers; I’ll have to be vulnerable. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? Do they have kids? Will our kids get along? — I put a lot of thought into all the reasons why I couldn’t invite someone over on a whim. It’s something I’d like to change for this new year of 2013
This same couple serves (the church) when there’s a need an rarely turns down a request (and they aren’t push overs)- and they do it with a happy heart. always (that I’m aware of- so if they’re not happy, they certainly don’t let on).
IT’S CONDITIONAL. I serve (the church) but I pick where I want to serve. I’m not sure that’s entirely wrong because I love where I serve. I do it happily. But I have the occasional grumble when it’s not where I want to serve regardless of the need/request. It’s conditional serving. I’d like to change this too. This is a heart issue and prayers will be a plenty to get this accomplished.
So here’s what I’m thinking I’d like to do to try and be better at serving, with a happy heart and where there’s a need, as well as with being intentional about friendships (old and new).
- get coffee with friend at least once a month with out kids (I already do this with a group of ladies but I’d like to be more specific with a one on one situation so the conversation can be a bit more specific and personal)
- invite a couple or family over for dinner or some other family activity once a month (like picnicing, hiking, local garden tour, geocaching, etc.)
- have our local and international ministry interns over for game night, dinner, movie night with some consistency
- serve outside my comfort zone- and I have no idea what this will look like so I’m going to just pray about this one for now.
I look forward to deepening relationships and making new ones. I’m not so sure I’m excited about breaking outside of my comfort zone but I always welcome a good challenge 😉