In the not too distant past, I engineered my weekly routine to involve cleaning a single room of the house every day. Since I spend almost all of my time at home, I want to have an environment that is clean and well maintained. When there's clutter or mess or dirt I feel impeded in both my energy and my creativity. When all is in order I feel balanced and at peace.
After several months of trial and error, I determined that while daily cleaning allowed me to make progress every day, it was a huge time suck. I threw out the playbook and batched cleaning and laundry into one giant marathon. It turns out that while 15 minutes every day cleans the house, so does 1 hour on a Saturday morning at a rapid clip. My favorite time to clean is when Alison is at work. I love the thought of her leaving a dirty and messy home and coming home to a sparkling environment.
While serving often requires an increase in our workload, it paradoxically increases the joy in our lives.
Placing your wife at the center of your life is the ideal in marriage and it should be the end that we're all actively working the achieve. By caring for her first, you take an active role of serving. This could be shown in small acts like getting her drink for dinner or big acts like taking care of the kids so she has the night off. If cleaning the house is typically in her domain, doing it for her once in a while can really rock her world. The objective is to discern her needs, decide how best to meet them, and then serve her.
The act of serving is something to be enjoyed. If you've ever used a premium service, you notice how great it feels to be well looked after. As the recipient of that service, I feel not only respected, but cared for. When you take good care of your wife, when you serve her well, she can have those same feelings. Think about how thrilled she'll be now that she can read a book instead of having to clean the house. Think about how excited she'll be getting to have a little extra time playing with the kids before bed because you've taken care of the other pre-bedtime preparations.
As you work to master the skill of serving your wife, do the same for your children. Your kids are certainly stuck with you, but it's important to work daily on those relationships. Blow their minds by doing something unexpected for them. It could be a surprise trip, throwing around a ball with them, or even cleaning their room. Be a great dad and teach them a lesson at the same time.
Serving is a joy unto itself, but one that's only derived from humility. Love your family, lead your family, and serve your family.