Acts of Thankless Service
January 06, 2014
Filed In: Family Life
As humans, we long to be recognized for our accomplishments. From a very young age, we seek praise for doing good things. Yet, in the married life, sometimes the joy is in not being singled out for a particular good deed.
I love to surprise Alison! Whether it’s jumping out and scaring her or giving her an unexpected gift, there’s nothing better than the look of sheer terror or complete surprise on her face. One of my favorite surprises is cleaning while she’s at work or having a relaxing evening set up for her. Even more fun are doing the smaller acts of service that she might not even notice, but that improve her life. I call those acts of thankless service.
Spending your life chasing the recognition of others is a waste. Not only will you never be happy, your motives then become impure. You do something not because it’s good, but because of what it gets you.
Acts of thankless service really aren’t thankless. You get the satisfaction of a job well done and of doing something that improves someone else’s life. You have the fulfillment that we seek, knowing that you brought value to another’s life.
You need to be performing acts like these for your wife on a weekly, if not a daily basis.
Thankless jobs could be peeling potatoes or doing the dishes. They could also be something that you don’t really enjoy. For example, Alison loves having her back rubbed. It’s uncomfortable for me to do them and I don’t like it that much, but I do enjoy helping her to relax. She does thank me or express how much better she feels, but it’s the act of me putting her first that is the real reward.
Marriage is all-in. I’ve said before that if you both give 50-50, you’ll fail. The best way to go all in is to continually work for her benefit, lightening her load.