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Serve One Another

Danielle Murphy

June 21, 2024

“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35, KJV)


After many years of trying to get our family to operate like a team that serves one another with one goal in mind, I am finally seeing some headway! Acts of service is definitely my number one love language, and it means a lot to me when our family all works together for the common good of all. Over the years I have overexerted myself to a fault, so that our kids and my husband could enjoy luxuries in life, only to be left desiring a bit of that for myself. I have worked tirelessly to establish systems so that everyone was doing their equal share of the chores around the house. It is only recently that I have seen the fruit of encouragement instead of criticism and servanthood in place of Lordship. 


Jesus taught us best when He spoke to His disciples saying in Mark 9:35 (KJV), “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” Does this mean that our children and spouse never lift a finger? Hardly so, for this same Lord and teacher also taught through the inspiration of His Holy Spirit in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV), “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” It takes everyone’s efforts to make things run smoothly, and surely it is a desirable character trait in this life to learn to do so. 


It is in finding joy in the small things like bending down to see a little one masterpiece or listening intently to the heart of our teenager that I have built those strands of fellowship that instill in our children the desire to work together and for one another. I had put myself “last” for years, hoping that my children and husband would notice and return the favor. After all, shouldn’t honor beget more honor? In my nagging and continued disappointment however, I undid my greatest efforts to serve. It has been in the letting go that I have found my greatest harvest. Please do not misunderstand me, my standards have not changed, nor has my desire—but my focus is now on fellowship rather than works, and it has been in building that fellowship that the harder tasks seem to come more easily. 


Our children can tell when our motivations are for self. They know when we want things a certain way for our own pride instead of for the good of everyone. Yes, it is important that our children learn a good work ethic, to serve others, and to do their best, but these subjects are better taught by demonstration than by force. Do you serve your children? When it is their birthday do you do their chore to show them honor? Do you encourage them to do the same for others? Life is more than just gifts and cake, let us teach them the greater, richer parts of this life by showing them how to serve one another.


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