By Tonya Allen
If you frequent church often, you have studied the sixth chapter of the book of Acts. Especially verses 1-15. All of us are familiar with this passage because it is normally associated with servitude and with appointing leaders, mainly deacons, to the church. Notice that in verse 5, they named all seven men, but they gave special attention to Stephen. In the previous verses, they had determined that these seven appointed men must be good and full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. But they singled out Stephen in the following verses. They stated that he was richly blessed by God who gave him the power to do great miracles and signs among the people (vs. 8). Later in verse 10, we learned that the Spirit was helping him to speak with wisdom, and his words were so strong that his enemies could not argue with him. So what did his enemies do? They lied on him and plotted against him. In the last verse when Stephen was forced to stand before council to be judged about the lies that were told on him, the council couldn’t take their eyes off of Stephen because his face was like the face of an angel.
Wow, I would love for Robert to look at my face and see the face of an angel. I am sure sometimes he looks at me and realizes how blessed he is to have me and I am willing to admit that there are times he probably wondered if a demon spirit took over my body. I do realize that sometimes I am so tired I can’t be of any good to anyone. Have you ever been so tired that everything you do or say comes out wrong? Well that is the “Tonya” syndrome. I surely hope that it is not contagious, even though I realize that all of us get some of these symptoms sometimes. Our bodies are so tired that we cannot be a good servant to our spouses, our children, our church, or even to ourselves.
In the beginning of this passage the church noticed that a need was not being met. The Holy Spirit stepped up and empowered those intended by God to meet those needs. This is the process still used today to advance God’s kingdom and build his church. This is also the process that should be used in our marriages. We are servants for our spouses. The world uses the word servant negatively, but we as the body of Christ, knows that the word servant is a word of honor, a spiritual word, and a holy position. God saw something in you worth using! As married people, we should want our spouses to see something in us worth using.
We are charged to meet the needs of our spouses. I am not just talking about sexual needs; I am also referring to financial needs, spiritual needs, emotional needs, and physical needs. We need to stop focusing on what our spouses can do for us and strive to do more things for our spouses. I spoke earlier about being tired, as we go through our daily routines, we have a tendency of not taking care of ourselves. If we do not meet our own physical needs then we cannot meet the needs of our spouses.
In the book of John, Jesus sets an example of service. He showed the disciples love by washing their feet. This was an act of love, humility, and service. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you,” Jesus says. Here we have Jesus, the Son of God, the Most High King, Lord of Lords, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, and Jehovah Rapha who never placed himself in a position above others. He led by serving others. This is Jesus, who washed feet, and fed the multitude. This is Jehovah who walked to heal the sick and raise the dead. This is the ultimate healer who stopped to touch and heal a sick woman. Jesus lived a life of humility. Jesus showed us that serving others and humility go hand in hand. No task was ever beneath Jesus, and no person was ever unworthy. Serving others, especially your spouse, and genuine love go hand in hand.
I charge you to take better care of yourself; give your body the nourishment and rest that it craves. When you are physically healthy then you can be a better servant. God wants to use you! Ruth B. Love, a famous educator, once said, “The roots of happiness grow best in the soil of service.” God wants to use you in your marriage!!
Lord, help me to listen to you and do what you say. Show me how to follow your prompts on how to be a good servant of yours, especially to my spouse. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Tonya can be reached at [email protected]. Tonya and her husband Robert were Married Couples Ministry leaders for 16 years at Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.
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