"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior:
Ask yourself what you want people to do for you;
then grab the initiative and do it for them!"
Luke 6:31 (The Message)
I absolutely love the way The Message Bible puts this verse! This is, of course, "The Golden Rule" verse, but the wording of The Message is just so spot on! As a young girl I would ponder over "The Golden Rule", wondering what I should do for others. But, this version gets me to think about what I would want others to do for me. Oh - it's so easy to come up with a list like that! Especially in regards to my relationship with my husband. Here are my top three wants from my spouse:
- I want him to pray over me.
- I want him to hug me more.
- I want him to show more public affection towards me.
The problem with these wants? These things don't come naturally to my husband. They are all things that kids need to see and have shown to them in order to grow up and be able to easily express to others. And my husband's family just wasn't an overtly religious family, nor where they very outwardly affectionate. My own family growing up was affectionate, but we certainly didn't pray together (except at dinner).
This verse tells me that if I want my spouse to do these things with me, then I need to start by doing them with him. Showing affection to him is a breeze for me - one of my top love languages is physical touch, so I have no problems working on this part of this verse! But, praying over him? That's a little more difficult for me. It helps that I love to pray with people, but for some reason, praying with my husband is different. It's more intimate and vulnerable for me than it is to pray with someone at church. But, I'm trying to do better with this.
The neat thing is that the more I do it, the less I'm doing it to get it in return. I started out with the hopes that I'd only have to do it for a short while before my husband figured out that he needed to do it back. ;-) But, I'm learning that doing this, with expecting nothing in return, is growing a deep compassion in my heart for those around me. And isn't gaining compassion worth so much more than gaining a few hugs or snuggles?