Growing Closer by Serving Together

husband and wife filling donations box
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"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord." 1 Corinthians 12:4-5

We're called to serve, whether it's feeding the poor, caring for the sick or teaching children. When you and your spouse answer this call together, you can discover new opportunities to enrich your marriage.

Corey and Kim have been married 14 years. They've found that as they've hosted youth in their home and welcomed them in on their "real lives," God has brought them closer as a couple.

Kim: My primary mission was at home

Corey and I had separate volunteer and church commitments, and because of this, I was failing to support him. He is a gifted youth leader and worship leader, and for me to encourage him, I had to step down from some things. Cutting back was difficult, but I knew my primary mission was at home. And my freer schedule allowed me to support Corey and partner with him in ministry.

Corey: New ways to serve each other

When my ministry began infringing on my home life, I adjusted my schedule and included Kim in my ministry through opening our home to teenagers on Monday evenings. By serving together, we found new ways to serve each other. For example, Kim doesn't love to cook, so I take my turn in the kitchen preparing meals for the group. And when my time is tight, she plans the activity for the evening. Simply spending time together is the best part of Monday evenings.

Putting it into perspective

How can you serve God in a way that strengthens your marriage instead of stresses it?

God gave you and your mate varied strengths. Every talent and interest is important. Work together in each other's specialties from time to time.

Don't overdo it. Feelings of closeness can be built as you serve together. Still, don't let a good thing rob you of the time your relationship requires.

Commentary taken from "How Can We Serve God Together?" by Mitch Temple as found in The First Five Years of Marriage: Launching a lifelong, successful relationship.

For devotions to help make your faith — and your marriage — stronger each week of the year, see Jim and Jean Daly’s book The Best Year of Your Marriage: 52 devotions to bring you closer.

This article first appeared in the December 2012 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine.
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Copyright © 2012 Focus on the Family. From the Focus on the Family website at

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