This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
Relate: Earlier today in Children’s Church (we call it River Kids), we were talking about worship. We chose one or two words for each letter in the word to help explain a little better what worship really was. So we had Whole heart, Obey & serve, Respect (or reverence), Sing, Honor, Instruments, and Praise. I asked the students what the difference between obey and serve was. The first girl to raise her hand answered, “Obey is to do what you are told. Serve is to do it even before you are told.” I have to admit, her answer was better than the one I prepared. Kids are like that. Like the other girl who said that praise was, “When you throw a party for God.” Classic.
Abraham didn’t give all that much instruction to his servant. He simply told him, “I don’t one of these local women. Go back to my relatives’ hometown and find a wife for my son there.” That was instruction enough. His servant knew Abraham. He knew Isaac. Most importantly, his servant knew the God that Abraham served. So when he arrived at his destination, he didn’t ask God to find someone who was rich, young, or beautiful. He didn’t ask for someone who had all the right connections or whose dowry was set just so. He didn’t even ask for someone who was brilliant, or funny, or who had a great personality. He asked for a servant. Abraham’s servant asked for someone who would “do it even before they are told.”
React: Singles, what do you look for in a potential spouse? Married friends, what was the one thing that convinced you that your spouse was “the one?” Was it her beauty? Was it his job? Was it how he treated and respected his mom? I’m single and I fully expect to remain that way right up until the marriage supper of the Lamb. For me that’s OK, but I understand most people aren’t wired the same, and as Paul said, “It’s better to marry than to burn.” He who finds a good spouse finds a good thing. (Proverbs 18:22)
Because I’m single, I find over and over again, that older and wiser men who have been married keep giving the same piece of advice. When they first stepped into marriage, they did so with the expectation of what their spouse will do for them. It wasn’t until their mindset changed to what they can do for their spouse that things really, truly started working well. That is a servant mentality. Each spouse is looking first to the interests to the other. That is the mentality that Abraham’s servant was looking for in Isaac’s future wife. He knew that more than riches, beauty, connections, or even a “great personality,” having a servant’s heart was essential for a long and happy marriage. Do we have that heart?
For all the times I have put myself first, please forgive me. God, please give me a servant’s heart. I know that having one will make me a better friend and a better spouse, but that is not the greatest reason why. You were a servant and I want to be more like You. You looked to our interests and needs, to my interests and needs, before Your own. So help me to do the same for those around me that You love. Make me a servant.
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To read previous devotionals taken from the January 10th The River Walk devotionals click below: