Above and Beyond
By Bonnie Hoover
The kids had gone to bed, and I was making one last sweep of the kitchen to ensure it was all tidied up before ending my day. It only took a few extra minutes, so I went ahead and got the coffee ready for one touch of a button first thing in the morning. Who knew those few minutes meant so much? I didn’t until we recorded our last podcast episode, and Daniel mentioned it.
Too often, I’m guilty of rushing through the projects on my “to-do” list for the day, offering my husband the bare minimum. I leave things undone, assuming he will get to them. But what if I could start looking for ways to bless him by going the extra mile?
Jesus addressed the Jewish crowd in His day and spoke to them about this concept. Since a Roman government occupied them, Jewish men were frequently stopped on the road during their travels and forced to carry the load of a Roman soldier. Their only choice was compliance because the law stated they could be required to carry the load for one mile. That’s all, one. But, in Matthew 5:41, Jesus tells them, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Yikes! Not what they wanted to hear.
What was Jesus saying to his followers then and to us today? If we are doing what we need to do and see the opportunity to serve someone, don’t just do the bare minimum. Go the extra mile. Go above and beyond what they expect. People will notice when we have a great attitude and serve beyond what’s required. That’s easy to do at work or in the world. We get recognition and praise for being that kind of person.
What about at home? Do I go “above and beyond” when it only benefits my spouse, and they may or may not even notice? I imagine it would get my spouse’s attention and further capture his heart if I began to look for ways to serve him in little ways daily. What might that look like for you?
When you have taken out the trash, what if you come in and wash the dishes? When you plan to cook dinner for the family, what if you also make your spouse’s favorite dessert? Could you get up on a cold morning and crank and heat your spouse’s car before they leave for work? Or be the first to jump up to let the dog out so they don’t have to get off the couch? What if you spent a day antiquing instead of watching a ballgame, or you make special treats on the day of “the big game?”
I don’t know what “the extra mile” looks like for you, but I challenge you to look for little ways to serve your spouse today. It may seem like a simple gesture for you, but you never know what it will mean to them or when you’ll get called out and acknowledged on a podcast!
To hear more on this topic, listen to EP//94: The Extra Mile.