Frugal is once again trendy, and everyone seems to be looking for frugal gifts, inexpensive decorating tips, and cost-effective social activities. One that I have yet to see mentioned is serving others.
Last night, our small group conversation focused on how serving together as a couple can strengthen your marriage. While there were a number of methods that involved financial giving, many were experienced oriented, requiring primarily time. And all seemed to create memories that would last far longer than the old standby of dinner and movie.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Determine Your Gifts
Spend some time determining the types of things you enjoy and how you might be able to incorporate them into service. Start by discussing with your spouse the answers to the following questions: In what ways do you think you would enjoy serving? Are there specific areas in which you're both gifted? Is there a cause or issue you share a passion for?
2. Identify an Opportunity
Begin by talking to other couples and see how they're serving. Chances are that someone you know is serving the community, and will be able to provide you with an opportunity. People tend to be more involved in serving during the holiday season, so it's a great time to ask.
3. Set Some Boundaries
It's best to start with a small time commitment. Burnout is common among volunteers because it turns into a burdensome obligation. By setting some clear boundaries about how much time you feel comfortable committing to, both you and your spouse know what to expect. You should also share this with the leaders you are working with, as there is a tendency for organizations to continue asking for more as long as you
4. Gather your friends
Serving together is wonderful, and it can be even more enjoyable if you do so with others. Reach out to other couples and invite them to join with you in serving. Not only will it add to the fun, it will help keep you accountable.
5. Get Started!
Just like anything, you have to take the first step. Talk with your spouse today, and begin looking for an opportunity. If it helps to set a goal, be sure and make it SMART!
If this inspires you and your spouse to start serving, or if you're already serving, please leave a comment sharing your experiences.