Marriage Letters: On Serving Together

from weheartit

Dear Seth,

A young friend recently asked us if we thought serving together was part of what made things so good with us, and we gave him a great big YES, and we both sat and watched his wheels spin, how he was thinking of things he and his bride could do to make marriage work. Then you and I soothed him and again gave the frustrating answer we had been giving, that it takes time.

When I met you, I fell in love with what little I knew. I married you in hope that your character would prove good when tested, but then we both merely proved that we’re human, how good intentions only go so far. As time has moved us forward, we’ve lost grandparents and tiny babies together, and we’ve labored, celebrated the birth of 4 sons. I had no idea how much I would love you until I experienced life with you. There were no short-cuts to even a month of success, and it’s the same with how we’ve come to serve others and God together.

I had no idea how loved I could feel when you joined me as I started writing and felt a passion for ministry and truth-telling and story. But what was more surprising was when I fell again for you, as you developed your love for Africa and her people, when you came back from Mozambique having witnessed big happy smiles and specks of mercy in an ocean of injustice. When I picked you up from the airport, and you sat in the back of the van, and in the rearview mirror I saw your swimming eyes, it was then that I reached in with you toward love for you and others.

We had nothing keeping us from jumping as best we could together off the ledge of ourselves and into God, willing to change the way we see and act, and it’s taken us on so many turns that we never could have planned or predicted it. Serving together has made us desperate for God to follow through. It’s made us weak. It has caused me to see how quick you are to love. Your boldness coupled with your ability to study and sit back and wait and question until you’ve nailed truth square on the head, all those things are from God, when before I might have seen such character combinations as only suited for lawyers in court rooms.

Serving with you has invited a taste of the heartache of the poor in spirit, that JOY the overflows from it. I want more. I want more of God with you. And so let’s keep going. Thank you for loving how you do.

I’m all in.



Please do join Seth, Joy, Scott, and me as we hold our marriages up to the light. Call your marriage what it really is. Every Monday in April we’re writing letters because we believe that when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriages of others. If you write a post, simply leave the link to your Marriage Letter post only, and then send your readers to this post for more encouragement from others. Thank you for joining us.


About me


Learning to Bend: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Diana Trautwein
September 14, 2015
The Myrrh Bearer, the Message Bearer, and Me
July 25, 2015
Marriage Letters: On New Seasons
April 06, 2015
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The Barbarian’s Heart
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Marriage Letters: What You Call Holy
February 02, 2015
On Healing and Wholeness: a Resolution and a Marriage Letter
January 26, 2015
A Fifteen Year Anniversary: a story of my body
November 13, 2014
Be the child, then revolution.
June 02, 2014


Reply April 2, 2012

Thank you for these letters. I am encouraged by them as I am in a troubled marriage at this point. You are pointing me to my husband and giving me a glimpse of what things could be like. I just need to keep going and not lose focus. So, just wanted to say thanks!

kelly summers
Reply April 2, 2012

"I married you in hope that your character would prove good when tested."

Reading this made me realize I did this, too. Even after years of digging in and learning about someone and feeling like you know was still just based on hope that they would be who you thought they could be. It's interesting to think about.

Great letter! Thanks for sharing it.

Amanda @wandering
Reply April 2, 2012

"made us desperate for God to follow through." This phrase resonates with me because there is so much my husband and I are desperate for God to follow through on. Not just in our serving, but in our dreams and goals and hopes for the future.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply April 2, 2012

Thanks for showing that the best parts of marriage aren't just the lovey dovey ones that the chick flicks portray. : )

Reply April 2, 2012

"specks of mercy in an ocean of injustice." Whoa....

diana trautwein
Reply April 2, 2012

Gorgeous, as always. And so true - we do marry ''in hope' that the character we trust is there will actually show up. And we see it in the way our partner serves - family, church, others. Amen. And thanks.

Reply April 2, 2012

This is gorgeous, Amber. I hope to experience this line someday: "I had no idea how much I would love you until I experienced life with you."

melissa @ the pleated polka dot
Reply April 2, 2012

this is beautiful amber. my heart sings with yours, thankful for the love of a man i can join in service to god. my husband and i have experienced hurt and joy when serving and both have taught us immeasurable grace for one another and the church. i love this series!!


imperfect prose
Reply April 2, 2012

thinking of you today...

Jack E. Glidewell
Reply April 2, 2012

It’s interesting to think about , Experience a great marriage for a lifetime. I love this series!!

Jen Schmidt
Reply May 9, 2012

I just found you & Seth's blogs today. I am so thankful for Christ followers who are willing to be vulnerable and transparent. It is such an encouragement to others. I noticed in this blog your mention of Africa. My brother in law is a missionary in Mozambique and we are preparing to move to Tanzania as missionaries. We also live here in NWA. I heard you on Klrc this morning. Thanks again for Sharing! God Bless!

T Shirts Oak View
Reply August 11, 2015

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