Today is day twenty-eight in the love dare book, love makes sacrifices. The definition of sacrifice is an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
This was a surprise to me because I never realized the seriousness of what sacrifice really means. Sacrifice is not just deciding not to do something for the day and instead doing something your spouse wants to do, sacrifice is in a league all of its own. Sacrifice is when something is willfully given over to death, surrendered to die unto the Lord.
When I read those words I was taken back. Have I ever sacrificed anything for my husband in our marriage? I don’t know if I have, I can’t say yes. I am at a loss right now because so many times in our marriage I have convinced myself of all the great things I have done for him, but none of them have been sacrifices. All of the things I have given or done for my husband I have done selfishly, with myself in mind, not sacrificially.I have been so self-centered hanging on to my wants, desires, and needs.
My husband on the other hand has given sacrificially to me more times than I can count. He has surrendered his comfort night after night, literally he has slept on the hard floor with a bad back so that I could be comfortable. I would sleep on the couch the only place I could get comfortable, while suffering from kidney stones. He would sleep next to me on the floor so I wouldn’t be alone. He sacrificially loved me never complaining. He has quit multiple jobs to take care of me when I have been sick because he loves me sacrificially. He is willing to surrender any possession, plan, dream, unto the Lord because of his love for me. In the past, he put his schooling on hold because at that time I didn’t want him to do it. Yet, he has taken our money and purchased many things for me to follow my passions and dreams all the while sacrificing his own. These are just a few things he has done for me.
In marriage I think we all can get stuck in a place where we are so self-focused we can’t truly see our spouse for who they really are. We become blinded to the truth and become only aware of our own hurts and unmet needs. We forget the past times when they have been there and nobody else was. We have forgotten the things they remembered that no one else did. We don’t remember the times they loved us like nobody else ever has, by forgiving us for the unthinkable hurt we have caused them, this is sacrificial love.
Are we paying attention to our spouse? Are they hungry? Are they in need of a drink of water for their thirsty soul? Are they in pain, do they need a massage? Are they feeling down and need a word of encouragement or a reminder of what they do well? Would they enjoy a day of rest, a break from the normal routine, a time to just do what they want? When is the last time you said the words, “How can I help you?” When you said it did you erally mean it? Were you prepared to follow through if a need or request was shared?
Many times I have asked if I could help my husband but when he shared what he needed I responded with, ” I’m not going to do that.” I was only willing to help him if it was something I wanted to do, that is not sacrificial love. I was being selfish and covering my selfishness by asking if I could help him with no real intention of helping him at all. Today has been a very heavy day for me eye-opening to my real selfishness, and the truth of how much I need Jesus to show me myself. I need Jesus to help me love my husband sacrificially, I can’t do it apart from Jesus. I need God to lead me through His Holy Spirit everyday, because my flesh will gravitate to satisfy myself first before sacrificing anything for my spouse.
Psalm 51:17 (NLT)
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
I think one of the most amazing stories of sacrifice in the bible can be found in 1 kings, read it below.
1 Kings 3:23-27 (NLT)
Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. All right, bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought to the king. Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!” Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!” But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us!” Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”
Can you imagine, a woman comes and steals your child and tells everyone the child is in fact hers. You are desperate and try to get your child back but the child is going to die if you don’t surrender. So against all hope of ever seeing your child again you sacrifice your child, giving up all rights so they may live. In the end your sacrifice results in life, not death. The King then grants the child its life and gives you your child back to live with you, not the other woman. Wow this story speaks straight to my soul right now. God I trust you, may you be glorified. Thank you for your words that speak life.
Lord Jesus forgive us, we don’t get it all, we’re broken, we’re a mess, we get frustrated when we can’t see the end, we believe your words are true, help us to let go and see our spouse with truth and love. God show us how to love sacrificially, expose in us our own selfishness. Remind us of our spouses loving sacrifices. Open our eyes and show us where we need to sacrifice in our marriage and give us the strength to do it. Give us a pure heart with pure motives, help us to sacrifice our flesh and selfishness in our marriage. Real love is when we lay down our wants, hopes, desires, needs unto you Lord and you take them and turn them into something we couldn’t possibly have imagined or seen without you. This is true sacrifice, love at its best. God heal our hearts today and reunite us with our spouses in love today. Jesus make beauty from these ashes, Lord we are ready now, Jesus your all we need help us to press on, All for your glory in Jesus name.