Tag Archives: sacrifices

Sacrificial Love

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I’m learning more and more that getting along with a spouse is less about compromise and more about sacrifice. Compromise means neither person really gets what they want or need from the situation. The goal is to keep the peace and make the issue go away. Sacrifice means someone is giving up what is good for them for the good of the other. Ouch.

Compromise happens when both are to selfish to give the other what they want. The result is no one is happy. No one has their needs met completely and the marriage begins a downward spiral where both spouses are passively positioning themselves to recover lost emotional resources.

Sacrifice means that someone in the relationship has got to be the most willing to stuffer for the other’s good. I’m not talking about a spineless person who always gives in and hates it the entire time. Sacrifice is willingly and lovingly giving up your rights… and that changes everything.

In the Bible the concept of sacrifice is perfectly summarized, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord that which costs me nothing”. Sacrifice isn’t sacrificial unless it costs. When it’s done right, it’s one of the ultimate displays of love.

Not all sacrifices are huge. The little ones are often the most hard to do anyway. Going to Panera with the wife instead of dragging her to Red Robin. Taking the kids on the weekend mornings so she can sleep in. Doing more than your share of housework.

Another concept I’d like to expose you to, “You can’t out-give God”. The idea is that you can never go wrong giving time, finances, etc to God because He is always giving beyond what we could ever repay. I think wives are the same way. I know for a fact that I can’t out-give Jenn. My sacrifices pale in comparison to the things she has given up over the years to make our family work. Not to mention the daily sacrifices. Countless. I owe her my best. I will love sacrificially.

The Foolish Farmer (To Get Love, Give Love)

plowed

There was once a Farmer. A foolish man indeed.
He was angry at his crops for staying in their seeds.
He needed food so badly; himself, his wife, and daughter.
The plants refused to grow so he refused them any water.
— James Kennison

I wrote that up to illustrate how the Golden Rule applies to marriage. Firstly, what is the Golden Rule? Do to others what you would have them do to you. Or you could say, treat others how you want to be treated. In the context of marriage you’d say, love your spouse the way you want them to love you.

How many spouses who need to be loved by a husband or wife are like that Farmer? Like the Farmer wants food from a plant he won’t water, they hold back their love and will only give it on the condition that their spouse loves them first. Our goal may be to show a spouse it feels… to give them a taste of their own medicine… but in doing so we’re actually robbing them of the resources they need to even consider giving love in the first place.

If you’ve been holding back hoping to show a souse how it feels… consider changing your tactic and incorporating the Golden Rule into your relationship. Give before it’s given. Treat the other how they should be treating you. Love them how you want to be loved by them. It’ll take time to see the results, just like a seed takes time to grow and produce fruit. Just don’t expect fruit from a seed you won’t water.