When I say the word sacrifice, what’s the first image or word that flashes in your mind? Maybe it’s a cross. Maybe you think of your parents and a selfless act that they did for you. You might think of the word “friend” or “spouse” and how that person thought of you before their own needs. Maybe you remember the story of a war veteran. The idea of sacrifice can fill us with a sense of wonder and gratitude, but for many people giving up what we want is not our first impulse. Let’s face it, laying down your rights to another is easier said than done. But it is for the sake of something better that we are called to make sacrifices in relationships and marriage. If you’re in a long term relationship or married, you know that you have to make small sacrifices daily. In fact, it’s in the small details of life that we make a big difference. One trick that I use when I’m called on to make a sacrifice is to consider the great sacrifice Jesus made for me on the cross. He endured the most painful death a human being can ever imagine. He did it for us knowing that this would bring us back to the heart of His Father forever.
God has taught my husband and I more about this lately. In the beginning of our marriage, it seemed easier to compromise. Maybe we just didn’t have many problems, but it seemed that we agreed on almost everything. As the years went by and we started disagreeing on some important topics like parenting, house improvements, church styles, and social commitments, we found a safe place in knowing that God was in control and he didn’t want us to be mad at each other. Instead he wanted us to love each other unconditionally.
If you see sacrifice as the desire to give the best of yourself so you can see the best of the other person. Whereas, if you sacrifice and you are resentful, then it is not a true sacrifice.