Do you remember when you stood across from your spouse and recited your marriage vows? To have and to hold until death do you part…or something like that. In that moment, you were willing to do anything for this person standing across from you. I’m sure you were not thinking about the amount of sacrifice that it would take from each of you, day in and day out, to keep the marriage from falling prey to this thing called life.
Marriage requires you to sacrifice yourself daily. At first, it may not feel like sacrifice, when you’re in the honeymoon phase of the relationship. However, this phase will eventually pass, and the marriage will require sacrifice. It may serve all of us well to understand the actual meaning of sacrifice. As I looked it up, there are many ways to define it, but the best and simplest way to put it would be: to give something up of value for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
I never fully understood what sacrifice meant in my marriage. If you would have asked me if I would give my life for my spouse, I would have said, without a question or second thought, “Yes!” That’s easy. I wouldn’t have a problem at all doing this for the person I love. However, if you asked me if I would get out of bed, after I was comfortable and situated, to get her a glass of water, or to get up at her request to make sure all the doors were locked, it becomes the most difficult thing to do. However, these scenarios here, are some of those moments where you choose to sacrifice that thing you consider to be oh so valuable, at least at that moment, for something else regarded even more valuable, important, worthy-your marriage.
You see, in marriage, it’s the everyday sacrificing that we find the most challenging, that ultimately means the most. The big things are easy, but if you were going to ask me to do something I feel you could easily do for yourself, that is so much harder for me to do. But that’s exactly where most marriages get off track. It’s in the everyday tasks of life; taking out the trash, washing the dishes, walking the dog, etc. To define sacrifice in marriage, it comes down to just serving each other, even when we don’t feel like it.
So why should we do it? Because we made a promise, to love and cherish our spouse until death do us part. I love my spouse the most when I do things for her that causes me to sacrifice my own way. It shows her that she is the priority, and that I am willing to do whatever it takes.
The Bible tells us to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. What does that look like in your life when it comes to your marriage? What is your cross? How can you look to Jesus’ example of sacrifice, and apply it to serving your spouse?
Then he said to them all: “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me…” Luke 9:23 NIV