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Who Should Sacrifice?

How many times have you fallen prey to the idea that you’re supposed to give up what you want in order for your spouse to take what he or she wants, with the hopeful anticipation that your spouse will return the favor sometime in the near future? The problem with this way of thinking can be the motive behind the giving or sacrifice…I’m giving to you now with the promise and expectation that you will be giving to me later. That is selfish, not selfless.

As Christ followers, we know that this is stinkin’ thinkin’. We’re commanded to love each other the same way we want to be loved. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3 that we should do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but treat others (yes, even our spouses) as more important than ourselves.

So here are three practical sacrifices we should be making for our spouses on a regular basis…

  • Sacrifice your need to be right. We all wrestle with those times when you just know you’re right and your spouse is wrong. If your marriage has fallen into the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mindset, the one who is always wrong is going to grow very resentful. So put that need to be always right on the altar.
  • Sacrifice your need for getting all the credit. Our pride can rear its ugly head each time we remind our spouse how much we do for them. “You never do this”, or “I am always doing this”. You’re behind the scenes role is the most important role in your spouse’s life. But let’s be honest, God deserves all the credit anyway.
  • Sacrifice your independent goals. When we get married, life isn’t just about you anymore. It’s about your marriage and the family you’ve created together. You must be willing to sacrifice some of your personal independence in order to gain interdependence…which is a blessed and blended spiritual, emotional and physical state of being.

I always love it when secular research affirms what the Word of God teaches. A recent Harvard study came out with a conclusion that the one who is willing to sacrifice in their relationship is the one who experiences the greatest relational satisfaction even more than the one who is being served. It just goes to show that Jesus is always right when he said “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive”.

Exploring the Five Types of Marriage

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