Sacrifice: to give up something for the sake of a greater cause.
What are you willing to sacrifice for the greater cause of marriage? So many marriages fail because spouses are unwilling to sacrifice for the union. Each person must make a personal decision to be sacrificial, to give of him/herself without gripe or grudge, and without expecting something in return. You sacrifice because should. Period.
I admit, a sacrificial lifestyle in marriage is not easy. It takes work, reflection, and re-commitment, daily. But the beauty and blessings that derive from sacrifice far outweigh the supposed losses. As I share 5 sacrifices I make in my marriage, I encourage you to think about the sacrifices you should make for the sake of your relationship.
I’ll sacrifice my need to be right.
There are times when you just know you are right and your spouse is wrong. Right? The debate can go on and on, for several days, when you feel it is necessary to be right. It took my husband and I over a decade to mature out of this phase, but now that we understand how much time we waste arguing about who is right, we move on and agree to disagree. We drop our pride and pick up our vows, which require that we honor and respect each other. The learning process also included recognizing that the more we try to prove the other person wrong, the smaller we make him/her feel. I don’t want my husband to feel small in our marriage. I desire for him to be big, great, according to all that God has put in him. So, if that means sacrificing my need to be right, then so be it.
I’ll sacrifice my past.
Everyone has a past. Some stuff is good; some stuff is not so good. When you marry, the past doesn’t miraculously disappear just because you are excited about the future. Sometimes, the past makes an entrance in the relationship like never before and you end up wondering why your spouse is acting out of character. If you aren’t careful, past relationships, childhood experiences, and traumatic events will sap the life out of your marriage without you even knowing why. At some point, you must be willing to sacrifice issues from your past, or as we say in church, put them on the altar, in order to heal and move forward. This means stop talking about your ex, stop blaming momma and daddy, stop expecting the new spouse to act like the old spouse. . . in other words, stop living in the past. I’ll sacrifice my past in order to secure a future with my spouse.
I’ll sacrifice sleep.
This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but anyone who has had a newborn in the house knows how important sleep is. There are times when your spouse needs you to be awake, either to listen, to help with a project, or to be present in the moment. I’ve often said, “I’ll stay awake for you, babe,” as I forced my eyes to stay open. It’s difficult sometimes, especially when you’ve worked a full-time job, done homework, prepared dinner, and gotten school clothes ready for the next day. But how often does your spouse, particularly husbands, say, “I need your help” late in the midnight hour? As long as my body doesn’t crash on me, I’ll sacrifice sleep in order to gain intimate time with my husband.
I’ll sacrifice getting credit for the work I do.
One of the signs of immature love is reminding your spouse how much you do in the relationship. “You never do this.” “I always do that.” “How many times did you do it versus how many times I did it?” Mature love recognizes that you don’t have to get credit or have your name in lights every time you do something in the marriage. As a help meet, I aid my husband behind the scenes daily. This used to bother me until I matured spiritually. Now I know that my role behind the scenes is the most important role in his life. So, who cares about credit? Truth be told, God deserves all the credit anyway.
I’ll sacrifice my independent goals.
I know what some of you are thinking, what in the world is she talking about? For real, when you marry, life isn’t about you anymore. It’s about the union and the family. Before marriage, I had independent goals that suited a single woman. Once God partnered me with my husband, we developed interdependent goals. This doesn’t mean I’m not an individual with my own passions. What it does mean is I can’t run off and do what I want to do just because I want to do it. I joyfully sacrifice some independence in order to gain interdependence, which is a blessed and blended spiritual, emotional, and physical state of being.
Based on my list, some people may wonder what does my husband sacrifice. Well, the ultimate sacrifice is his life. He would die for me and for our daughter without hesitation. I know this. He does so much more, but that right there –laying down his life –nothing compares to that. What we’ve found, however, is that when the both of us sacrifice as often as we can, everyone’s needs are met. Sacrifices, then, don’t really seem like sacrifices at all.
BMWK family, what sacrifices do you make for your marriage?