Ephesians 5:25-28 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Sacrifice is not something that comes easy to us. We are inherently selfish and want to pursue our own desires and ways. However, sacrifice is an integral part of a successful marriage. You have to be willing to sacrifice your way of thinking or doing things for your spouse at times throughout your marriage. As the passage above states, this is modeled after Christ's love for the Church; Jesus willingly sacrificed his life on the cross because of the love he had for the Church so we could be blameless and without sin before God.
From the outside, it might seem like sacrifice would cause you to resent the other person instead of creating a long-lasting commitment, but we actually see the opposite. For example, think about a new baby coming into the home. You bring that baby home, and they don't do anything for you. You must sacrifice – get up in the middle of the night, change dirty diapers, pay money for doctor's bills, interruptions all the time. And then at age six, they go off to school, you stand there and wave at the school bus, and cry. Why? You sacrificed for them and poured your life into them, and they're part of yourself. The same should be true between a husband and wife in a God-honoring marriage. We sacrifice and pour our lives into the other person because we love them unconditionally, and they are a part of you. The sacrifices we make pale in comparison to the love we have for them.
Discussion/Reflection Questions: Who in your life is easy to sacrifice for? Who can be more difficult to sacrifice for?