In Dare 1 we talked about how Marriage IS Training. And once you start to view the purpose of marriage differently, you’ll start to overcome challenges with better intentions and love towards one another.
Today we’re talking about Sacrificial Service.
Like a full-sized mirror, marriage shows us how selfish we are. Unlike any other relationship, it points out all of our deep embedded character flaws. When Amber and I went through some bad phases in our marriage, I used to tell her that she was the only one that could pull the anger out of me and make me look so hateful. Instead of accepting responsibility for the nature of my heart, I pointed the finger at her as if she controlled my reactions (insert face palm emoji here).
During our vows we all agreed that we would be there “for better or for worse,” “through sickness and in health,” “til death do us part.” But then we left the altar and things got real and we almost instantly forgot the words that just came out of our mouth.
Are you like me when you go to a wedding? I have a hard time sitting through them. Sometimes I want to stop the bride and groom before they walk down the aisle and yell “Wait, before you say I-do, has anyone explained how hard this is going to be when reality hits?!” Marriages are not fairy tales. They’re challenges. And you won’t enjoy the fruit without constant work and effort invested into them.
Loving and serving each other is easy when things are easy. It was easy when we didn’t have kids to take care of, when we didn’t work full-time, or when our workload wasn’t so much. But that’s when God wants us to serve even more, when things are hard, challenging, and exhausting.
When we come home from a long day of work, or a long day of managing our chaotic family life, and we don’t have any more energy to muster up, that’s when He wants us to ramp up our game even more. When I’m too tired to do the dishes, that’s when I’m supposed to do them. When I’m too busy to change the light bulb that ends up only taking three seconds to change anyways, that’s when I need to suck it up and change it.
Sacrificial service is knowing that there’s always more to do. Our measurement of doing enough is not accurate in God’s eyes. Our work is never enough.
“The very definition of the word sacrifice means that sacrifice isn’t sacrifice unless it costs us something: so men, it’s a fair question to ask, “How have I loved my wife in the past two or three weeks in such a way that it has cost me something-vocationally, financially, and with my hobbies, time, and comfort?” If we can’t come up with something, we’re not loving like the Bible calls husbands to love in Ephesians 5:25.” (Sacred Marriage, Pg. 170)
“It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness. First.
In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness (Love Dare Day 2).”
It goes both ways in a marriage. Husbands and wives shouldn’t expect to be served. Both however should expect to serve. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:28)
Don’t take my word for it. I dare you to try it yourself. And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.