Love and Sacrifice

Christians are told to love others because God first loved us. (John 3:16) Each child of God is meant to reciprocate and display God’s immense love to the world. Romans 5:8 reads, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In order to save His created children from sin and display a perfect love to them, God was willing to shed His only son’s divine blood on a cross.

To help explain relationships of love and sacrifice to His children, God uses the metaphor of marriage  The ideal aim for each partner in a marriage is to willingly listen to the needs as well as desires of their beloved, and do their best to achieve them. They should even feel determined enough to sacrifice their own in order to attain them for their spouse . Christ demonstrated this ideal in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt. 26:39) Jesus’ heart loved God and His kingdom so much that He was committed to accomplish His will on the cross, despite desiring to live.

Regarding a spouse’s Christ-like attitude in a marriage, Ephesians 5:25-33 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. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Jesus Christ is the example of perfect love because He sacrificed His life for God without sinning. He exemplifies a perfect union as well because He put the spiritual before the physical. While on Earth, Jesus helped God’s children grow in Him, He had compassion on them by healing, He cherished them by inviting them to be with Him, and He died on the cross for them. In marriage a husband is supposed to do the same: he is supposed to grow in God with his wife, listen to her, have compassion, be willing to die for her, and cherish her. By actively and lovingly obeying God like Jesus’ example, he will be successful in his marriage and they will have an eternal life with God together.

Jesus is back with our Father in Heaven, but He will return one day to bring back all of God’s children. In Romans 12:1-2 the Bible tells Christians, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” By exemplifying Jesus’ standard of perfect love and sacrifice for God and His children, we as members of His church today can achieve eternal life. Jesus says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus called us friends and gave His life for us. Each day we should ask ourselves, “How can we demonstrate that degree of love and commitment?”