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Monday, January 24, 2011
Mostly for us Christians it refers to the love of Jesus Christ and his death on the Cross at Calvary for our redemption.
But can it mean more than that,? Yes I think it does and I believe we are called to offer our own sacrificial love each day, everyday, for the rest of our lives.
When I write it like this it sound scary and an impossible task but each time I review this in my own personal life I know that IS what God has called me to do.
For some people God asks a lot with his call to 'sacrifical love'. He asks for their very lives or the lives of loved ones and major upheavals in life. This doesn't mean that God does not expect me to live a life of 'sacrifical love' each day though. I have never been asked for this demonstration of my love for him, and frankly I am not sure I could handle that!
My offer each and every day of 'sacrificial love' is in the little things that happen in my daily life. While I wish I could say that I do this all the time without thinking and that I have developed this as a lifestyle, I know I cannot say that. At some times I am better at it than others. Sometimes I can even help our children see this in my life and hopefully they will be encouraged by it and embrace it as well, but mostly I flounder with the small progresses and then no progress for some time.
Sometimes I think it is easy for mothers (and fathers) to think of this sacrificial love in terms of a new born or very small baby and the fact we are required to be 'on demand' for our little cherubs.
The feeding, changing and loving that goes into a very dependant baby seems to be very much alright and acceptable as a 'sacrificial love' thing.
But what about those little tykes that are just a bit too rambunctious after a long day of play and learning, or those older children who are tending through an emotional stage and of course those young adults and youths that dwell in our homes and the complex issues that they bring to the mix. Let us not forget also that some of us have been blessed with those more dependant children, and those with more special needs and they tend to require a much more giving and 'sacrificial love' on a more ongoing basis.
Do we allow these individuals to cramp into our personal space, demanding our much sought after attention, or to let some of their own preferences and individual likes be put in front of our own choices?
Must we always have OUR own way, or do we need to evaluate the thought of 'sacrificial love'.
Of course after a long day at work or within the home it can be quite easy to say NO! I want my own personal space or have it the way I like it.
However I know I need to ask myself at these times; Is this more important than allowing the other person their own way. Is what I want to do or have, or not have done of more value than the other persons choice? I think in some ways being the parents in these situations can lead to a very selfish attitude, simply because we are the parents.
But I would have to ask myself. Is this a moral issue that requires me to respond in this manner? Is it an issue of obedience for a cause? Or is it simply that I don't really want to be bothered with that noise, issue or the lateness of the hour because it prevents my......... from happening in the way I had planned.
While I do not pretend to have this 'sacrificial love' thing down pat I do know I try to put relationships first over the more 'typicallly important,' as society dictates of having our home tidy and neat at ALL times. It is more important for me to allow myself the opportunity to serve others by putting their preferences first. And I must say that while our more traditional values of putting our husbands first (of which I agree) is an acceptable fact in our society, I also believe that our children's preferences and needs should be another opportunity of serving the Lord, although this may get me in trouble with some other schools of thought.
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Mathew 25: 40
Truly how can I read that and not think of the verse I have taught our children for so many years
" Jesus first, myself last and others in between"
Is this only for children to obey? Or is it for all of us?
For husbands to wives, wives to husbands, parents to children, children to parents and to any others we have the opportunity to serve in our daily lives.
This is our opportunity to allow ourselves to be givers of the lesson taught to us by our Saviour.....SACRIFICIAL LOVE!
I pray that each day I may be a more sacrificial person, a more caring and loving wife and mother, and that my example will help others see the love and joy we have in serving each other, even as Christ served and sacrificed for us.
Blessings to you and your homes,