Feb 02 2010

Love Dare - Day 28

Love Makes Sacrifices

 

He laid down His life for us.  We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. – 1 John 3:16 HCSB

 

Life can be hard.  But what we usually mean is that our life can be hard.  We’re the first to feel it when we’re the ones being mistreated or inconvenienced.  We’re quick to sulk when we’re the ones who feel deprived or unappreciated.  When life is difficult for us, we notice.

 

But too often the only way we notice that life is hard for our mate is when they start complaining about it.  Then instead of genuinely caring or rushing in to help, we might think they just have a bad attitude.  The pain and pressure they’re under don’t register with us the way it does when it’s our pain and pressure.  When we want to complain, we expect everyone to understand and feel sorry for us.

 

This doesn’t happen when love is at work.  Love doesn’t have to be jarred awake by your mate’s obvious signs of distress.  Before worries and troubles have begun to bury them, love has already gone into action mode.  It sees the weight beginning to pile up and it steps in to help.  That’s because love wants you to be sensitive to your spouse.

 

Love makes sacrifices.  It keeps you so tuned in to what your spouse needs that you often respond without being asked.  And when you don’t notice ahead of time and must be told what’s happening, love responds to the heart of the problem.

 

Even when your mate’s stress comes out in words of personal accusation, love shows compassion rather than becoming defensive.  Love inspires you to say “no” to what you want, in order to say “yes” to what your spouse needs.

 

That’s what Jesus did.  “He laid down His life for us” to show us that “we should also lay down our lives” for others.  He taught us that the evidence of love is found in seeing a need in others, then doing all we can to satisfy it.  “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me” (Matthew 23:35-36).

 

These are the types of needs you should be looking for in your wife or husband.  Instead of sitting around upset that they’re not treating you the way you think they should, let love pick you up out of your self-pity and turn your attention to their needs.

 

Is he “hungry” – needing you sexually, even when you don’t feel like it?

 

Is she “thirsty” – craving the time and attention you seem to be able to give everyone else?

 

Does he feel like a “stranger” – insecure in his work, needing home to be a refuge and sanctuary?

 

Is she “naked” – frightened or ashamed, desperate for the warm covering of your loving affirmation?

 

Is he feeling “sick” – physically tired and needing you to help guard him from interruptions?

 

Does she feel in “prison” – fearful and depressed, needing some safety and intervention?

 

Love is willing to make sacrifices to see that the needs of your spouse are given your very best effort and focus.  When your mate is overwhelmed and under the gun, love calls you to set aside what seems so essential in your own life to help, even if it’s merely the gift of a listening ear.

 

Often all they really need is just to talk this situation out.  They need to see in your two attentive eyes that you truly care about what this is costing them, and you’re serious about helping them seek answers.  They need you to pray with them about what to do, and then keep following up to see how it’s going. 

 

The words “How can I help you?” need to stay fresh on your lips.

 

The solutions may be simple and easy for you to do, or they may be complex and expensive, requiring time, energy and great effort.  Either way, you should do whatever you can to meet the real needs of the one who is a part of who you are.  After all, when you help them, you are also helping yourself. That’s the beautiful part of sacrificing for your spouse.  Jesus did it for us.  And He extends the grace to do it for others.

 

When the New Testament believers began to walk in love, their lives together were marked by sharing and sacrifice.  Their heartbeat was to worship the Lord and to serve His people.  “All those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have “need” (Acts 2:44-45).  As Paul said to one of these churches in a later decade, “I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls” (2 Corinthians 12:15).  Lives that have been raised from death by Jesus sacrifice should be ready and willing to make daily sacrifices to meet the needs of others.

 

Today’s Dare

 

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse’s life right now?  Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part?  Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

 

 

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

 

 

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

 

Comments (21) -

2/2/2010 3:46:52 AM
free United States
free
this morning at 4am i was reading my bible and came acrosss proverbs 2:16-17 it says "to deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth, and forgets the covent of her God." then i read the foot notes to understand this clearer it says pride says "i deserve it" sexual desires says, "i need it" pride appeals to the empty head and sexual enticement to the empty heart. i believe that is why people cheat on their spouses, or look thru pron, or fantaise about another person other than their spouse or even eat emotionally because of these two things an empty heart and an empty head-i hope i didn't come across as a know it all or disrespect anyone because this proverb also spoke to me too i am an emotionally eater because my heart and head feel empty at times
2/2/2010 5:38:47 AM
Chris United States
Chris
'Love inspires you to say "no" to what you want, in order to say "yes" to what your spouse needs'.  This is (and has been since the first time I did the Dare) the most impactful statement for me.  So many times I am selfishly working to try and get my wife to reassure me that she still loves me, that she is happy to be married to me, etc. since I sinned against her in a grievous way almost 10 years ago.  Each time I try to get this reassurance of her love, etc. it pushes her further away.  But today, I am called to sacrifice what I want to give her what she needs.  She needs space, she needs me to not be so needy!  She needs me to need her less, love her more, and get everything that I desire from God - for He is the one that truly satisfies!  Often the thing our spouses need the most is the thing that makes us the most uncomfortable or is the hardest.  It's like we're willing to give as long as its easy - that's not what the Bible calls sacrifice.  Its hard, but God gives such strength to us when we totally rely on Him.  Think of the one thing your spouse may have asked you to do for them (or that you believe God is asking you to do for them) - and do it.  This includes me! If I say with my lips "I love you" to my wife, but at the same time I'm not willing to sacrifice for her, then I am a liar when I say those three important words.  Praying for all of you today (and everyday), and asking you to do the same for me, my beautiful wife, and my marriage.
2/2/2010 8:03:24 AM
Ruby Barron United States
Ruby Barron
i recently just discovered that love is thinking of others first. i know when i've done this in the past it always made me feel good. today i take this dare with pleasure, my husband is my best friend & i never want that to change. we are having some problems but we are now talking about them & i know it's because of these dares that i've been taking.  Thank KLOVE...RB
2/2/2010 9:57:17 AM
just me United States
just me
What my husband needs most from me is support and my full attention.  He became disabled and unable to do the things that guys do to show love to their wives (earn a living, take care of honey-do's, physical intimacy) so his self esteem is shot.  I can't imagine what he must feel, trying to be the "man" in the family and unable to do it.  I give him all the support and love that I can, but my attention isn't always on him, it's on other men who "seem" to be able to do all those things my husband can't.  Like I posted before, it's the "grass is greener" mentality.  I'm sure he feels the distance.  If I can, I know he can too.  
I'm going to give him my full attention from now on.  I'm going to take all the advice I have been given (wisdom through counsel with others) and move towards the marriage God has in store for us.
I may not be doing the right thing here, but I am not going to tell my husband about my fantasies.  His self esteem is so low right now, I think this would be the "breaking straw". I hope I'm right, but I think God and I can handle this one without hurting anyone else..,
2/2/2010 11:19:25 AM
Shel United States
Shel
I can do this....one of the things I have noticed about myself is I don't really listen to my husband. I get agitated when he complains about work....etc. I have been working on this area of myself for the last several weeks and find it really easy to put his needs above mine, now. I no longer worry about my needs because I know God has it all under control......God Bless all of you!
2/2/2010 11:33:50 AM
in deep sorrow United States
in deep sorrow
hi shel! read yesterday's comments. i put one up for u. hope all goes well for u. GOD BLESS you, GOD is our refuge.
2/2/2010 1:54:24 PM
Holly United States
Holly
Since starting this love dare my relationship has gone from bad to worse. I thought we were trying to rebuild trust after my fiance' cheated for 1.5 years of our two year relationship. But last Sunday he lied to me about going to work and when he was caught he said that what he does is none of my business.
I am hurt, lonely, and thinking there is no hope for this relationship. I continue to read the love dares but I can't see how this will help or how I can accomplish these things when there is noone on the other end that is receiving. I can't continue to keep stuffing the hurt down and try to be so loving to him. I am broken and I can't do it. I feel like I need the love and I should stop trying to give him so much when I am in desperate need of healing and love.
2/2/2010 7:45:49 PM
Deanna United States
Deanna
I am not sure what my husband needs the most from me, but I know that he needs me to trust him again.  To stop doubting his feelings for me because he made a mistake when we were struggling in a rough patch of our marriage.  We are coming up in two weeks on the date of our seperation a year ago.  We have been talking and are attending a mini seminar on Marriage - built to last at the church i started attending a few months ago.  It is like God has been listening to my prayers.  there have been two sermons on marriage for the last month, and now the seminars.  Plus the KLOVE Love Dare.  I admit, I do not know much about how to have a great marriage.  I just knew what I did not want to see in my marriage that my parents had in their marriage.  I want a marriage that works for me and my husband, that we can be happy and content with.  I asked for help to figure out how to be a better wife, and what were realistic expectations.  So this Love Dare is teaching me so much.  And the study group at church is doing the same!  God does provide.  Thank you KLOVE!
I am praying for everyone that has posted here, and everyone that hasn't and needs help.  I also continue to pray for my husband and myself and our marriage.  I hope it can be saved and become the wonderful marriage we both deserve and the way God intended.
2/3/2010 12:27:00 AM
Shel United States
Shel
Holly, Healing and love comes first from God through Christ. I know that sounds cliche, but once you begin to seek that and work on that, it starts to make perfect sense. When you put God first and depend on Him to love and heal you, you will find everything else fall right into place. I can't in good faith say rather to work on you and your fiancee or not, you need to pray HARD about it. The lucky thing is, you aren't married so there is no covenent between you two. Your focus does need to be on God right now.  Seek out counsel, maybe research through K-Love resources that will help you do that, a sort of love dare for you and God. God Bless you!
2/3/2010 12:32:39 AM
Shel United States
Shel
Thank you, In Deep Sorrow. I left you a response yesterday. I am hanging in there. Every day I realize how deeply in love I am with him. I more so am learning of how deeply in love with my Lord I am. I even thought I was torn between my husband and another man that was giving me the emotional attention I so craved and realized that I didn't have feelings for this man, I was only looking for a substitute for what I was craving. But now I am on the right path to get back from my husband what I so want from him. I never have met this other man in person, he is an old friend from 20 years ago and we have been talking on line so thank the Lord for that! I find my hope growing every day...I do have down days but I pray and all becomes right. I hope everyone that has been praying for me continues, I think there is more power in numbers! I will continue to pray for you all.  May God Bless!
2/3/2010 7:18:51 AM
deep in sorrow United States
deep in sorrow
chris? i know what ure feeling; i too feel that i am very needy and always seeking reassurance. is it normal to feel this way or is it some sort of obsession???? i dont feel the same love and needs back from my mate. it saddens me that i want to be with him ALL the time, but yet, it seems that work and other things are more important to him than giving me the attention and love that im seeking... i think this is a BIG problem and is the NUMBER 1 reason that women have affairs. i just want to feel loved and wanted. Frown
2/3/2010 7:21:33 AM
deep in sorrow United States
deep in sorrow
holly, i feel so bad for you. wow, i just cant believe that he'd do that to u AGAIN. maybe u need to spend some time apart to let him make his final decision; see what he really wants. and u my friend, put GOD first in ur life. GOD BLESS...im praying for everyone on here.
2/3/2010 9:47:41 AM
Laura United States
Laura
My husband is a pastor. He is studying for his doctorate and has to fly to Minnesota often. We live in California....He pastors a small church and we live in a parsonage in the middle of town. I am not always grateful....or patient as I should be about his work. It is kingdom work and I love the Lord Jesus, with all my heart, and appreciate my husbands time he spends in the word and prayer.....as he is now in the classroom and away from me and our family. I don't want to sound selfish but, I am because I would much rather my husband be here with me! The sacrifice for me is to allow for the space and time for him to do what God is ordained and called into his life to serve...and be the best pastor he can be. Here I am Lord send me ....send me.... I want to be more positive about the whole process...it is something he wants and I want it too! Because I love my husband and I am committed to our Marraige and not just because he is a pastor. This dare was a great reminder, and helped me of what Jesus did for me on the cross and it doesn't matter what I want it's what Jesus wants...then I want it too! I have evaluated the sacrifices we make for the people we love. I will work on this one more often. I am thankful that I married my best friend.
2/3/2010 2:49:29 PM
Liz United States
Liz
I think one of the hardest things is that since I have changed, he thinks it is all a SHOW. He thinks the closeness my stepdaughter and I have formed, is an act by me to keep him. *sighs* He said," I have had to avoid you every morning for the past five years because you are so mean and grumpy, and now for two weeks you have been weird and happy and I don't get it. It's not you, don't do that."
When I said later, " Would you rather I go back to that(which isn't possible now, because God has changed me)?" He said-with a sneer on his face-"You make your own decisions."
Then he said he feels that he has the right to be selfish now, as he has already spent his life making everyone else happy, and worrying about everyone else. He said he's tired of worrying about me and our daughter.  I just don't understand why he doesn't want the new improved me.
I know God is with me and is doing something, or else I would be gone. God wouldn't awaken this in me just to let me suffer in a loveless, Godless marriage for the rest of my life and his life, would He? God wants no one to suffer,  I know that.
I just don't know. I pray for you guys each day, at least twice a day. God be with you all.
2/17/2010 8:56:15 AM
Carter Buquo United States
Carter Buquo
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Destiny Rinke
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Rachel Reda
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Wilber Cragun
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Jamaal Rudnicky
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