When the topic “sacrificial love” came up for the umpteenth time in my conversations this week, I can only assume the Spirit was speaking to my heart. Sacrificial love: the love that Christ showed all people, do I display that (John 15:12-13)?
Motherhood is hard. It was my first thought in my own self-evaluation of my demonstration of sacrificial love. My flesh screams a multitude of ways that I’ve been living “sacrificially” for my children. Long gone are the days when I attended a regular yoga class, shower until the hot water runs out, or wake up naturally because my body has had enough sleep. In my weakest and most honest moments, I’ll see a picture of my younger (more well rested) self and long for my lost independence.
Motherhood is hard. Thankfully, I was well prepared for it. My own mother told me that once I embarked upon the adventure of being a parent, life would “never again” be just about me. My sacrifices for my children: feelings of isolation, thwarted career ambitions, complete exhaustion from being a human-milk-production-plant, etc., are pleasing to our Lord (Philippians 2:4). However, if I’m completely honest, begrudging feelings sneak in during my weakest and most exhausted moments despite my best efforts to serve my children. During those times, I need to ask God for strength and to heal my heart “…for God loves a cheerful giver,” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Motherhood is hard. I believe it was purposefully designed as such and is a pure blessing. Through our hardest times and our biggest sacrifices, we may more easily relate to our sacrificial lamb, Jesus.
In my better moments, I joyfully play yet another round of tractors when the dishes need washed. In my best moments, I can joyfully endure the relentlessly screaming baby in the car seat all the way to Grandma’s house. In my more frequent moments, I must stay focused on Christ and His promises and sing praises of thankfulness. In the constant battle to deny ourselves, may God search our hearts and find the joy that comes from knowing Him. May we exemplify sacrificial love to all we meet and be joyful servants.
- Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12. ESV
- Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV
- Each person should do as he has decided in his heart–not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 HCSB