“Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.” (Philippians 2:4)
In preparation for my current series on building healthy intimate relationships, one of our fellow East Cobb UMC members shared the following devotional with me from Joyce Meyer ministries (www.joycemeyer.org). Although the language is couched in terms of marriage, the principle of sacrifice certainly applies to any committed, intimate relationship. And this week as we’re discussing God’s plan for sexual intimacy, I believe it has special meaning, as well:
“Early in our marriage, God had to teach me that truly loving Dave meant that sometimes I would have to make sacrifices. Up until that point, I only wanted my way and was very much like the noisy gong mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13.
Love is the highest form of maturity. It often requires a sacrificial gift. If love doesn't require some sort of sacrifice on our part, we probably don't really love the other person at all. If there is no sacrifice in our actions, we are most likely reacting to something nice they did for us, or simply pretending to be kind to gain some control over them.
It is important to understand that true love gives of itself. So our decisions should always have our spouse's interests at heart. When you do, you're giving of yourself.
God's desire is for husbands and wives to love each other sacrificially and unconditionally. This means you don't get your way all of the time. But the good news is, when a husband and wife sacrifice their selfish desires, they will have a triumphant marriage!”
[--From Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional, cited the devotion for “Day 237 of 365” at
www.bible.com, shared by an East Cobb UMC member]
My prayer as we continue our series Love, To Stay is that you will remember to both value and practice the spiritual discipline of sacrifice as you seek to build intimate relationships that can last a lifetime! Never forget that God loves you and I do, too!