February 4, 2011


Over the last few days, I have been thinking of the word sacrifice. Having children has definitely filled me in on the fact that every person born on this earth is selfish - and that includes me! I first began to see this when my oldest daughter was still just a baby (she is now seven), and I began to work on the selfishness I saw in her and in me. The next thing I know, I'm counting all the ways I've improved in overcoming my selfishness, and I began to think that I'm really not so selfish after all (especially compared to the heathern children :) )! Once again, God has seen my heart and has begun to convict me.

Many times, I am seeing all the things I do as such great acts of selflessness when, in reality, they are only priviledges that come with the great gifts God has given me. I see the mountains of laundry folded, the number of dishes washed and meals cooked, the magnitude of patience that I have come to possess (HA! HA!) as a great sacrifice for my husband and children, when in all honesty, it is my priviledge to have so much laundry to fold and so many dishes to wash because God has chosen to bless with me with a wonderful husband and four beautiful children. What did I ever do to deserve such blessings, and why should I ever think that any of these things I do is more than just an opportunity to express my thankfulness to God and to them for blessing me with their lives? WOW!

That brings me back to the word "sacrifice." If what I have been thinking of as "sacrifice" and "selflessness" for so long is not really that at all, then what is sacrifice? I looked up the definition. According to Mr. Webster, sacrifice is "an act of offering to a deity something precious." Another definition given was "the forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have greater value or claim." So, obviously mountains of laundry and numberless dishes probably do not fit these definitions! Those are my priviledges and my duty. What am I doing above and beyond those to show my love for God and the people I love the most? What is it that I highly value but am giving up for a better relationship with God today? Five minutes of devotion time!!! That is not sacrifice!!! What am I forfeiting so that my husband can have a wonderful day? Cooking him a hot, home-cooked meal!!! That is not sacrifice!!! What am I willing to give up for my kiddos today? A sip of my Diet Dr. Pepper (major no-no in this house!)? That is not sacrifice!!! Do I really see my God, my husband and my children as having greater value than myself? Do I really put them above myself in every thing that I do?

This is not to say that we can never take a break or allow our own selves to be served. But I think it is so sad to hear moms talk about how excited they are that school is starting back or how glad they will be when their husbands go on that business trip. These are our gifts given to us by God! We Christian moms have begun to believe the lie the world is feeding us - the lie that says our relationships will be better if we are happier and get our share of "alone time" or "me time!" The truth is that there is no better thing we can do for our husbands or our children than to be a constant example of selfless sacrifice and service to God, to them and to others. We are to emulate Christ in everything we do, and Matthew 20:28 says that "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to MINISTER, and to GIVE HIS LIFE a ransom for many."

I will be the first in line to confess that I am the most selfish person I know. God has been working in my heart, showing me some things I can call sacrifice. I am not going to share them right now because I believe that sacrifice is something that is best done in private. It is not such a sacrifice if you are complaining or boasting! I also believe that God will ask different people to sacrifice different things. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! Can you give me some examples of sacrifice you or someone you have known has had to make?

One more thought: I've been reading through the book of Genesis, and everytime I come to Genesis 15:1, I get goosebumps! Lot had just chosen the better land to live on and had left Abraham with the much less desired land, but God came to Abraham and told him, "I am thy shield, and thy EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD!" God is our reward. We really need nothing more than HIM! We do not need recognition for the things we do or the progress we make, we only need GOD! How blessed we are that He has chosen to give us Himself and so much more! How can we follow His example of sacrifice?

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You must be a preacher's kid! :) REALLY good insights...I know just what you mean! I have recently been coming to some of these things in my own life as well. Thanks for the reminder & encouragement!