By Tonya Allen
First let me pose a question. Think about your spouse. What sacrifices have you made lately to make your spouse happy?
In chapter two of Acts, verses 36-47, here we see a transformed Peter standing before a transformed group. He stood boldly and told thousands of people that Jesus is both our Lord and Christ. The key word here is transformation. Webster dictionary states that the word transform is a verb. It means to change in structure, appearance, or character. Transformation is a noun letting us know that the change has already taken place. What changed Peter? What caused this transformation? You already know the answer! J-E-S-U-S.
Christ was his model! Christ was his message! Peter died and the other apostles saw Jesus. Better yet, they encountered Christ. Their sins collided with their Savior and their Savior won!
Simply put, we are called to be Christ to our spouse. Where there is transformation, there is sacrifice.
We all need to be transformed. Our spouses need to see Christ in us. Are we willing to make sacrifices to put a smile on our spouses face? It really is the small things that count. If your wife enjoys a back rub, why not sacrifice a little of your time? If your husband loves the way you cook, why not sacrifice the time to indulge him? As each day goes by you will notice the transformation. You will be more willing to sacrifice more of yourself to make your spouse happy.
It is not necessary to tell your spouse that you are making a sacrifice, just do it. There may be an obvious opportunity to make a big sacrifice in your marriage and you just can’t get with the program. Ask yourself, why is this so hard for me? What is holding me back from making this change? We often put blinders over our eyes when faced with the simplest of decisions, simply because we do not want the change that comes along with it. We pray for solutions but if the solution involves sacrifice we tend to run in the other direction, especially if you have to do all of the sacrificing. There will come a time in your marriage when a decision or a compromise will have to be made and you will have to do most of the work or make the most sacrifices.
Remember Janet Jackson’s song, “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” In 1986, we walked around asking everyone that question, what have you done for me lately? There is a verse that says, “I never asked for more than I deserve…..You ought to be thankful for the little things; but the little things are all you seem to give…..who’s right, who’s wrong?…What have you done for me lately?”
Is sacrificing for your spouse easy? No, frankly, it can be quite painful to do sometimes, especially when you are making most of the sacrifices. It is even worse when you are committed to making things work and your spouse is not on the same page. What can severely damage a marriage is if you fall into the trap of keeping score. Never put your marriage in the situation where it becomes tit-for-tat. When keeping score, no one wins.
Remember that Christ’s love for us is without limits, which calls for transformation, which includes plenty of sacrifices. Again I ask, Sacrifice Much?
Prayer: Father, may we invite your Holy Spirit to dwell among us. We know that without your power we will not be able to change. Let us be open to your work and may we be willing to grow. Father, transform us into your likeness, so that our marriages will be stronger. Amen
Tonya can be reached at [email protected] Tonya and her husband Robert were Married Couples Ministry leaders for 16 years at Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.
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