How much would you sacrifice for someone you love? Would you empty out your savings account if a loved one needed it to survive? Would you answer a phone call in the middle of the night and drive for hours to help your best friend if she were in trouble? Would you stick it out with your husband if he had an addiction?
These are tough questions to answer. Maybe it depends on the person, the mood I am in, the season of life I am in, or on my relationship with Christ. Maybe it is all of these things rolled into one.
I have faced all of those questions at least once in my life. The most difficult for me was sticking it out in my marriage. I’ve spoken before about Patrick’s alcoholism and while he has over a year of sobriety, the beginning of the recovery process proved to be challenging for me. I’ve lived with the aftereffects of alcoholism for all of my adult life and believing my husband wanted recovery was something I had to come to terms with in my own recovery.
If you have lived with alcoholism or addiction, you know how it sometimes goes. You beg and plead for your loved one to quit drinking, they say they will, they do good for a little while, then they begin again. This cycle sometimes repeats for years. You feel as if he or she doesn’t love you enough to make the sacrifice to stop.
I’m on the other side of the heartache now and can tell you there is hope! Once I let go and let God do the work in my husband that is when the change happened. I couldn’t make the necessary changes to Patrick’s heart, God had to do that. God also had to work on my heart. After living with an alcoholic father and then others in my life with addictions, my heart had become bitter, angry, dark, without faith, and unforgiving. I had my own hang-ups to overcome. Only God could heal me.
Through turning back to God’s Word and prayer, I have discovered how the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross was done for me so I could live forgiven of my sins. I can let go of my bitterness, anger, and darkness. I could allow God to open my heart to receive Christ again.
Paul wrote to the Galatians in response to things he had been hearing about their state of mind. He heard there had been false teaching spreading through the area of Galatia. He tells them of the importance of remembering who made the ultimate sacrifice so they could live free from the bondage of their sins. Paul reminds them of how Christ’s sacrifice changed him.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Christ gave himself up on the cross so we could live free from the chains of our past. Letting go of the past and allowing God to do his work within me is what began the changes in those around me. I live in humble gratitude for that sacrifice. It is difficult for me to fathom giving up my life for one person, much less the entire world. Christ did just that.
I am continuing to remain by my husband’s side through his recovery. He is remaining with me through mine. We are continuing our journey together. That is our sacrifice for each other. It is not always an easy road, but for us, it is a road worth traveling hand in hand.
Think About It:
How do you define sacrificial love?
Are you holding onto difficult situations?
How can you begin today to release your hang-ups to God and let him into your heart?
Journal About it:
Journal about how the scriptures today resonated with you. As you write, thank Him for His ultimate sacrifice.
Pray About it:
As you think and write, say this prayer with me.
I am humbly grateful for the ultimate sacrifice you made on the cross for me! I have faith you will continue with me throughout my recovery if I seek you every day. I know it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me. I bow at your feet in praise for what you have done.
In Jesus’ Precious Name,
Talk About it:
This is my story, what’s yours? I would love to hear from you! I enjoy connecting and keeping in touch. Do you feel as though you don’t have anyone you can share with confidentially? Your anonymity is protected. Do you feel you are the only one struggling with the aftereffects of growing up with an alcoholic parent? Sweet sister, YOU are not alone! It’s time to break free from the shackles of your shame, fear, and anxiety!
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