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.”