Recently I was confronted with what I think to be one of the hardest questions I face as a mom. The question is simple but not easy. It is short but thought provoking. The question is: “Will I sacrifice?”
My first response was, Well of course, I would sacrifice anything for my kids! But as I started to really digest the question, I believe my answer changed. You see the answer to the question seems to depend on the day, mood, level of energy I have, level of crazy of my kids and/or the weather outside.
Ask me if I’d give a kidney for my child, and the answer will be yes every time. Ask me if I would give up naptime to play hide and seek, well… that’s a different story. Ask me if I would sacrifice my life for my child, and easily the answer would be a resounding, Of Course! But ask me to sacrifice my schedule and/or routine, and I might throw up a little in my mouth.
Why is this? The answer to the big stuff seems to be so crystal clear while the little sacrifices I have to make daily seem more ambiguous and inconvenient. It’s these little inconveniences that seem to have me on edge lately.
It’s when my youngest decides that the 17 minute nap in the car during carline is nap enough for the day. It’s when my son asks me to throw a baseball while I should be cooking dinner. It’s the times when I have to cancel a fun playdate for a child who doesn’t feel well. It’s the extra time I spend cleaning “washable” bath tub paint out of the tub after bedtime.
For you, maybe it’s the conversation that your teenager needs to have during the series finale of your favorite show. Maybe it’s taking time off work to visit your child’s school on career day.
You get it. We’ve all been there. It’s the small things that can amount to big things in the area of sacrifice. The reason the question, “Will I sacrifice?” is hard is because it points to our attitudes. It uncovers our inner objectives. The answer to this question will shape who you are and who your children become. It is an opportunity for us to live out the gospel in front of a watching audience (our children) daily! It is ultimately an opportunity for us to die to self.
Jesus is the ultimate example of a life of sacrifice. He completely laid himself down for us, and not just on the cross. The cross was the ultimate sacrifice. But he also sacrificed by how he lived his life. He sacrificed daily by not giving in to sin and serving others above himself.
I love 2 Corinthians 4:10-11 for the picture of self sacrifice it paints so beautifully for us: “Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Seriously, this verse makes me want to do a cartwheel! The life of Jesus can be manifested in our mortal flesh. This is such good news for you and me! It means we don’t have to try harder and sacrifice more on our own. Because we can’t change our attitudes on our own. We are too selfish and self absorbed by nature.
But because Christ lived a perfect life of sacrifice and paid the ultimate penalty on the cross for us, we as Christians, carry about in the body the dying of Jesus. This means we can answer the question with a resounding, “Yes I will sacrifice!” I can, and I will sacrifice for my children daily because Christ sacrificed for me.
Word of the Day
“Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:10-11
Lord Jesus, thank you for the sacrifice of your life and death on my behalf. Thank you that because I carry around the dying of Jesus, the life of Jesus can be on display in my life. Equip me to sacrifice daily for my kids in the big and small. May you receive glory. Amen.