Photo by mmira on flickr
As a reminder, this blog is directed towards husbands who are Believers and earnestly pursuing Christlikeness. So, this topic of Love = Self-Sacrifice is directed towards them.
The topic of love is ancient and universal. So much of what we deep down believe is important has to do with love. Stories and novels and art and poetry and music and even some wars revolve around love. And yet, we men are so inept with "love," what it means to "fall in love," to "be in love," to "express love," to "love our wives as Christ loves the Church." I guess we know how to "make love," but, even then, we probably confuse "making love" with "having sex."
Love = Self Sacrifice is definitely upper level math that most of us can't fathom.
Sometimes it's frustrating to listen to pastors sermonize about love. Mainstream Christians have been told not to pay attention to their feelings. So, Heaven forbid that we approach love as a feeling! But, in this case, I do agree that love has to be defined as more than a feeling. Many times pastors will speak about love from the pulpit assuming that the people in the congregation are all on the same page when he uses the word "love."
It used to be that when I would hear about "self-sacrificial love" I would think in terms of throwing myself on a live grenade to save my wife. Of course I would do that. If push came to shove, if it were her or me, I would bite the bullet. So, if I tucked that idea, that I would take a bullet for my wife, away in the recesses of my mind, I could console myself that I did indeed have self-sacrificial love towards my wife. See how that works? The problem is that such extreme circumstances are very rare. What about the mundane, every-day expression of self-sacrificial love?
This is where the Christian church is missing the boat and the point. There is simply no teaching on how to practice self-sacrificial, Christlike, love on a day-by-day basis. What would that look like? How would I act if I were to be self-less in my attitude? How could I correct my spirit so that I had others' interest at heart ahead of my own? What words would begin to come out of my mouth as a result? Do I even want to know?
More to follow...