By Darcie Tallman
While my son and I were praying, we got off on a little tangent. He asked me about the lyrics to a Christian song, The Proof of your Love by For King and Country. We listened to it and read the lyrics. I had heard this song many times. Funny how the refrain hit me like I’d never heard it before:
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
Oh, let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love.
Love is sacrifice. These three little words are easy to miss. But, when you think about them, the meaning is powerful.
This gave me pause. In my head, I know this to be true. It’s what my husband and I talk so much about in our pre-cana presentation to engaged couples. Jesus sacrificed His life for us. He is our example for how we are to love our spouse.
The other thing that was going through my mind was Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 26:41, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Yes, God. I get it. You’re right. Selfishness is something I struggle with and it gets in the way of me being able to sacrifice. Just the night before our daughter was up most of the night with croup. My husband had been working late at night. I should have jumped right up and taken over for him – 100%. I failed.
Or, what about the many times I feel angry and resentful for finding myself having to clean up the kitchen again?
These are just day-to-day things. If I’m struggling with these, how can I love when it’s really hard? When it hurts?
What are we giving ourselves to?
I’m currently reading, Heaven Starts Now: Becoming a Saint Day by Day by Fr. John Riccardo. One of the chapters is entitled, Surrender. Fr. Riccardo writes, “What are we living for? What are we giving ourselves to?…” ”…we might be living for our spouse – not loving our spouse but living for our spouse. Or living for our children, or for honors, or any of a variety of things. But if it’s not God that we’re sacrificing our bodies to, then to whatever or to whomever we are offering ourselves is eventually going to do one of two things: disappoint us or crush us. Because none of those things, good as they all are, are what we are made for.”
Wow. That stopped me in my tracks. It certainly isn’t what our culture tells us. God loves me unconditionally. He knows everything about me and His mercy is incomprehensible. His love is beyond what I can wrap my head around. And, yet, how do I love Him?
Starts with a Relationship with Jesus
Funny how God works. It started with my son asking to listen to a song. It spurred a memory about a paragraph I had recently read. This caused me greater contemplation on an area for which I struggle and I became frustrated and mad at myself for seeing how many times I fall short. What do I do?
I began to reflect on my past and think about other more challenging times of sacrifice in my life. I realized that during those times I had to lean into prayer even more. That was my answer.
I know from firsthand experience that, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” I can’t do this alone. I know I need God’s help to teach me to love. As I grow closer to Jesus in a relationship, the more I grow in my desire to love Him better. That desire moves me to more freely and joyfully give of myself to my spouse, children, family, friends and others. I must lean into prayer and grow in my relationship with Jesus.