“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Today marks the beginning of Lent. And though I have never been one to (successfully) deny myself anything during this season, this year, I am determined to do so. However, my sacrifice will be less tangible than most–I won’t be sacrificing chocolate or Facebook, carbs or cursing. No. This year, I will be sacrificing my selfishness. Quite an obscure yet challenging undertaking….and one I hope to continue far past Easter Sunday. This idea occurred to me as I started reading Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” for a new small group I am in. This book focuses on the difference between society’s perception of marriage (see:romance) and the Biblical and historical institution of marriage(see:commitment). Whereas my cultural context is telling me that I need to focus on myself first, and my marriage and Brian second, I know that the successful marriage—the way that God intended it—is in direct opposition to that philosophy. Marriage is about letting go of my pride, denying my selfishness, and putting the relationship, and him, first.
So, while this is a daily decision, not a one-time signed consent, I am choosing to (re)commit to this today. Like I said, I do not want to dismiss this goal come Easter, but I feel that now, while everyone is consciously making an effort to sacrifice something, I can have a daily reminder of what I am giving up. Me. Not as in a “Woe is me, I am such a martyr” kind of way, but rather in the way of learning to live sacrificially. Learning to love–to put Brian, and others, ahead of myself. Learning to deny myself.
Because in the end, there is no greater love than denying myself and putting someone else first. This is my challenge. My responsibility as a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.