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Love is willing self-sacrifice

Jan 30, 2016 | 2 Comments

by Steve Watters

We all want to be loved, but are we able to be the person who gives the kind of love we want to receive?

In his book What Did You Expect?, Paul David Tripp lays out a Christ-centered vision of love–one based on the sacrifice of the cross. He defines such love as “willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.”

In explaining each of the portions of that definition, Tripp presents a context for sacrifice that is sobering:

There is no such thing as love without sacrifice. Love calls you beyond the borders of your own wants, needs, and feelings. Love calls you to be willing to invest time, energy, money, resources, personal ability, and gifts for the good of another. Love calls you to lay down your life in ways that are concrete and specific. Love calls you to serve, to wait, to give, to suffer, to forgive, and to do all these things again and again.

And this insight is especially powerful:

Love calls you to be silent when you want to speak, and to speak when you would like to be silent. Love calls you to act when you would really like to wait, and to wait when you would really like to act. Love calls you to stop when you really want to continue, and it calls you to continue when you really feel like stopping. Love requires you to lead when you really would like to follow, and to follow when you really want to lead. Love again and again calls you away from your instincts and your comfort. Love always requires personal sacrifice. Love calls you to give up your life.

This is true of love in a marriage as well as the love that guides you through each step of your path to marriage. And it’s only possible through the example of Christ and through the redemptive power of His self-sacrificing love n the cross.

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