Love costs a lot. It’s easy to get and to receive and to take, but that’s not love! True love is a sacrificial giving of oneself to another for their good. It’s easy and natural to get things from Duties of Christian Husbands others. But it’s unnatural to sacrifice self for the blessing of another. But that’s precisely what Christ has done for ungodly sinners. And as Christ, the Bridegroom, as loved His Bride with this kind of sacrificing love, so husbands are commanded to emulate this love by sacrificially loving their wives.
“Got it!” men say. But what does it mean to sacrifice? How does it look in the marriage relationship? The more that husbands understand the kind of sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated for His people will model how he must love his wife. A sacrificing love is a time-consuming love. Think of how Jesus spent time with people. He maximized moments with people. He spent time with sinners. He sat and talked. He walked and preached. He stood and heralded. He loved and pleaded with souls. Jesus’ life was a life of time- consuming sacrifice for sinners. But it’s just that where this becomes so difficult for the 21st century man. This takes T-I-M-E. And that’s just one thing we don’t have; or rather, one thing men often aren’t willing to make. True sacrificial love occurs when time is spent together. Jesus modeled it for sinners. Husbands must emulate this toward their wives.
A sacrificing love is an unhurried and genuine love.
Superficial love is easy and fake. But it’s hypocritical and easy to see through its facade. With only enough time, the truth of this mask will be uncovered and the real selfishness of love will tragically ooze forth. How amazing is it to observe the unhurried life of Jesus. He set his face toward Jerusalem and for the cross. And yet He found Himself interrupted constantly by sinners, providential appointments, sick persons, and the like. And he loved them genuinely. When God graces our days with interruptions let us not fight with the heart-filled lust for control of our schedule but let us remain unhurried and genuine in our thankfulness to God and our genuineness of love for others -- especially our precious brides.
A sacrificing love is an exclusive love.
Jesus gave up His life for His sheep. He didn’t die for everyone. Nor does He swallow up all people of all religions of all beliefs in his salvation. He sacrificed Himself exclusively for His people whom the Father fore-loved, predestined, and gave to Him countless ages ago. Husband, sacrifice for your wife. And sacrifice for her exclusively and preeminently. Let nothing in your heart or life be remotely comparable to the exclusivity of your life for your mate. Give up anything and everything for her. Tell her this. Show her this. Prove it to her. Encourage her with this. Sacrifice self for her! Die to self for her! Only for her!
A sacrificing love is a pursuing love.
A simple reading of Song of Solomon, the God-given and Spirit-inspired love-poem given to believers, will show that godly husbands will pursue their wives. Of course, this only follows the preeminent example of Christ who pursues His own. Remember the mission statement of Jesus: the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Jesus is the seeker. He is the initiator. He is the pursuer. He is the instigator. He is the relentless and tireless one who chases after his wife. As Jesus pursued you, O husband, so you also should pursue your wife. And this is costly. It’s Christlike. And yet, this is sacrificing love.
A sacrificing love is an others-serving love.
The Song of Solomon provides a marvelous definition of marital love: “There I will give you my love” (Song 7:12b). Sacrifice, O husbands, for your wives as you follow the example in God’s Word. Give! Love gives! God so loved the world that He gave (John 3:16). Christ loved me and He gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20). Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for you (Eph 5:25). Make it your driving ambition to serve your mate first and foremost. Have the same attitude in yourselves which also was in Christ Jesus. Serve others as Christ served you, even if your bride is unworthy of it! For remember, you were far more unworthy of Christ’s sacrificial love toward you as you scorned his grace and scoffed His love for so long. Serve your spouse!
A sacrificing love is a self-dying love.
Quite simply: as much as possible, do what she wishes to do. This is not relinquishing your leadership role. Not at all. But rather than always choosing where to go, where to eat, what to do, how to spend the evening, what to do on Saturday, deliberately die to self and find joy in doing what she wants to do. Make intentional efforts. Surprise her. Love her. Cherish her. Make intentional efforts to do things that she would love and appreciate. Again, when you said: “I DO” you said (in essence), “I DIE TO SELF.” So do it!
A sacrificing love is a gospel-picturing love.
All of this must be the case in marriage because the covenantal bond between a husband and wife is a breathing and visible illustration of the spiritual union between Christ and His Bride. So the more that you sacrifice for your precious bride, out of heartfelt love and stemming from joyful worship to Christ, you evidence the happy and pleasing satisfactions of the gospel as the work of Christ continues to change you and conform you more into His likeness. After all, He gave all for you. So sacrificially love your bride in giving all for her. Hold nothing back.