A Successful Marriage Demonstrates Sacrificial Love
A Successful Marriage Demonstrates Sacrificial Love.
How much do you love your spouse?
Many times, we answer this question by saying “a lot”. But what is a lot? How much love is that? What are you willing to do, give, leave? And how do we know that our love is great? Maybe it's little and we don't know it.
To answer this question one has to know how to measure love. People have invented various methods of measuring love, compatibility, and chemistry. You can go on the internet and you will find countless love “calculators”, none of them reliable. But that's exactly what we need – a reliable way to measure love.
To measure love you have to know what love is. The Bible defines love as follows:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is Love. So, in order to answer the question, you have to know what love is and then see where we are when we compare ourselves to this definition.
In the book of Genesis, chapters 28-29, there is a love story that is really worth studying. It tells the story of love between a man and a woman who showed what it is to have a true love. Despite the difficulties, delays, deceptions, fights and other tests; this couple was able to succeed because true love existed in them. So let's examine the love story of Jacob and Rachel to see and learn what the measures of true love are.
In the light of a true love, you will be able to compare your love, and see how much you really love your spouse.
True Love Does Not Look For Easy Ways Out - Genesis 28:1, 29:1
Jacob could have married any of the women in his region, but they were not of the same faith and traditions as him. He was willing to make a sacrificial journey to find a good wife who shared his family principles and faith. It is important to find a spouse among those who share our principles and our same faith.
True Love Commits - Genesis 29:18-20
Jacob decided to love Rachel, and valued that commitment to dedicate himself to working for her for 7 years. And he says that he loved her so much that it only seemed to him like a few days to work all that time. Today it is difficult for people to wait for marriage, and they want to get ahead of it by having relationships and living together. It is a lack of love and commitment that is evident in such cases. There is a better way, and Jacob teaches us.
True Love Sacrifices - Genesis 29:21-28
Love bears all things. Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel, but there was deceit. His father-in-law, Laban, deceives him and Jacob finds himself married to the other sister. Imagine the disappointment, after waiting 7 years to get married. But, he agrees to wait another week and work another 7 years for his father-in-law because of the great love he had for Rachel. That is sacrificial love!
True Love Lasts a Lifetime - Genesis 29:20,30;33:2;48:7
Jacob showed great love for Rachel before and after they got married. When he met her brother, Esau, he put Rachel behind the other members of her family to protect her. That love continued until Rachel's death, when she gave birth to a son. Years later Jacob would remember the grief felt by the death of his beloved wife.
Jacob's love for Rachel was great. He was willing to do whatever it took to keep her by his side and love her for her whole life. In our times the word love is used in many ways, but often it is a poor substitute for true love. This story teaches us that true love commits and sacrifices for the loved one.
How much do you love your spouse? If your love is not as great as Jacob's for Rachel, then you still have much more love to give. May Jacob's example be a motivation for you to renew your commitment of love towards your spouse. If both dedicate yourselves to loving in this way, you love can easily last a lifetime. It is what God wants for every marriage, and He can teach us to love like this.