“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – 1 John 3:16-20
These popularly quoted bible verses are all about sacrificial love. Chances are high that you’ve heard these verses quoted in sermons, books, etc. They stress the fact that love involves the sacrifice of laying down one’s life. But what exactly does this mean??
As a new mom, I’ve learned firsthand what it really means to show sacrificial love. Love is more than just a word or a feeling. True love always results in action. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, the sacrifices for my unborn baby began. During pregnancy, I sacrificed my body, my energy, my plans, my schedule, my sleep, etc. And since her birth these sacrifices have continued through the pain of labor and delivery, the difficulty of recovery, the fatigue of sleepless nights, and hardship of breastfeeding, the loss of my pre-pregnancy body, and the list goes on and on. Every mom can identify with the feeling of losing her former self as she births new life. What makes motherhood a reflection of sacrificial of love is that all of this is worth it because of how much I love and care for my baby girl.
You see, my daughter Thea doesn’t understand any of what I’m doing for her right now. And she will never repay me for it, but I do it all anyway because of how much she means to me. This is the type of love that Jesus displayed during his life and ministry on earth and ultimately at the cross. Jesus Christ died for mankind because of how much we mean to Him, fully knowing that we may never really understand the depth of his sacrifice and that we could never repay him.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
True love produces action. As Bob Goff put in his book Love Does, “The kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence.” Such love is difficult to exhibit on your own but through God’s help we can all be the kind of people who love unconditionally.
Motherhood has taught me so much in just a few months and this lesson seems to be the starkest so far – sacrificial love goes beyond words to deeds. I pray that I will continue to reflect Jesus to Thea through the love I show her.
Author - Beryl
Beryl has a passion for writing pieces that uplift, inspire, and encourage you to bloom. She's been blogging since October 2018.