ODJ: what love looks like

May 4, 2015 

READ: Philippians 2:1-11 

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (vv.3-4).

A couple I know met, fell in love and in time realised they wanted to give their lives to each other in marriage. But there was a catch. Both had been married before and had children from those marriages. The divorces had been bitter, and their children still felt the effects. How would another marriage affect their sons and daughters? Would the two families successfully integrate? Would it all be worth it?

The couple prayed about their situation and came to a decision out of personal conviction: they would postpone marriage until their children were old enough to leave home and live their own lives. They then worked out exactly how long they’d have to wait. How long was it? Eight years.

And that’s what they did: they waited 8 years to get married. Putting the interests of their children before themselves, they delayed their own fulfilment.

You won’t find many stories like that on the newsstand today. For the sake of those they loved, this couple chose patience, sacrifice and delayed gratification. They humbly considered others as more important than themselves and looked beyond their own desires (Philippians 2:3-4). The couple chose to imitate Jesus—the One who emptied Himself of His divine right to self-fulfilment and became a bruised and battered earthbound Servant who poured out sacrificial love (vv.6-7).

Now, not every believing couple could or should choose the same path as my friends. Some might marry earlier based on their personal needs and convictions. What we should grasp, however, is that Jesus’ sacrificial love can mark our relationships (Ephesians 5:2). In imitating Him, we find what true love—His kind of love—looks like.

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day-plan: Esther 3:1-15

Read Galatians 2:20 and consider what it means to be found in Jesus. 
What selfless act is God calling you to today? How can you do it with a Christ-like attitude?