Love is one of the most beautiful things you can ever be a part of if you’re with the right person.
People might say, “I would do anything for you!” but do they really mean it? Today, love is too often plagued with selfish behaviors that can be toxic and dangerous to a marriage. Such relationships lack sacrificial love.
What is sacrificial love, where does it stem from, and how can it be used to improve romantic relationships? Keep reading to find out.
What is sacrificial love?
For the answer to this question, we’ll have to brush up on our knowledge of ancient Greece.
Ancient Greece comprises the years 700 to 480 B.C. During this time, it was believed that there were only four types of love:
Phileo, brotherly love, and compassion for others
Storgē, a familial love, such as the bond between a parent and child
Eros, which is linked to sexual, romantic love, and
Agapē, asacrificial love based on principle. This love is synonymous with unselfish behavior and intense affection.
Bible verses about sacrificial love
Perhaps one of the most prominent acts of sacrificial or divine love is spoken of in the scriptures.
In thinking of Bible verses about sacrificing love, John 3:16 springs to mind where it says, “God loves the world so much that he gave his only -begotten Son so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”
This is the basis for divine love. Not only did God sacrifice his son as a ransom for humankind’s sins, but Jesus himself endured a painful death on a torture stake to save all.
Other noteworthy Bible verses about sacrificial love include:
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8
“Go on walking in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice, a sweet fragrance to God. (25) Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for it. (28) In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself.” – Ephesians 5:2, 25, 28.
“I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1
“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
How can you show sacrificial love in your relationship?
Bible references aside, nobody is expecting you to prove your love to your spouse by dying for them or giving up something precious for their name.
But, what can you sacrifice for your loved ones? Keep reading to find out.
1. Be a good listener
Sacrificial love bible verses, such as Ecclesiastes 3:7, show us that there is “a time to keep quiet and a time to speak.”
Love means sacrifice when it comes to speaking your opinions. Instead of jumping on your spouse’s opinion, listen to them without interruption.
Not only does this show love and respect, but learning to listen will improve relationship communication and make your partner feel more comfortable coming to you with their feelings.
2. Give your time
One thing you can sacrifice for your loved ones – friends, family, children, is your time.
Self-care is important, including time by yourself, but showing attention and affection to your loved ones is one of the most valuable gifts you can give.
3. Keep your promises
The night Jesus was to be put to death, he told his apostles, “My soul is deeply grieved.” Then, praying to God in the garden, he said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
What does this mean?
Jesus had agreed to die a sacrificial death, so he was not asking his father to be pardoned from this fate, but his accusers wanted to put him to death as a blasphemer against God, a point that grieved his soul.
Although this title would not be lifted by the authorities, Jesus made it known that he was still willing to do the will of his father, regardless of what happened.
Remain committed to the promises you made to your partner, even when keeping them seems difficult.
4. Develop a deep sense of empathy
Having empathy for your spouse will bring your relationship to new heights. It allows you to look past your perspective and make decisions that benefit both you and your partner.
Sometimes sacrifice in marriage means staying quiet even when you know you’re right.
If you are about to argue with your spouse, ask yourself: “Does this really matter? Will I still care about this tomorrow?”
Very likely, the answer is no.
Choose your battles wisely and pick being a peacekeeper over a nitpicker.
8. Work through the hard times
Sometimes love is sacrificial, especially if you find yourself bored or unhappy in your marriage.
Instead of throwing in the towel or committing to a life of misery, sacrificial love will move partners to work on their marriage.
Forgiveness is essential when it comes to sacrifice in marriage. Studies have found that forgiveness contributes to a decrease in stress and improves mental health.
Choose not to dwell in anger, but instead, take positive steps forward to restore the happy connection you once had with your spouse.
9. Give new things a try
Is mixing sacrifice and love healthy? When done right, absolutely.
Sacrificial love means doing things for your spouse that you aren’t always excited about, such as:
Shoveling the snowy driveway, so they don’t have t
Getting up earlier than normal to make your spouse breakfast
Watching a movie they love, even though it isn’t your favorite genre
Putting your family responsibilities before your personal desires
It should be said that while agapē love is sacrificial, it does not mean that you should agree to do things that make you uncomfortable, all for the benefit of your partner.
Crossing personal boundaries and lowering your standards is not a part of sacrifice in marriage.
10. Pray for instruction
If you are religious, look to prayer and sacrificial love bible verses as your guide.
Jesus, in particular, is a great example to follow. He lived his entire life to serve others and preach the message of his father in heaven.
Jesus practiced sacrifices in love and was happy to do so. He kept a positive and kind attitude, even when he was tired.
Many scriptures highlight the importance of sacrifice and love. These scriptures can help guide you on your journey to mastering agapē love in your marriage.
Prayer can also be an excellent guide for believers. Research has found that people not only find comfort in prayer but are more able to look for the positive in life.
What is sacrificial love? It stems from the Greek term of agapē, which means to love someone with unselfish passion. This love may be romantic or not.
People express love in different ways. Some people say they love sports with the same enthusiasm that they express affection for their spouse. But is this really the basis for true love?
Sacrificial or divine love is often seen as the ultimate form of love.
Bible verses about sacrificial love highlight Jesus’ ransom sacrifice as the ultimate display of love for others.
Self-sacrificial love doesn’t haven’t to be romantic, but it can certainly do wonders for the health of a relationship.
You can practice sacrifice in marriage by learning to listen, going the extra mile for your partner, having empathy, giving without expecting anything in return, and staying strong during the hard days.
When both spouses learn to sacrifice in marriage, you will strengthen your connection to your partner and contribute to a happier marriage.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.