Sacrifice & Unconditional Love

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Geez! Time really does fly when you're having fun! I can't believe my husband and I are about to celebrate 4 years of marriage! I feel like I was just 14 years old meeting my older brother's best friend Nate! Now he is my man, my hubby,  my baby daddy, my gift from God. 
When I think about all that has changed since marrying Nathaniel I am amazed at how God uses marriage. I have learned the necessity for sacrificial and unconditional love.  Learning these two things have been huge because it has helped me understand Jesus Christ. 
Marriage requires so much sacrifice and that is just scary. There have been times when I've had to sacrifice my own desires, my comfort, and even my tendencies. When Nathaniel and I got engaged I thought more about what he could do for me than I could do for him. I imagined all of the ways he could fit into my idea of a good life and what he needed to change to do so. It wasn't until we got married and moved in with each other that I realized that went both ways, and the sacrificing began. One beautiful thing I realized through sacrificing my own "stuff" was, this is what Jesus did for us. He had no true explanation other that He really loved us. He sacrificed His perfect environment and came to an ugly filthy world. He sacrificed His body and lived amongst sinners who beat Him. He sacrificed His comfort and died on a cross even though He was blameless. Wow! Jesus never had to do any of those things but He did so willingly because He loved us. 
Unconditional love! I remember one time having a talk with some friends and the subject of divorce came up. Nathaniel and I had been married maybe 6 months at this point. The question came up during bible study after reading Jesus' words on divorce and it was something like, "what is something that would make you feel justified to divorce your spouse?" I remember on the way home Nathaniel said there wasn't a single thing he could think of that would make him ever want to divorce me. I told him he was crazy because I could think of quite a few and his response changed my perspective forever. He said "I genuinely love you with no conditions. If you were to do something worthy of divorce, I would worry more about your relationship with God and want to see you through it. It wouldn't be easy, but I love you too much to ever see you fall away from The Lord."
Mind blown! How did he think of something like this? I was so confused! I realized later that he was loving me just like the bible says to, "For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself." Ephesians 5:25-28
I realized that there was no conditions in true sacrificial love. It changed the way I loved my husband, my parents, my peers, and even myself. 

Marriage is sanctifying. I am learning new things constantly through all the hard parts of this unity but geez so much of it is good. So so good. I look forward to celebrating our 4 year anniversary next week. Even more than  that, I look forward to the years ahead, because I know they will help us both grow deeper in love and closer to Christ. I love you papi!

With Love, Jalyssa 

{These are our engagement pictures from 5 years ago, a little throwback for ya}

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