Giving Yourself Up

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In what areas can you truly defer to your spouse? What sacrifices are you willing to make for him or her today?

Christ Jesus . . . did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, . . . coming in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7

I (David) am glad Christ didn't selfishly hold on to heaven. I'm glad He deferred to my world and my needs, thinking them more important than His own.

True deference always implies following Christ's example by giving up my way or my plans. It requires sacrifice. Deference means that I must ask these questions: "In light of eternity, how important is my agenda?" and "How much more important is it to love you than to have my own way?"

I still remember the impact Ephesians 5:25 had on me some twenty years ago. As I read, "Hus­bands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her:' I was forced to ask myself, "What have I given up for Teresa?" The issue was not how hard I had worked to provide an adequate living. It was not how hard I've tried or whether I've stayed with my family, even during the tough times. Those issues were important, but the Lord seemed to be asking me what I had sacrificed for my wife.

I realized that the Lord wanted me to make myself of "no reputation" and humble myself and defer to my wife in many areas. God wanted me to defer to Teresa and give up my sloppiness. I needed to die to my selfishness and clean up the bathroom countertop and wipe up the coffee I spilled in the car. God wanted me to defer to Teresa and give up my procrastina­tion. He wanted me to be more mindful of projects around the house and complete them in a specified time frame. He wanted me to die to my selfish timetable and finish cleaning out the office and finally replace the boards in the fence—as I had promised.

In what areas can you truly defer to your spouse— sacrifice for him or her—today?

Lord, don't hold back Your hand from reshaping my life according to Your pleasure.

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