I'll Get Up! No, I'll Get Up!

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Maternal, sacrificial love lets go, gives first, and asks nothing in return.

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being. 1 Corinthians 10:24

Have you ever played the "Who's going to get up and take care of the baby at three in the morning" game? Let me describe it for you:

You and your spouse are dead tired from the daily rigors of life. The baby has been asleep for a few hours, and you have both nodded off. Suddenly, that little bundle of joy decides it is time to interact with you again. You lie there pretending you are sound asleep, hoping and praying your spouse will get up to feed and diaper the baby.

Teresa and I have played that game hundreds of times. Yet, I must confess, I've probably mastered the technique of "playing asleep." There have been only a few times in the lives of our three kids when I've gotten myself out of bed to contribute. More often than not, Teresa has been the one who shakes off sleep to meet our babies' needs.

"That doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice," you might say. "Your wife stayed home with the kids, you had to work the next morning. It was only fair that she got up with the babies." Not so fast! I'm now convinced that Teresa's willingness to get up every time one of the babies cried has huge implications. It was her way of putting sacrificial love into practice.

That really is love, and it isn't easy. When you are tired, unappreci­ated, and have already gone the distance to take care of someone's needs, then readily give one more time—that's love. Motherly, sacrificial love lets go, gives first, and asks nothing in return.

It's a picture of love that blesses me—and challenges me, as well.

Tending to your children aside, in what ways can you put sacrificial, deferential love into action in your marriage today?

Lord, I want my love to be more like that "motherly love."

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