Willing Sacrifice


Nothing does more for a marriage than the willing sacrifices made by one spouse for the other.

“Love is patient, love is kind. . . . It is not self-seeking.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Nothing does more for a marriage than the willing sacrifices made by one spouse for the other. I remember an example of this from early in our marriage. Jim and I were both teaching elementary school, and we often stayed up late during the week to grade papers. Then on the weekends, Jim spent long hours studying as he pursued his doctoral degree. I was a good sport about it, but it wasn’t easy. All our friends were fixing up their homes, buying furniture, going out for dinner, taking vacations, and having children.

Shortly after Jim began his graduate work, he told me that he realized what a difficult time it was for me. He felt that his studies were beginning to interfere with our marriage and that, as he put it, “nothing is worth that price.” He decided to postpone working on his degree so we could spend more time together. He took a very light load of class-work that semester so we could “reconnect” emotionally. I will always love and respect Jim for making that choice. He cared more about me than his personal ambition and career!

I’m sure that Tulle Ferrier, the wife of the doomed pilot, never forgot the sacrifices that must have been part of her marriage with her husband, John. I’m sure she didn’t want to lose him in that terrible crash. But I also imagine that she must have loved and appreciated living with a man who had his priorities in order—God first, others second, and self third—and that she wouldn’t have changed him for the world. That is, I believe, the essence of a successful marriage.

Written by Shirley M. Dobson


From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

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