What is Sacrifice?
Making sacrifices can sound very dramatic and almost a little much. However, there is much importance when it comes to what sacrifice is. Sacrifice within a relationship (intimate, friendship, family, colleague) can be defined as anything that is being given up with a selfless attitude with no expectations. These sacrifices can be anything from time, attention, pursuit, sleep, and the list can go on. To sacrifice any of these things is to say that the person or people is/are more important than whatever it is that is being given up.
Story of Sacrifice
Let me tell you about how I was shown sacrifice at the beginning of my relationship with my husband. When we were first “boyfriend/girlfriend”, we were in 5th grade. We lived within blocks of each other and my husband would ride his bike over to my house and wait for me to come home from wherever I was with my family. He would sacrifice his time and energy to come and see me and talk about whatever it is that 5th graders talk about on the front porch of my house.
Fast forward 15 years later (quite a gap in between), we reunited via Facebook. My now husband was living in Arizona while I was living in California, and we began conversing over Facebook. Then began the sacrifices again. He wanted to hang out, so we agreed to meet up when he drove from Arizona which is a 4-hour drive. Pretty much every weekend, he drove the 4 hours to see me, hang out, talk until the wee hours of the morning and just be there. He sacrificed time, money for gas, and sleep because he liked me.
So with me calling him my husband, obviously all of that sacrifice paid off. 😉
(As I’m typing this, he’s standing here in our, now, living room looking at me. I love him.)
How to Make Sacrifices
Now I’m not saying reach out to your elementary girlfriend or boyfriend you lost contact with and then drive hours to reconnect (unless that’s what you need to do), but my point is this: you will do whatever it takes to make sure that the person you care about knows how important they are to you. Here are some things I know work and show intentionality in a relationship of any kind.
We all have time each day and we all have a weekend. Now what we do with that those days is our choice. But when we choose to do something for someone else instead of for ourselves with that time, THAT shows that you care. Let’s say, for instance, this person asks to meet up for a quick coffee or lunch. What do you choose to do? Make up an excuse and spend your time alone or with someone else? Well, then that’s showing that that person isn’t worth even a small amount of your time. What you need to do is agree to the meetup and be present. Put aside a little time each week for one person and then start extending your time to others gradually. I promise what you think is a sacrifice at first will become such a blessing.
When I talk about energy, I’m talking about sleep or getting ready to go somewhere when I don’t want to. Staying home on a day off in bed watching TV seems way more relaxing than taking a drive in traffic on a potential day off, right. Or is this just me? Either way, we would all much rather not do the things if the things don’t HAVE to be done. So, when I think of sacrificing energy, I think about the selflessness it takes someone to get up out of their comfortable bed or couch and have a small hang out sesh. Like, WHOA! You do care about our friendship, don’t you?! It shows such sacrificial love and cares for the other person. Or within marriage, for instance, nobody WANTS to wash the dishes, but the dishes need to be cleaned for them to be used again. I’m just going to shout out my husband on this one… I went to work and there were dishes in the sink when I got home they were washed! BLESS THAT MAN’S HEART <3. I think sacrificing energy is really just putting the needs of yourself aside and putting the needs or wants of another person first. THE LITTLE THINGS, ya know?
The Need to be Right
Oh man, is this one a hard one. You know those people who like to ALWAYS BE RIGHT? Let’s just say, I have a hard time being around them. Sacrificing the need to be right could eliminate sooo many arguments or disagreements within relationships as a whole. What I’ve realized and experienced over the past few years of my life is that being right sometimes means that the other person’s opinions and beliefs are muted and disregarded. The best thing that can be done within any relationship is to let go of trying to always be correct. Relationships are not competitions. When we sit and speak with someone, it’s a matter of putting our thoughts, rebuttals, and opinions aside and just listening. When the urge presents itself, remember that YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE CORRECT.
When we allow others and the needs of others to become our focus, sacrificing time, energy, and our pride won’t seem as important. With the examples that I’ve seen in my life and the relationships that I’ve been so blessed by, I truly believe that the mentality of putting others first is so rewarding for not only the other person or people but for the person doing the “sacrificing” because it allows pride to fall by the wayside. Making sacrifices in relationships means that others are regarded as higher than oneself.