“Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”
“Mom, I want that last chocolate,” Paxton looks over at me. I nod knowingly, and quickly scoop it out of my bowl into his mouth without a moment’s thought. It dawns on me how much has changed with the birth of my son. Sacrifice is a daily occurrence in our relationship. It all started to come together when I became a mom. Sacrifice is love.
God says that when we walk in the way of love, we sacrifice. Love is to sacrifice. He calls our sacrifices a “fragrant offering.” Foregoing what we want is meant to be a beautiful thing, an aromatic expression of our love.
If you are a mother, you probably know what I’m talking about. Mothers give up so much without a thought, because we love our kids. Yet, how many times do we practice forfeiting our desires in our marriages, friendships, or outside of our children in a non-begrudging manner?
I know that my own life has been a story of begrudging sacrifices. I could tell a long story of all I feel I’ve given up. You see, outside of my children, I feel I have been asked to constantly sacrifice the things I love for the greater good. But what does God think about these moments where I’ve laid down my desires?
Fragrant is the last term that I would use to describe these sacrifices. Yet God says, through all my sacrificing, I have been loving well. Just like the delicious smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, or the smell of your little baby’s sweet head, the aroma of sacrifice is beautiful.
I have always seen sacrifice as a negative thing. Yet, God doesn’t see it as that way. You see, God sacrificed his son on the cross for us because he loved us. He did it as an expression of LOVE. Love is giving things up for the greater good, the greater cause. “We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers” (1 John 3:16).
Remember Mary Magdalene from the Bible? Mary, (Luke 7:38) gave a fragrant offering of perfume to Jesus. She poured out an expensive perfume all over his feet, wiped his feet with her hair, and wept. Jesus counted Mary’s sacrifice as beautiful. He saw it as an expression of her love for him. As we make sacrifices daily for our children, husbands, and friends, let us all realize that walking in love means we must sacrifice, and Jesus counts it all as a fragrant offering.