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A Sacrifice of Love

I am a Christian. I am committed to my wife and family. Most of all, I am committed to God. You are about to learn how much.

I believe Christ defined true love when He said that no one has greater love than when one gives his life for his friends. His chosen missionary, Paul, admonished husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. When my wife and I were married, I asked that this be read at the wedding. I understood the meaning, but it was merely a matter of principle at the time. Some sacrifices are easy like letting slide the fact that she doesn't hang my pants the way I like them hung. It's just not a big deal. When she's not looking, I rehang them the way I like. There are so many positive things about my wife that I couldn't do better in terms of a unity of purpose. She has some medical conditions that make for long stretches of no physical intimacy. Nevertheless, she has grown into my ideal of the life of homeschooling and mission work that she is contemplating staying in the country where we go to minister each year for a couple of months with the kids in order to accomplish more. I can go for a time, but will need to return to pay the bills. In a way, I envy her freedom to be able to do this.

However, a threat to my family has welled up inside of me. A single woman, similarly focused on ministry, joined our church within the past couple of years. Her name is Faith. A few months ago I began to feel yearnings for this other woman. She is a godly woman. She is gifted with exceptional intelligence and musical talent. She carries herself well. I have caught myself watching her and must conscienciously avoid prolonged glances. Nevertheless, I have caught her similarly glancing at me and subsequently averting her gaze.

I am committed to my wife and realize the danger of building a relationship with Faith. It is painful to let such a yearning go unfulfilled. Like precious jewels, I treasure every brief interaction I have with Faith. In these times I look into her eyes and see that she is agonizing over her own feelings for me as well.

I pray to God to change the way I feel. These feelings do not comport with who I am as a committed Christian husband. But He has not done this. I pray for strength and He gives it. It's an ironic pun that I must remain faithful. But in keeping with Paul's admonition to love my wife sacrificially, I must sacrifice these feelings. As painful as plunging a dagger through my own heart, I constantly sacrifice the love I have for Faith in favor of a greater love for my wife. It is truly ironic that the greater love I have for Faith, the greater the sacrifice that bolsters the love I have for my wife.

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