Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not losing, but giving.

I can't exactly remember the context in which this topic came up at Mom's group yesterday, but I'm glad it did.  One of my mommy friends mentioned something about me probably having to give up a little more of my life or expectations every time another kid was born. I think we were talking about how society at large views motherhood and how it's not as valued in popular culture as it really should be.  The way my friend posed this idea to me reminded of me of something my husband and I had been talking about a long while back.

Some time after we got married I had mentioned to my husband the idea of a person "losing their virginity" and my husband ever so wisely corrected me by introducing the truth that in marriage virginity isn't lost, it's given.  Wife gives herself to husband, husband gives himself to wife.  Of course I knew this already, but I hadn't thought of it in terms of losing versus giving.

The same goes for when we have kids, or anytime we sacrifice of ourselves for another's benefit.  We don't lose part of ourselves, part of our lifestyle, part of our *insert whatever here* if this act of sacrifice is done in love.

Some may say I have lost my ability to go out whenever I want.  I have lost my ability to travel.  I have lost my carefree lifestyle.  I have lost my free time.  I have lost time with friends.  I have lost sleep.

It's true.  I have thought about things this way.  But now I've come to realize that I haven't really lost them.  I've been giving these things to my family.  I'm making these small sacrifices because I want to do what's best for my family.  I want them to be healthy and I want them to get to heaven.  I find solace in thinking about these sacrifices as gifts.  I think that if I continued to believe I was losing all of this, I'd become more and more upset or frustrated with every kid.

When I lose something I am irritated and upset.  Something has happened that is out of my control.  Losing something is an unfortunate circumstance.

When you give a gift, you are happy to share.  I know that I get excited when I am giving a gift to someone.  The anticipation kills me because I want so much to see the other person pleased with whatever I have to give them.  Giving is a choice.

When we enter into loving relationships we're not losing out, we're not throwing everything out the window in a begrudging manner.  I think Christ is calling us to give ourselves as a gift.  Sure it can be a terribly difficult sacrifice, but if it's a gift, we're called to give with joy right?

After all, Christ's death on the cross was a terrible sacrifice, but he did it freely as a gift for us right?

You have probably all thought of this already, but sometimes ideas click in my head in new and subtle ways and I like to share.

God Bless.


Neil Patrick Mueller said...

For me my attachment to (insert precious commodity here) was akin to taking a monkey powered toothbrush away from a child. You don't need one. Happiness began with definitely giving everything away. Its that crazy paradox: to be empty of the world is to be full of the unworldly.

Thanks for Sharing!

Jonathan said...

Nice, great point of view and really well worded. I don't think that many people really stop to think about it that way.

"When we enter into loving relationships we're not losing out, we're not throwing everything out the window in a begrudging manner."

This is probably one reason why so many relationships fail or are avoided in the first place: people just think that they're losing out. That naturally sets you up for failure, because people are naturally inclined to try to get back what they've lost and scorn those responsible for that loss.

Seeing everything that you do as a gift completely turns that attitude around and changes it into one of joy and increased appreciation of the one receiving the gift. Our Lord didn't lose anything but rather gave His life, and so we give our lives as well.