The Christian life is not always easy. To grow spiritually, we need to step out of our comfort zone and make sacrifices. That is also a good practice for our future married life!
To have eternal life, you have to do two things. We must recognize that we are sinners, separated from God and that we need Jesus’ sacrifice to save us (Romans 3:23). We need Jesus to be our Savior. But it does not end there. To complete “the contract” we must also give our life to God, give Him control and follow Him in His will. We need Jesus to be our Lord (Romans 10:9). The first part is easy to do: we were drowning, and we agreed to be saved by the lifeguard. But the second part is more difficult. We now need to learn to swim and obey the pool or beach rules. That is where we need to start putting in the effort and giving up our desires.
If we are truly Christians, we will go through different levels of sacrifice. First, God will ask us to leave our comfort zone. That is how all the stories of the heroes of the Bible begin. Abraham had to leave his native land (Genesis 12: 1), and Moses needed to leave his stepfather and return to Egypt (Exodus 4:19). David had to leave the meadows and his sheep to get to the battlefield (1 Samuel 16:19), and Ruth had to leave her people to follow Naomi (Ruth 1:16). When God judges us ready to be of service, He asks us to leave our comfort zone, what we know, to take on a challenge that most of the time scares us. That is often a situation where we are afraid of being rejected, humiliated, or of making mistakes. Oddly enough, this is also the first step towards a relationship. We have to get out of our homes, reach out to others, and risk being rejected, humiliated, or making mistakes. That is the first level of sacrifice.
The second level is a bit more difficult. In the Christian life, this is the time when God asks us to make sacrifices (Romans 12:1). Whether it’s giving up our nights at the nightclubs, quitting certain types of movies or TV series, or dumping our bottles of alcohol in the sink. Sometimes it will be sacrificing a few meals to draw closer to God through fasting or a few hours of sleep to spend more time in prayer (Matthew 26:40). These will be sacrifices made to foster our relationship with God, to build His kingdom, and to be one with Him. Again, if we can make these sacrifices for God, it will also be easier for us to make them when we are married. Since our relationship with our husband or wife will also require sacrifices. Things like: giving up bad habits or even giving up little pleasures that are dear to us (like our weekends playing video games, or the money we spend on manicures and pedicures, etc.).
Even though making sacrifices is difficult, we do manage to make them out of love. Sacrificing yourself to be closer to God is always rewarding (John 15:13). In love, too, it can be difficult to sacrifice a night out with our friends, but if it’s to spend time with a loved one, the price is easier to pay.
Now, God asks us for another level of sacrifice, which is extremely difficult to make. It is to make sacrifices for our enemies (Matthew 5:43-46)! It’s when God asks you to do a favor for that employee who robbed you of your promotion, to forgive that sister in the church who destroyed your reputation with lies. Sometimes we have to defend ourselves, but sometimes God asks us to turn the other cheek (Luke 6:29). Again, this is a good practice for married life because there will be days when you no longer feel love for your partner, or you will be angry or hurt, and God will still ask you to serve them.
Christian singles, be wise and take advantage of your relationship with God to prepare for your future married relationship.