The Sacrifice Out Front

McDowell County, WV, August 17, 2001 -- Crews clear brush on this mountaintop in preparation of constructing a 40-acre site for emergency housing. Photo by Butch DuCote/FREMA News PhotoThere was a point in time several years ago that Julie and I were facing a significant decision regarding our future. We were contemplating a move to Virginia and I was struggling to embrace what appeared to be right for us. We were facing significant change as our business was unwinding and what was next was up in the air. We sought counsel from a friend who asked us two pivotal questions.

“Scott,” he asked, “what if this move is entirely for Julie’s benefit? Would you be OK with that?”

I didn’t event hesitate and I’m not proud to report that my immediate answer was, “no.” I didn’t want to move and I needed a job. If we were going there for something that wasn’t going to meet our needs nor my wants, I selfishly and truthfully didn’t want to go.

“Julie,” our friend asked, “do you trust Scott?”

“Absolutely. I’ve never trusted anyone more,” Julie responded just as quickly without as much as a blink.

Wow. How embarrassing. I was all about me and my preferences and she was completely affording me the privilege of trust despite my lack of credentials to affirm her choice.

In marriage, those are the two questions. Ephesians tells us that the husband is the “head,” which many believe means “leader.” If it meant leader, it would say leader. It means head.

Leaders are based on position and performance. The head is based on identity and purpose. The purpose of the head is to make a way for those that are submitted. Submission is not an inferior position of subjection, it is an honored position of benefit. The head sacrifices for the benefit of the submitted.

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

If we choose to interpret “helper” as inferior, then we forget that Jesus said He didn’t come to be served, but to serve. Helper is a royal identity. Interestingly, the word at the end of Genesis 2:18, “him,” means “in front of.” Out front is a place the makes a way for others. It’s a sacrificial posture of service and protection for the benefit of any that would submit. Submission seeks a sacrifice.

We went to Virginia and it was right and good for that season. It wasn’t entirely for Julie, but only because God is too good and too dynamic to limit His favor like that. We all benefitted and perhaps the greatest benefit of all was the change within me that changed my answer. Now if I’m asked “what if it is entirely for her benefit,” I’m able to say, “yes.”

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