Many of you know the story of Joseph, how he was sold into slavery by his brothers only to end up many years later second in command in Egypt. It was at this time a famine hit the region causing Joseph’s brothers to come to Egypt for food. It just so happened their unrecognizable brother Joseph was the one in which they had to make their request.
Joseph slyly kept his identity hidden in order to see if his brothers were truly repentant. His one request was that they bring back their little brother Benjamin (Joseph’s only full brother) in order to continue receiving provision from Egypt. When Benjamin showed up Joseph had no intentions of letting him go back to Canaan, telling his brothers he would keep Benjamin a slave in Egypt.
It wasn’t until Joseph’s older brother Judah offered himself in place of Benjamin did Joseph, who could no longer contain himself, chose to reveal his secret.
“Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers,” Judah said. (Genesis 44:33)
Look what happened as a result of Judah’s willingness to sacrifice:
1) An entire family was positively affected. Had Judah not been willing to lay his life down for Joseph’s brother his family probably would have remained in Canaan where the famine was severe. But because he was willing to sacrifice himself his entire family was able to move to Egypt where there was plenty of provision for everyone.
2) The truth was revealed. All this time Joseph was holding a secret (that he was their brother), but the minute sacrifice entered the picture Joseph couldn’t hold it in any longer. This is the power of sacrifice within the context of relationship – it unlocks hearts so secrets are no longer concealed but laid bare.
As men, we should apply this in marriage. We’re called as men to “love our wives as Christ loved the church” – this means we are to sacrifice for our wives as Christ sacrificed Himself for us. We are to do for them what Judah did for Benjamin. “I will forfeit my thing for your thing” should be our mantra. Judah was willing to be a slave so Benjamin could be free.
Men, are you sacrificing for your wife like this? Are you willing to forgo guys night to stay with the kids so she can enjoy a girls night out? Are you willing to leave the meeting early so you can be home for dinner with the family? Are you willing to stop watching the game so you can listen to her? Are you willing to get out of bed early to spend time alone with God so you can be the leader she and your kids need?
These are small sacrifices compared to what Christ did for us, but if you’re willing to sacrifice, just watch what happens not only in her but your family. You will not only bring positive change to the entire atmosphere of your home but your wife and kids will not be able to restrain the secrets of their hearts. They will gladly “bare all” when they know you are willing to “surrender all.”
Men, we have a job to do and it begins with sacrifice. Let’s do this and watch the amazing fruit that results.