A Mutual Sacrifice


By Pastor Rex Hamilton Meaning in marriage is not found by pursuing happiness or self-fulfillment. Meaning in marriage is discovered by practicing self-sacrifice. …How does this play out in daily life? In much the same way it happens for an athlete. If a team wants to win a championship, every player must sacrifice daily by training and following the coach’s instructions.

I have numerous opportunities every day to give up what I want to do and instead serve my wife. In this way, I glorify God because my sacrifice is a reflection of His heart and how He loves His bride. I’ve finally realized that my marriage is satisfying to the degree that I daily sacrifice myself for my wife’s good.

What does that mean?

  • It means biting my tongue when I’d rather defend myself against something she said.
  • It means getting up in the middle of the night when a child cries rather than pretending I don’t hear anything.
  • It means putting down my book or the remote and really listening when she wants to talk.
  • It means taking over some chores when she’s got a hectic day.
  • It means cleaning the kitchen Sunday evening rather than leaving the mess for her to face on Monday morning.

One of the original purposes of marriage as God intended it in the Garden of Eden was to reflect His image. That means marriage is about something bigger than the two of us. Marriage is one of God’s primary means of speaking to the world, and the world takes notice when a man truly loves His wife the way Christ loves His church.

An athlete doesn’t enjoy the pain of serious training. But he trains for the future reward of winning. This is the challenge for marriage-to sacrifice my momentary definition of happiness for the long-term good of my spouse, thus reflecting God’s heart and earning His praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Marriage becomes a masterpiece when we choose to surrender our selfishness and give ourselves to our spouse!

I wish I could say we succeed in always loving each other sacrificially. Of course, we fail often, but one consolation is that we’re in the game. Every athlete knows he can’t be a hero unless he’s actually playing in the game. My wife and I have new opportunities to demonstrate sacrificial love, and when we fail our covenant reminds us that the next day we have a chance to try again to get it right.

Trusting God can Open Doors in your Relationship


I will say of the Lord, HE is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Psalm 91:2

Last week I gave assignments to every married couple and single person. For married couples, I was wanted each couple to move towards a healthier Godly relationship. Since sin is partially defined as lack of trust, we try to not be manipulative in our relationships. It is a tough stance to take. I trust God so I am going to work toward honest communication, Christ like listening, valuing personalized friendship time.

Many times we like to trust ourselves over God and use manipulation in our relationships. In the T.V. sitcom Modern Family, the character of Phil Dumphey is completely intimidated by his “take charge” wife. In one instance, he tells his son that he is in trouble and his mom wants to talk to him. Thinking he is helping, he tells his son that fake tears can really help if he is in trouble. Offering further assistance he asks his son, “Do you want me to spray water on your eyes?" The son Luke says, “Dad, please I have been able to fake cry since I was five years old – how do you think I have gone my whole life without having to eat salad?” The wife surprises the pair by announcing she wants to talk to the Phil, not her son Luke. Before Phil leaves he asks his son for his secrets to faking tears. His son gravely says, “All the three stooges are dead” and his father starts weeping on the spot.

For all of us manipulation is often just a part of our lives. But how can we move deeper – be more honest and build on solid ground in our relationships? As Jackie and I were driving home together after Saturday night service she said, “So you gave as an assignment to ask your spouse what you do that might be manipulative in your relationship.” I said, “Yes.” Jackie asked, “What do I do to manipulate you in our relationship?” I thought about it a couple of minutes and replied, “I can’t think of anything. I think you are very straight forward, honest in our relationship and that allows us to have more trust.” Jackie said, “Good.” There was a long pause and then I asked hesitantly, “What do I do that is manipulative in our relationship?” Jackie replied with such joy, “I’m glad you asked.”

Later I was telling Pastor Rex about it and he jokingly said he was glad that he and Christalle driven home in separate cars after the sermon. We all have a lot of room to grow in the honesty, trust enabling relationships that God wants us to have in our lives. The kind of trust we strive for and need really comes by trusting God so we can risk opening imperfect relationships to the amazing blessed growth that God has planned for us.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Feeding Our Marriage The Good Stuff


FeedTheGoodStuff1 Last weekend, we launched our new marriage series called, “I Do”. Specifically, I taught on the subject of equality and what that looks like in a healthy marriage. For a quick review (and I invite you to watch online if you missed it), here were the major points.

Equality in marriage looks like:

  1. Teamwork
  2. Individuality
  3. Humility

Towards the end of the message, I mentioned I would be providing various online resources that you might find helpful in building a stronger marriage. After all...marriage is hard work. Sometimes it does feel like building, rather than some supernatural, romantic evolution of two people becoming one.

Here’s my first resource. It’s an amazing (and local) blog called, “Stay Married”. Founded by a Bothell couple, whose approach to encouraging healthy marriages is fun, creative and HONEST!

Make sure to check them out at

In the meantime, here is a fun picture they posted on their Facebook page that I found both intriguing and challenging.

Grace and Peace! Pastor Rex

Photo Credit