Sacrificing for Your Spouse
I think the word "sacrifice" isn't one that we typically love if it involves ourselves. We love when people sacrifice for us, but when it's the other way around, it can be difficult. This has been my experience at least. When I quit my full time photography job to help my husband with his business, I knew it was the right move. But it was still difficult to sacrifice something I was good at, something that gave me a lot of autonomy and independence for something a little less glamorous. When I told people what I did for a living it was really just an answer of "I help my husband with his business." And that's great, but inside I liked the ring of "I'm an interior photographer" much better.
I realized that for much of my life and even our marriage, I have always put things in perspective in terms of what things mean for me personally. How does something affect me? What does this mean for me? But in reality I'm not only “a me” anymore, I'm part of “an us.” And as I've grown to be a more complete teammate, I've had to make decisions that are better for “the us” than perhaps for the me. At the time I quit my job, was that the best move for me? Probably not. But it was the best move for us. I was able to alleviate a lot of stress from my husband, help him launch his book, go on a book tour with him, and more. Had he not had my help, things would probably not have been as seamless as they were.
I think that's one of the big learning lessons in marriage: so many things are seasonal and not everything is about you. Sometimes we have to sacrifice our own immediate goals for the long-term health of our marriage. Sometimes we have to quit jobs to help one spouse who really needs a second hand that they trust. It isn't always easy but it has always proven to be worth it. The support we have for each other is unparalleled. And the bond we have in our marriage is strong because we work at it and we sacrifice for “the us.” When we keep in mind that everything is seasonal, resentment doesn't have much of a place. I know right now this is my season to help him, and who knows, in 5 years it may be his time to sacrifice for my career. I have no doubt he would do the same for me if the time came.
Luckily, my job transition actually came at a God ordained time. About a month after I quit my job I found out (surprisingly) that I was pregnant. For months I have been desperately sick and there is really no way I would have functioned working 9 hour days, traveling for photo shoots on my feet all day. So I have been so thankful to have this time at home as well as to be home for our baby. What could be seen as a step down career wise, to me is seen as a gracious gift from God who knew what was coming before I had any idea. But that's how sacrifice works anyway; it always turns out to be a gift, to you and to your spouse.
Matti Gresham is a twenty-six year old blogger, photographer, wife, dog mom and soon-to-be new mom to her first baby. She is passionate about helping women live the fullest life and seeing their lives transform with God. She loves hiking, mentoring Young Life girls, singing karaoke, watching her husband play football, playing with her dog and all things ice cream. Matti currently lives in Texas, and manages a lifestyle and ministry blog, which you can find here.