Beyond Sacrificial Love: 3 Other Lessons Easter Offers Couples

Your marriage is never beyond repair. Easter shows us the lengths God goes to restore broken relationships, even those believed dead and buried. The Father sacrificed His one and only Son to atone for our sins–for your sins. Without Jesus’ death on the cross, we would still be at war with God. Our relationship would remain severed. But, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we’re at peace with God.

Jesus shows how perfect love involves sacrifice. Consider these three examples from the Easter story. At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of the disciple He knew would later betray Him and the feet of the disciple who would deny even knowing Him three different times. During His trial, Jesus stood silent, accepting Pilate’s ruling, leading to His crucifixion. And finally, Jesus willingly gave up His spirit on the cross, sacrificing his life to fulfill God’s divine plan of redemption. Yes, perfect love involves sacrifice.

Sacrificial Love in Marriage

In marriage, sacrificial love aligns with the model set by Jesus, not just during the Easter story but throughout His ministry on earth. Loving your spouse sacrificially involves putting the needs and happiness of your spouse above your desires and needs. By the way, this goes both ways. It’s not just for one spouse. Sacrificial love mirrors God’s love for us and serves as the cornerstone to these 3 other lessons for married couples found in the Easter story.

  1. The Power of Forgiveness

At the heart of the Easter story is God’s forgiveness of humanity’s sins through Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus, even in His ultimate moment of suffering, prayed for God to forgive those who had crucified him. This extraordinary act demonstrates the limitless depths of divine forgiveness, a model for couples to emulate within their marriages. God calls us to mirror the forgiveness we receive from Him. Ephesians 4:32 puts it this way, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

We recognize our shared humanity and imperfections by extending forgiveness to our spouses, even in the face of deep hurt. And we release the weight of grievances and embrace the freedom found in grace and compassion. In marriage, when we stumble and make mistakes, forgiveness allows healing to take root rather than bitterness or resentment. It’s not about condoning faults but rather about choosing to extend grace rather than judgment.

  1. Hope Through Trials

“For better or for worse” are words included in most modern-day marriage vows. However, we rarely think about those “for worse” moments on our wedding days. (I know my husband and I didn’t.) Yet, eventually, every couple encounters them. For some, it can include infidelity, job loss, or addiction battles. For others, trials may include infertility, illness, or parenting challenges. Or, trials can look more like financial struggles, mental health issues, or communication breakdowns.

Shortly before His arrest, Jesus warned His disciples to expect trials, while at the same time pointing their hearts toward hope. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’”

Jesus knew the extreme trials leading to the cross and His ultimate resurrection. And just as He endured the darkness of the crucifixion, your marriage may experience periods of hardship and pain; some may even appear unbearable. God knows all about the trials you’ve faced and will encounter in the future. With the message of triumph over death, the promise of Easter morning assures you that trials do not need to define the end of your marriage story. God offers hope of restoration, and you can find safe shelter by anchoring in His hope during a storm in your marriage.

  1. Resurrection and Restoration

On the first Easter morning, Mary arrived at an empty tomb. Matthew 28:5 records her encounter with the angel who said: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” On that day, Mary expected to see the body of Jesus. Instead, she encountered a risen Savior. And now, because of Him, we all experience peace with God.

God restores life to what people proclaim dead, including relationships. He offers the possibility of renewal and transformation for marriages others would declare irreparable. Like Easter’s promise of new life, a marriage can be resurrected and restored. God can roll the stones away from your hearts and draw you closer to Him and each other.

An Easter-inspired Prayer for Your Marriage

Father, thank You for Jesus. Through Him, You restore our relationship with you. The Easter story shows us that love involves sacrifice. Love involves forgiveness. Love involves faith, hope, and trust in You. And love involves restoration! My husband and I don’t always get your kind of love right. Help us love each other more and more like You teach us. Psalm 86:5 says, “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” We, too, want to abound in love for You and each other. Please guide our hearts, thoughts, words, and choices. Mend the broken parts of our relationship. Our hope remains steadfast in your power of restoration. Amen.

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