People are often baffled by the fact that I have two siblings who are already married. For context, my brother is currently 24, and my sister is 19. When I mention this, It is often met with confusion about how a person could be ready and willing to get married at such a young age. People are confused by the idea of sacrificing a future alone for a future that involves sacrificing for another person. 

We like to see how much we can love without sacrificing for it. Stories and media have promised us that a partner will come and save us from our problems, but how often do we consider that we will have to sacrifice for our partner? Love is often seen as an emotion instead of a verb. Love requires that we do something because of it. 

We want love to be easy, but love will never be easy because love has always required sacrifice. Out of the rib of Adam came Eve: a physical sacrifice for love. Jacob worked for fourteen years so he could marry his love, Rachel. Jonathan risked his life to save his best friend David. Love, whether romantic, between friends, or any way else necessitates sacrifice. This sacrifice does not need to be ripping out a rib for a friend, but instead consider the little ways you can put others before yourself. Sometimes this can be through paying for a friend, or simply intentionally creating a block of time that you are going to spend with another person. Sacrifice, at its core, is regarding someone else’s needs as above your own. Time, money, energy, effort, or anything of value can be sacrificed.

The greatest sign of love is the greatest sacrifice: life itself. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). We can see and understand the full and true love of God by looking at Jesus and the Cross. Jesus, one with God, came down to Earth, sacrificing his Heavenly glory to redeem and restore true love in his people. Laying down his life, demonstrating his love, He paid the ultimate price for every single one of us. He saw everything you have done, the darkest moments, every bone on every skeleton in your closet, and died for you to demonstrate love. If we as Christians want to properly love our neighbor, we must be ready and willing to sacrifice all for love. Only then do we see ourselves becoming more like Him.

Ethan Hooper is a sophomore in Kirkland House studying psychology and government