Christians best influence the world by sacrificial love, the most effective way truly to change the world. Parents express love by staying up all night with their sick children, working two jobs to pay school expenses, sacrificing their own desires for the sake of their children’s. And every person who follows Jesus learns a similar pattern. God’s kingdom gives itself away, in love, for that is precisely what God did for us.
…No one can grasp how to be a parent by reading books before the birth of a child. You learn the role by doing a thousand mundane acts: calling the doctor during illness, preparing for the first day of school, playing catch in the backyard, consoling hurts and defusing tantrums. A spiritual parent goes through the same process. In the end, Jesus’ prediction – “Whoever loses his life will preserve it” – proves true, for the downward surrender leads upward. (p 245,246 Yancey, Reaching for the Invisible God, Zondervan, 2000)
Somehow I know this is true. But experience tells me this is also a good way to get hurt. It seems as if in the process of learning to love you give parts of yourself away – maybe you could say that you make investments into the other person with pieces of yourself. And there are no guarantees that the investment will pay off in your lifetime. But the surrender of yourself to the child or the other person must be done. It is the way we were shown by Jesus and really there is no other way. That is just how love is.