What are some things you will have to give up or even change when you get married? If you are married, you can probably think of some things you had to let go of. After all, being married is a lot different than being a child living at home, or a single adult. There will be a lot of changes, and there will be some things that will be no more.
When I first got married, my mom and dad didn't give me an allowance anymore. It didn't really matter because I had a job anyway. But financially, the things I was used to having, weren't there any more. At Christmas time, the presents I received were now shared with my spouse. Well, I knew when I got married that it would be different. My husband was in college and I was supposed to be trained as a dental assistant but no dental assisting jobs were available in our area. We lived on the little bit of money I brought in plus what was leftover of my husband's tuition. So, we had no money for Christmas presents the first year of marriage. We could spend up to $5 for each person in the family, and on each other we got to spend $15. That was really different than what I was used to.
What helped me though, was that before I was married, I considered all of this. It really didn't take me by surprise. I would have liked things to have been easier financially, but it didn't happen. There were other things I had to let go of, but when I counted the cost, it was worth it. And God did take care of us through the rough times.
When I was a child, I didn't have any financial concerns. It was all taken care of. Maybe that's the reason I think I have happy childhood memories? I don't know. Life was easy, and I could have most of everything I wanted. What I had to let go of when I got married was the freedom to have materially whatever I wanted. There was very little available when I got married. But I let go of all of that for something better. Something that would be of value and would last a lifetime.
Maybe when you got married, you had to give up other things. Maybe you always had dreams of living on the beach or in the mountains, and you were heading toward that idea until you met Mr. or Mrs. Right. Your spouse just wants to live in a place close to work and doesn't have any desire to go to the beach or mountains. Maybe you ended your career when you married your husband, as you didn't need to work anymore. Then children came along and you realize how much time and work they are, but your career, at least for the time being, is only a memory. Or, perhaps you are a woman who married a military man, and now have to move every year or so to a new place. You always envisioned yourself raising your children around the hometown that you grew up in. All of these things, and more, are things to consider when we marry, and we have to decide if we are willing to pay the cost. Isn't making a marriage and a home more valuable than having our dreams fulfilled?
There is another angle to this question as well. Some people think that becoming a Christian is as simple as saying a prayer or asking Jesus to come into your heart. The Bible says that if we believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and confess that Jesus is Lord, that we are saved (Romans 10:9, 10). Anyone can say that 'Jesus is my Lord' and not really understand what the cost is in that statement being true for them. In the book of Romans, Paul is addressing people who are undergoing persecution for their faith in Christ. People in that society had to address Caesar as their Lord. They would have to pay homage to him. It would be hard for a Christian to do that because they knew that Jesus is the only Lord to bow down to in that way. How would you feel if you had to pay that kind of homage to Obama? Either you confess him as your Lord, or you get your head chopped off. No wonder Jesus was such a threat to the Roman leaders and persecution was rampant.
Jesus asks us the same thing. He tells us that we will have to forsake things that we have now, in order to serve in His kingdom. "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:34-38 ESV
What is it that we will have to get rid of or forsake? It will look different for each person. I know a man who came from a Muslim home. When he came to Christ and the parents found out, basically, they did not want anything to do with him anymore, and would have even tried to get him back through kidnapping and brainwashing. So this man lost his parents because of his relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some people lose their lives for the cause of Christ. In other countries, people are murdered often because of their faith in Christ.
How much will it cost us to be a disciple? It depends how deeply rooted we are in the world and in ourselves. Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Only one. And it is either God, or it is something or someone else. We serve something. When it comes down to it, all of us serve ourselves. So the choice is serving ourselves or serving God.
So, if you are wondering, what is it going to cost me to become a Christian, start talking about Jesus to people. You might find out quickly what you will have to let go of. Friends, maybe? Parents, siblings? A job or lucrative career? A girlfriend? A boyfriend? A philosophy? Leisure? Share with people what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Explain what it means to live solely for God. Show what it means to repent from sin. There is a good possibility that you will begin to see the answer to the question as you start doing these things and living out your life for the Lord.