Hello Again (Readers)! I just started a FB page where husbands can encourage each other to love their wives. It’s a great place to post ideas for dates, acts of love, words of advice, etc., or to receive encouragement for your own relationship. Here’s the link if you want to like the page and join the conversation: https://www.facebook.com/husbandsloveyourwife1
For my last act of love, I took you on a date while our kids were in AWANAS. We went to a Chinese restaurant in town called Red Pepper. Again, we had our youngest, but that was cake compared to having all three. We had excellent service from a very kind server and the food was great. I ordered the lemon chicken and I have no clue what you ordered, though I’m thinking it was something Chinese.
I’m glad I got to spend some quality time with you for my last act of 365 Acts of Love. May it be one in a lifetime of acts of love.
For my second-to-last act of love, I gave you a back massage because you love them so. (It’s my second-to-last act, but I’m doing a final post, “day 366,” after day 365.) This was a great reminder of several things. (1) Loving you isn’t about me. I still don’t like giving massages, though I can now tolerate them after so much practice. Still, you love getting massages, and that should be enough for me. (2) Doing something for you, even if it’s something I don’t like to do, is much more enjoyable for me when I know that you’re enjoying it. That motivates me to do such things for you. (3) Massages don’t take that long, they’re not that difficult to give, and you get so much out of them. I should just man up and give you them. Anyway, you enjoyed your massage. There are many more where that one came from.
I baked you an apple pie for this act of love, which was the first apple pie I’ve ever baked in my life. I thought it tasted okay, but you really liked it. I believe this was the first time I baked a pie in my life, which was for 365 Acts of Love. Since that time, I baked a blueberry pie for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. That makes four pies, all because of 365 Acts of Love. If nothing else comes out of this year-long project, it was worth it for the delicious pies.
On Monday (9/24), I bought you perfume from Ulta. You’ve needed perfume for a while, so I thought this would be a good treat. You wanted to go in, but I told you that I could pick out the right one (you described to me which one you wanted). Well, I came back with lotion. Oops. I think I did that because I couldn’t think straight when I got hit by a cloud of fruity and flowery smells upon entering the store. I told you that I could get it right the second time, but you insisted on going in with me. So, we went in together and bought you the right thing. I’m glad that you and the cashier thought my mistake was so funny.
The chapter in Omartian’s book that I prayed through for this act was about your trust. It emphasized the importance of maintaining your trust and the affect broken trust would have in our relationship. I’ve definitely broken your trust in certain areas and am working at rebuilding it. Omartian is right that broken trust in one area has a negative affect on an entire relationship.
Omartian emphasized three areas in which maintaining trust is extremely important. The first is sexual integrity. I prayed that I would be above reproach in this area, that there would not even be a hint of sexual infidelity in our marriage. This doesn’t just include affairs! Affairs often are the product of years of compromise. Fidelity includes integrity on the internet, with the TV, with where I look when I’m in public, and with . . . well . . . masturbation. If I don’t have integrity in these areas, even in areas that seem minor, then I’ve broken your trust.
The second area of integrity is money. I need to work hard to provide for you and the girls and I need to use our money wisely. The latter is difficult when there is pressure to spend money on you guys because I think it’ll make you happy. It does make you happy for the moment, but long term it doesn’t. Maintaining your trust in this area sometimes involved disappointing you by not spending money on something we or you want but don’t need.
The third area is loving and respecting you and our girls. If I do something to disrespect you or the girls or I don’t act in a way that’s loving, your trust is broken. Obviously I do stuff every day that isn’t so loving or respectful. But I think I can maintain your trust in this area if I’m consistently working toward loving and respecting you and the girls. This is a daily battle, sure, but nobody said it was easy.
Forgive me, honey, for areas in which I’ve broken your trust. May I consistently be a man of integrity, and by doing so, restore your trust.
I planned on taking the whole family to see Circus Vargas on Saturday, 9/22, for my 360th act of love because groupon was selling cheap tickets. I waited a few hours to buy the tickets because I was busy. By the time I tried to get the tickets, they were sold out. Everyone was bummed.
Instead of taking everyone to the circus, I read this article from Focus on the Family called “Humor in Marriage” (that certainly made up for missing the circus). The central theme is that laughter does a marriage well. I’ve certainly found that to be true. We both enjoy laughing with and even at each other (though if anyone takes things too far, it’s me). And sometimes a tense situation is dispelled when one of us cracks a joke.
One thing I took away from the article was the authors’ advice to not take oneself very seriously. I get so focused on work and achievement that I often forget to have fun or to experience the little pleasures in life. But you always remind me to take time out for that. In college, I studied and did nothing else. When I met you, however, you broke me out of my shell and got me to go out every once in a while. Going out with you (and friends) became such a regular occurrence that it became a habit for me to take a break from my work to have fun. I like how you balance me out.
Another thing that struck me was the observation that different people find different things funny. What’s funny to me (Duck Soup) isn’t always funny to you. And what’s funny to you (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) isn’t
always ever funny to me. But, the article said that couples can learn the humor of the other person and learn to enjoy that kind of humor.
I’ll finish with a quote by Henry Ward Beecher that was included in the article: “A marriage without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road.”
We attended our first UCSB soccer game for my 359th act of love. They played UCLA and it was amazing! Although the game ended in a tie, that didn’t stop us from having fun. We cheered a lot, got our picture with the Gaucho, and enjoyed being together. We took the kids as well and they had loved the experience.
Our kids started attending AWANAS, which makes me happy. For one thing, they’re learning the Bible. For another thing, we get to drop them off every Thursday and have a date, with our youngest as a ride-along. Taking care of a single kid is soooooo easy compared to three!
For this AWANA date, I took you to Woodies BBQ in Goleta, a place we’ve been itching to go to. I ordered a burger, like I always do, and you ordered a chicken sandwich. We were so excited. However, we weren’t too impressed with the food. [Don’t judge the restaurant by us. We know lots of people who love it.] Even still, we had a blast!
On day 357, I made you a 2013 calendar . . . not. I was actually supposed to make you a calendar on this day, but never did. When I went to make it, I didn’t know what pictures you would want in it. So, I told you that I was making a calendar for one of the acts of love and I asked you if you wanted to help. You excitedly agreed to help. Well, we’re still in the process of making it as you know. It’s going to be epic.