In my effort to tone down my acts of love (for now) so as not to overwhelm you, I committed a very simple act yesterday: I gave you a long hug and told you that I love you and I’m glad I married you. You very much enjoyed that act of love and reciprocated my words of affirmation with your own. Though my big acts of love are great memory makers for us, I think you enjoy the little acts of love almost, if not just, as much.
In the course of our marriage, I’ve read many hundreds of books and articles, but until I started 365, I hadn’t read much on marriage (shame, shame). In fact, as of a week ago, I hadn’t read a single book on marriage. That’s changed. For my 102nd act of love, I read (over the course of several days) Timothy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage. His book refined my view of marriage and was an excellent and interesting read.
In the coming days, I may post some of my thoughts on Keller’s book. For now, here are some things Keller said about selfishness that stood out to me:
Self-centeredness is a havoc-wreaking problem in many marriages, and it is the ever-present enemy of every marriage (56).
Self-centeredness by its very character makes you blind to your own while being hypersensitive, offended, and angered by that of others. The result is always a downward spiral into self-pity, anger, and despair, as the relationship gets eaten away to nothing (57).
If two spouses each say, “I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,” you have the prospect of a truly great marriage (65).
In light of Keller’s thoughts on selfishness, here’s a summary of what I’ve learned regarding my own selfishness through 365 Act of Love. Before 365, I was blinded by my own selfishness into thinking that I wasn’t all that bad and that you needed to turn yourself around. But 365 is changing that. I’m recognizing that selfishness is opposed to love and is death to marriage. (I knew that before, but merely intellectually.) I’m recognizing how selfish I am and the problems my selfishness causes for us. Now, I’m working (and God in me: Phil 2:12-13) to fight self-centeredness with self-sacrifice in order to reorient my heart. I know I’ve touched on these things before in this blog, but I can’t help but discuss what God’s been doing in my heart through 365.