Day 316: Forgiveness

September 1, 2012

I don’t know how you’ll receive this post, but here it goes. On Thurdsay (8/9), you greatly annoyed me with something you said and did. For a while, I mulled over in my mind how I would respond.

Then I started constructing a speech about how much you wronged me and how you should be more considerate of my feelings, etc., etc. I typically like to drive home the point of these speeches by making them drawn out and repetitive. At the same time, in the back of my mind I was considering what act of love to do for you (no joke).

But then, I stopped mid-thought because I realized how silly my state of mind was. In simultaneity, I was both planning my revengeful woe-is-me-see-how-much-you-pained-me speech and my act of love for you. So I decided to take a better route. I dropped the speech and decided that my act of love would be to forgive you for what you did and to never mention it (in anger or spite or in with any other negative motive) again.

Perhaps next time I should follow up that forgiveness by doing something kind for you.


Day 315: Your (Tough) Decision

September 1, 2012

On Wednesday (8/8), I was a little frustrated about 365 Acts of Love. I kept thinking about how far behind I was on the blog (I’m now even further behind) and I couldn’t think of what act to do for you. So, I asked you:

“Why don’t you pick my act of love for the day? This project is so tough. I can’t think of anything to do.”

“Okay,” you replied.

“You have to pick it today, it can’t be tomorrow, and it has to be something that I can pull off today. See how tough this—“

“A foot massage!”

“Huh?”

“I want you to give me a foot massage. You’re so right–that was really tough!”

“Very funny. Now try doing that every day for a  year . . .”

 You quite enjoyed your foot massage.


Day 314: A Few of Your Favorite Things

September 1, 2012

For Tuesday’s act of love (8/7), I purchased a few of your favorite things—Doritos, an Arnold Palmer drink, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, some Ghiradelli chocolate, and a pack of Orbit gum. When I came home, we watched a few episodes of Downton Abbey while enjoying our goods. Hurray for (occasional) junk-food binges!


Day 313: Weekly Reading on Marriage

September 1, 2012

For this week’s reading on marriage, I reread Keller’s chapter on the mission of marriage from The Meaning of Marriage. He emphasized the fact that marriage is intended to be a deeply satisfying spiritual friendship in which the character of both partners is being continually improved (partly) through the constancy and transparency of the relationship.

I don’t have much to say about this chapter, though I found it very helpful. But I wanted to include some quotes from it that I thought were excellent:

What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us. (120)

Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!'” (121)

If we let Him [God] . . . He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. (122) –C. S. Lewis

The reason it [marriage] must have priority is because of the power of marriage. Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength. However, if your marriage is weak, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are marked by success and strength, it won’t matter. You will move out into the world in weakness. Marriage has that kind of power—the power to set the course of your whole life. It has that power because it was instituted by God. And because it has that unequalled power, it must have an unequalled, supreme priority. (131)

Is all this [improving one’s marriage] a lot of work? Indeed it is—but it is the work we were built to do. Does this mean “marriage is not about being happy; it’s about being holy”? Yes and no. As we have seen, that is too stark a contrast. If you understand what holiness is, you come to see that real happiness is on the far side of holiness, not the near side. Holiness gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one another. So if we want to be happy in marriage, we will accept that marriage is designed to make us holy. (132 through 133)

He [God] gives the happiness there is, not the happiness that is not. To be God—to be like God and to share his goodness in creaturely response—to be miserable—these are the only three alternatives. If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows—the only food that any possible universe can ever grow—then we must starve eternally. (133) –C. S. Lewis


Day 312: Weekly Prayer: Submission

September 1, 2012

For my 312th act of love, I prayed through the chapter on submission in The Power of a Praying Husband.  According to the Scriptures, wives should submit to their husbands (whatever that means). Here’s the passage:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I’m going to be perfectly honest here: I’m uncomfortable with this biblical command. I’m just not sure what to think of it. I’ve read stuff defending the claim that a marriage works best when a husband loves his wife as Christ loved us and a wife submits to her husband. But this command still doesn’t sit well with me. Because of that, I’ve never really talked with you about submission. Perhaps that’s had a negative impact on our marriage. I don’t know.

I’ve given much, much thought to so many of the other claims of Christianity and have come to the conclusion that they’re true. It’s probably time that I put some thought into this claim, especially since it affects something so close to home as our marriage.

At any rate, two initial considerations soften the doctrine for me. One, in the verse preceding the above passage, Paul calls everyone in the Church to submit to everyone else in the Church (what does that look like in practice?). So, in the Church, it’s not just that wives need to submit to their husbands, but that everyone must submit to everyone.

Two, Paul calls husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Christ came into the world to serve, not to be served, and to give his life as a ransom for many. If I served you and gave myself up for you, would you have much trouble submitting to me? It seems you’d have less trouble than if I were authoritarian. In fact, the situation in which I serve you and you submit to me seems a bit like mutual submission and I’m very comfortable with that. Furthermore, I wanna say that husbands have the tougher calling. We aren’t called to submit to our wives, sure, but we are called to give up our very lives.

At any rate, I’d like to wrestle through this issue more, for the sake of our marriage if anything.

PS: I need to keep in mind that something doesn’t need to sit well with me for it to be true.