December 12, 2011
One of my goals for 365 Acts of Love is to undergo significant heart change. I want to become a tree that produces good fruit (Mt. 7:17). In order to facilitate this, I fasted for 24 hours on Friday, praying that God would make me a more loving person. Specifically, I prayed that God would change my heart so that I possess the qualities and commit the actions that are characteristic of love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (I Cor. 13:4-7)
If God forms me into a more loving person, this will have a positive effect on the way I treat you, and thus, on our relationship. May I consistently work toward this end.
November 7, 2011
On Saturday, I told you to go shopping with your mom for the day (that’s right–the entire day) while I took care of the older two girls. While you were gone, I took them on a daddy-daughter date. We went on a bike ride to a local hamburger place. They watched a puffer fish in an aquarium as they waited for their food (“Hey, that fish has pokey things all over it just like on Finding Nemo!”), then they wolfed down some chicken strips and fries, spilling two glasses of water in the process. Afterwards, we went to a nearby park where we played hide and seek. We had a blast! When we met you at home, we were expecting you to be excited out of your mind because of all the clothes you bought. You weren’t. Don’t get me wrong–you were very grateful for the chance to have a shopping day with your mom. However, you and your mom never got to go shopping. You were understandably bummed. Then, I felt bad as I told you about my amazing day with the girls and we both wished that you would’ve joined us. For this act of love, I guess it’s the thought that counts.
For my final prayer session (see day 34), I asked God to unite us so we could together have an impact on the world. I prayed that God would give us the grace we need to raise our kids in him and to love our friends, family, and the rest of the world. I want our marriage to serve as a witness to our kids and to the world that God is great and that a good marriage is possible! I want to spend our energy not on keeping our marriage tolerable, but on loving and serving each other and then together loving and serving others. We actually know some couples like this (unless they’re good at hiding things). We’re blessed to have one of them mentoring us.
PS: I (finally) organized my books (see day 20). I realize I took 18 days to finish, but in my defense, we were gone six of those days for a wedding. Now, all the books are either on the bookshelf or on my desk.
November 2, 2011
If I don’t increase in love for you through the course of this year, I’ll consider my project a partial failure. Although I think it’s important to express my love for you, I desire more to increase in love for you. I want my heart to change. Toward this end, I fasted for 24 hours yesterday and prayed for our relationship through six ten-minute sessions. In the next several posts, I’ll write about what I prayed for in each of those sessions (though I’ll continue writing about my acts of love).
For the first session, I focused on the character and glory of God. I prayed through God’s attributes following J. I. Packer’s Knowing God. I praised God because he never changes, he’s majestic and wise, his word is truth, he’s full of love, grace, and goodness, and he judges and pours out his wrath on the wicked. I acknowledged that I need to submit to his authority and control over my life and our marriage. God is king. May he be king over my heart. I also prayed that God would receive glory through our marriage, and that I would desire his glorification above all else. Less of me, more of God.