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.
June 2, 2012
In my attempt to learn more about what God requires of husbands, on Thursday I listened to John Piper’s sermon called “God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace.” In it, Piper claims that I, as a husband, should show you grace since God in Christ showed me grace. In addition, he claimed that if I make gratitude for God’s grace a focal point of my life, it will be easier for me to be gracious to you.
Whenever I sin–whenever I act pridefully, selfishly, in lust, with anger, or whatever–I betray God by denying him his rightful place as king over my life. I essentially tell the king of all things that he cannot be king of my heart. And the penalty for such betrayal is death. Well, Christ took my penalty upon himself and made me right with the king. Given that, I should live in gratitude to God and in recognition of his grace.
When you commit something against me or irk me in some way, how can I not show you grace when I’ve been granted grace abundance? If I’ve been forgiven such a debt, how can I not forgive you your debts?
On Thursday night, you did something to make us late to a dinner party. I was incredibly irked by that and let you know–almost the entire way to the party. Even as I did, though, Piper’s sermon was in the back of my mind. Finally, I was able to calm myself down and ask for your forgiveness for getting so upset.
It’s unbelievable how perturbed I can get by the small things you do against me when God forgave me for the cosmically wretched things I’ve done against him. May I eventually be so grateful for God’s grace that I cannot help but show you grace.
February 28, 2012
Monday, as I reflected on what needs of yours to fulfill, I realized that I’d been harsh with you lately regarding a certain issue. It’s in my nature to be forthright, especially with people that I know well. But that forthrightness sometimes manifests itself as harsh and offensive speech. That’s exactly what happened here. So, for my act of love, I apologized to you and asked for your forgiveness.
November 22, 2011
I’ve caused you much pain in the course of our marriage, whether intentionally or not. My tongue is one of my primary instruments in this regard. Sometimes I say something careless and it causes you pain. Sometimes I say something mean, whether premeditated or not, in order to cause you pain. And a few times in our marriage, I’ve said things so hurtful to you that, even now, I bow my head in shame as I consider them.
Last night, I sat you down and listed these and other sins I’ve committed against you and asked for your forgiveness. You forgave me. I then asked you whether you could think of anything else for which I needed to ask for your forgiveness. You couldn’t. But you brought up some wrongs you’ve committed against me and asked me to forgive you. I forgave you. When we finished, I laid my head on your lap as you sat on the couch, and I fell asleep. I don’t know whether our forgiveness talk had anything to do with this, but my sleep was deep and it was sweet.
October 23, 2011
After the wedding yesterday, I wrote you this letter:
As I listened to the wedding ceremony, I considered Paul’s command for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ’s love for us surpasses understanding and includes his excruciating death on our behalf. In our marriage, I have failed miserably to live up to Christ’s standard. Please forgive me. For consistently putting myself before you, forgive me. For my careless and hurtful words, forgive me. For not appreciating the sacrifices you make to let me pursue my dreams, forgive me. For not loving you as I should, forgive me. Please know that I desire to love you sacrificially and I think I’m daily becoming more like Christ (though the likeness isn’t great). Thank you for your patience as I strive to love you fully.