While you were out of the house on Monday (7/23), I washed the dishes for you. It was your turn and, as I’ve discussed before, you hate washing the dishes. This act made you very happy. You kept thanking me over and over. Of course, seeing you happy made me happy. Serving you gratified me. May that happen as a rule.
I’m on a sort of John Piper kick. For this act of love, I read his chapter on marriage from Desiring God. He made the point that love seeks its own joy in the joy of others. From what I could tell, his claim is that one person loves another person just in case she (consistently) attempts to receive joy in bringing joy to the other. As for me, if I love you, I should be seeking my joy in bringing you joy. A source of my pleasure should be your pleasure. That’s exactly what’s happened through the course of 365 Acts of Love.
Before I started 365, I was very concerned with my own happiness, regardless of your happiness. But as 365 progressed, I grew to find joy in bringing you joy. In fact, though my ultimate source of joy is God (or at least, that’s what I’m striving for), part of my joy depends on your joy. When you rejoice, I rejoice. When you weep, I weep. When you’re happy, I’m happy. (Rom. 12:15.) Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that my happiness depends on your happiness in that your unhappiness prevents me from satisfying some selfish desire of mine (though that’s sometimes the case). The kind of dependency I’m talking about is this: since I care for you and want you to be happy, I’m made unhappy simply by knowing that you’re unhappy.
May we seek our own joy in the joy of each other.
You’re at a meeting right now and will be for another few hours. When you come home, you’ll be tired and you’ll want to just relax a little before you go to bed. However, it’s your turn to wash the dishes and you hate that job. So, I’m going to wash those dishes as soon as I publish this post. I’ll find joy in doing it because I know how happy it’ll make you. I’m making your happiness my happiness. And just for good measure, I’m throwing in a free neck massage.
Lately, you’ve been exhausted because of our newborn, so yesterday I chose an act that would give you some rest and rejuvenation–I watched the kids with my brother while you went out with my sister-in-law to get a pedicure. You seemed to enjoy yourself because you came back giddy and glowing. On top of that, you gave me a warm, intimate hug and thanked me for letting you go. Just seeing and experiencing you that way made me feel happy and refreshed. Your french tips look great, by the way. They complement your natural beauty.