Day 365: A Date

February 14, 2013

For my last act of love, I took you on a date while our kids were in AWANAS. We went to a Chinese restaurant in town called Red Pepper. Again, we had our youngest, but that was cake compared to having all three. We had excellent service from a very kind server and the food was great. I ordered the lemon chicken and I have no clue what you ordered, though I’m thinking it was something Chinese.

I’m glad I got to spend some quality time with you for my last act of 365 Acts of Love. May it be one in a lifetime of acts of love.

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Day 361: Weekly Prayer: Your Trust

February 13, 2013

The chapter in Omartian’s book that I prayed through for this act was about your trust. It emphasized the importance of maintaining your trust and the affect broken trust would have in our relationship. I’ve definitely broken your trust in certain areas and am working at rebuilding it. Omartian is right that broken trust in one area has a negative affect on an entire relationship.

Omartian emphasized three areas in which maintaining trust is extremely important. The first is sexual integrity. I prayed that I would be above reproach in this area, that there would not even be a hint of sexual infidelity in our marriage. This doesn’t just include affairs! Affairs often are the product of years of compromise. Fidelity includes integrity on the internet, with the TV, with where I look when I’m in public, and with . . . well . . . masturbation. If I don’t have integrity in these areas, even in areas that seem minor, then I’ve broken your trust.

The second area of integrity is money. I need to work hard to provide for you and the girls and I need to use our money wisely. The latter is difficult when there is pressure to spend money on you guys because I think it’ll make you happy. It does make you happy for the moment, but long term it doesn’t. Maintaining your trust in this area sometimes involved disappointing you by not spending money on something we or you want but don’t need.

The third area is loving and respecting you and our girls. If I do something to disrespect you or the girls or I don’t act in a way that’s loving, your trust is broken. Obviously I do stuff every day that isn’t so loving or respectful. But I think I can maintain your trust in this area if I’m consistently working toward loving and respecting you and the girls. This is a daily battle, sure, but nobody said it was easy.

Forgive me, honey, for areas in which I’ve broken your trust. May I consistently be a man of integrity, and by doing so, restore your trust.

 

 


Day 354: Apple Cider?

January 10, 2013

I’m going to be real honest here. I don’t know what act of love I did for you on day 354. I have in a Word document that for my act of love on day 354, “Apple Cider.” I thought that maybe you would remember so I asked you if you did:

“No, I don’t remember doing anything with apple cider,” you replied

“Well, I have it in my notes that we did something with apple cider on day 354.”

Apparently, whatever we did, it wasn’t life changing. But it had something to do with  apple cider. I’d like to think we spent the day in a cabin on a lake, sipping apple cider by a warm fire. Or maybe, we just had some apple cider together at home. Nah–I’m sure it was the former.


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.


Day 310: Weekly Article

August 29, 2012

For this week, I reread a chapter from Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage called “Loving the Stranger.” Keller talked about things a person can do to love his/her spouse even as the initial passion of their relationship fades and his/her spouse changes over time. Though he had much more to say, he claims (and I agree) that love needs to be sustained by a deliberate choice to love.

My realization of the importance for our marriage of making the daily choice to love you lead to the formation of this blog and helped to sustain it. I don’t know that I could’ve made it this far in this project without that realization.


Day 308: Weekly Prayer: Marriage

August 24, 2012

Chapter 6 of The Power of a Praying Husband concerned praying for and fostering a good marriage. Omartian talked about the importance of love, fidelity, respect, quality time, and communication for a marriage. It was encouraging to read this chapter, because I’ve grown and placed more importance in each of these areas over the course of the last year. I prayed that God would continue to grow me in each of these areas and that he would help us build a great marriage.

Here’s something related. At the beginning of 365 Acts of Love, we had an informal counseling session with a couple in our church in order to talk through some issues in our marriage. During that session, I mentioned that our marriage was about average, thinking that the other couple would be okay with that. They weren’t. They encouraged me to strive for an excellent marriage, one that would serve as an example to many.

That really hit me. Why would I think that having an average marriage is acceptable? I think it’s because I knew that a great marriage takes work and I wanted to focus my energies on other things that I considered more gratifying, like work and exercise. Now that I’ve focused on building an excellent marriage, an excellent relationship with you, pleasing you brings me gratification (though I still really enjoy exercise and my job).


Day 305: Change of Plans

August 18, 2012

On Sunday (7/29), I had an act planned–I intended to give you 15 minutes to talk about whatever you wanted while I gave you my full attention. I’d done this before. I wanted to do it again because I’ve been convicted lately about my listening habits (I’ve written much about this).

However–and this is a big however–as soon as I parked the car at our place, you informed me by cell phone that our oldest daughter had smashed her teeth on the bathtub and that we needed to take her to the emergency room. So, we took her.

She was brave in the ER, much more so than us. The doctor told us that he couldn’t do anything but that we should see a dentist in the morning. By Monday afternoon, we had a daughter with four less teeth, stitched-up gums, and an adorable new smile.

I did manage to commit my act of love on Sunday, though. Late, late on Sunday night (Monday morning, really), I Facebooked you a message telling you that you handled the teeth situation well and that you acted bravely. When you read this, I think it really affected you because you kept thanking me for the note and saying that you didn’t know why I thought you were so brave because you felt like a wreck the entire night.