May 13, 2012
I wanted us to (re)listen to the 4th CD of the Love and Respect Conference for Thursday’s act of love. When I suggested it, though, you said something to the effect that you were so exhausted that you only had enough energy to wash the dishes then go to bed. Tears formed in your eyes.
I was also exhausted. I’m talking about the head-throbbing, eye-burning, stomach-turning type. “It’d be nice if you could just skip the dishes and go to bed,” I said, “but they must be washed tonight.” You agreed. “What if I offer to wash them for her,” I thought. Everything inside me screamed “No!” at such a thought. Still, I blurted out, “Go to bed. I’ll wash the dishes.” “Are you sure?” “‘Yeah, I’m sure.” “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you wash half the dishes, then I’ll wake up early to wash the rest,” you said. “Okay.” When you woke up in the morning, you were surprised that I actually took you up on your offer!
Before we got married, I never knew how much of a battle love is. It was certainly easy to “fall in love” with you. But when the intensity of those feelings faded, every day became an opportunity to decide who to put first, you or me. If I weren’t so self-seeking, perhaps willing the former would be easy. But, as it is, every day and even every hour is a battle to put your needs, desires, etc. first. To put you before me. May I stand strong in the midst of this battle.
Leave a Comment » | Service | Tagged: dishes, love, Love and Respect, selfish, service, wash the dishes | Permalink
Posted by 365actsoflove
January 10, 2012
In the course of our marriage, I’ve read many hundreds of books and articles, but until I started 365, I hadn’t read much on marriage (shame, shame). In fact, as of a week ago, I hadn’t read a single book on marriage. That’s changed. For my 102nd act of love, I read (over the course of several days) Timothy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage. His book refined my view of marriage and was an excellent and interesting read.
In the coming days, I may post some of my thoughts on Keller’s book. For now, here are some things Keller said about selfishness that stood out to me:
Self-centeredness is a havoc-wreaking problem in many marriages, and it is the ever-present enemy of every marriage (56).
Self-centeredness by its very character makes you blind to your own while being hypersensitive, offended, and angered by that of others. The result is always a downward spiral into self-pity, anger, and despair, as the relationship gets eaten away to nothing (57).
If two spouses each say, “I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,” you have the prospect of a truly great marriage (65).
In light of Keller’s thoughts on selfishness, here’s a summary of what I’ve learned regarding my own selfishness through 365 Act of Love. Before 365, I was blinded by my own selfishness into thinking that I wasn’t all that bad and that you needed to turn yourself around. But 365 is changing that. I’m recognizing that selfishness is opposed to love and is death to marriage. (I knew that before, but merely intellectually.) I’m recognizing how selfish I am and the problems my selfishness causes for us. Now, I’m working (and God in me: Phil 2:12-13) to fight self-centeredness with self-sacrifice in order to reorient my heart. I know I’ve touched on these things before in this blog, but I can’t help but discuss what God’s been doing in my heart through 365.
1 Comment | Christian, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Spirituality | Tagged: 365, 365 days, 365 love, husband, keller, kindness, love, marriage, relationship, relationships, self-centered, selfish, selfishness, spouse, the meaning of marriage, timothy keller, wife | Permalink
Posted by 365actsoflove
October 2, 2011
My acts of love won’t always be glamorous and romantic, as the last one demonstrates–I watched the kids and cleaned the kitchen and living room so you could sleep in. Though this didn’t sweep you off your feet, at least you’re rested and the house is clean. When you woke up, I couldn’t wait five minutes before pointing out what I did. My desire for you to recognize my acts has crept up all three days. In fact, I’ve noticed this tendency in myself our entire marriage (and my entire life). I desire recognition for my good efforts and often draw people’s attention to them when no one else will. (Is this blog another such attempt? I hope not!) To counter this, I’ll do a series of loving acts without you noticing (at least, not until a year from now when you read the blog!). Perhaps they won’t be tomorrow, but I’ll do them. Here’s another of my tendencies–after I do something for you, I secretly hope you’ll do something for me! Dang, I’m messed up. I can’t even commit a selfless act of kindness (in spite of what I said in the “Day 1” post). May I believe the Lord when he says “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Leave a Comment » | Uncategorized | Tagged: 365, 365 acts, 365 days, 365 loving acts, blessed, clean house, give, self-centered, selfish | Permalink
Posted by 365actsoflove