You headed to the hills this past weekend to spend a few days with your buddies.
I had a great time with our beautiful three children, but every time you’re gone for more than, say, 3 hours, I develop an even deeper appreciation for what you do day in and day out.
I was almost like grandpa this weekend: fast food, ice cream/yogurt, etc, etc.
But I made sure the house didn’t fall down and even cleaned a little bit!
And you definitely need time off here and there!
…I’ve been busy and haven’t written in a few days.
But know this. I love you. A lot.
…are cranky when you wake up (yet cute).
…watch Downton Abbey with me even though there’s not a glimmer of hope and joy in any storyline at this point in Season 3.
…are committed to helping us right the financial ship with me.
…dance jigs on a very regular basis.
…love brinner (you know, breakfast for dinner).
…love baby back ribs.
…make solid chocolate chip cookies.
…are developing your own mini-boot camp with your friends.
…always have fun stuff for the kids to do.
…introduced me to Cuban food.
…are a gift.
This one is a doozy.
It’s not about being responsible in the sense of doing chores, making enough money to pay bills, showing up on time, etc.
It’s about taking responsibility. It’s about fessing up. I’ll let the dare speak for itself:
Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.
I need to do step one: Take time to pray. Right at the moment, I have nothing major to bring to you (which is refreshing).
Of course, there are small things. Attitudes, words said off the cuff, and lazy actions (or lazy inaction) that need to be dealt with. Intentions that aren’t followed through on like leaving work at a certain time.
There are some things in the past that we’ve dealt with (so I think) that perhaps need to be acknowledged again and talked about. I don’t know. That’s why I need to start at prayer.
Regardless, I know that I need to lead here. I”m called to love you like Christ loves the church, but one thing He never had to do was to take responsibility for wrongdoing. Sure he took responsibility for all of our wrongdoing, but He never had to confess His own.
I can’t take a model from Him. But I can practice confession. I can practice anti-excuse-making. I can practice telling the truth and keeping my word and living transparently and serving you. Those things will make being ‘Responsible’ a practice, not a one time event.
I love you and happy almost Independence Day.
I don’t think I’ve gotten this far into The Love Dare because it always seems like I stand in need of your forgiveness rather than your standing in the need of my forgiveness.
Whatever you haven’t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “Forgive our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, “I choose to forgive.”
First of all, I don’t think this is the forum for me to write about what I might be forgiving you for. That belongs in my heart or a private journal or in a conversation with you.
Second, you have been such a wonderful wife who does not consistently or overtly sin against me. I’m so thankful that you don’t make a practice of nagging, ridiculing, deceiving, or undermining me (whatever all of those mean).
Third, alas, I do forgive you, though. We’re two fallen humans. We sin against each other. Sometimes it’s sins we commit. Sometimes it’s neglecting to do the things we should do for each other.
And I pray that you continue to forgive me for anything that might be stuck somewhere in your heart. You are precious to me and I truly want to be a couple that can be passionate enough to disagree or accidentally say something yet open and graceful enough to forgive.
Our heart has to be for growth and deeper love for each other and God. We can only do that if we keep short accounts. I’ll do my best to forgive when you need it from me and to submit to God more fully so you’ll have fewer reasons to need to forgive me. 🙂