40-Day Challenge: Acceptance (Day 3)

Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment.

The other day I opened the front door and found my two kids engrossed in play, drawing chalk pictures on the front stoop.  Oblivious to my presence, their conversation became louder and more strident, until at last Sarah stood up and faced her brother, fists on hips.

“How many times do I have to TELL you?” she shouted. “When are you going to LISTEN to me? It’s my job to take care of you, and it’s your job to listen – and if you won’t listen, you make my job very difficult!” 

Christopher didn’t even look up.  He just kept drawing.

It would have been funny . . . if I hadn’t made the exact same little speech just that morning.  Same intonation.  Same volume.  And, regrettably, the same results.

Somewhere along the line, I’ve been bitten by the “nag bug”: the unfortunate tendency to remind those I love – over, and over, and over again – whenever they engage in behaviors or say things I don’t like. As I’m sure you can imagine, especially in marriage this kind of “constructive criticism” is not an effective behavior modification tool.  More often than not, it just starts an even greater conflict. 

The “Prayer of Abandonment” has one line in particular that I find intimidating. Really makes me want to dig in my heels and resist:

“Whatever you do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all.”

Now, it’s one thing to offer this to the Perfect Almighty One.  Quite another to give this latitude to another human being. What if he takes advantage? What if he never changes?

And what if he doesn’t? Will you still love him? Will you be as kind and generous to the man (or, if you are a man, the woman) God has entrusted to you for life? Will you love him . . . even when?

This “even when” is at the heart of every good, lasting marriage. It does not deny or gloss over faults and frailties, but accepts that person warts and all — and believes that God is working in and through him, for the good of you both.

Today’s challenge:  What qualities or habits are most likely to bring out the “nag bug” in you?  What is an alternate response — perhaps one that focuses on the corresponding strength to this weakness?  For example, when you find yourself picking up the socks in the middle of the bathroom floor, you could breathe a little prayer of thanks for your husband, make a little game of picking up the socks with your toes and flipping them into the hamper, or install a little basketball hoop made out of a wire hanger and some netting) over the hamper with a sign that reads “Sock Ball — Free kiss for each basket scored!”

Today’s prayer:  “God, thank you for my husband, and all the ways he enriches my life. Exterminate the ‘nag bug’ in me, and help me to remember to practice the virtues of patience and loving-kindness. Amen!”

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8 thoughts on “40-Day Challenge: Acceptance (Day 3)

  1. (“Whatever you do, I thank you. I am ready for all, I accept all.”

    Now, it’s one thing to offer this to the Perfect Almighty One. Quite another to give this latitude to another human being. What if he takes advantage? What if he never changes?

    And what if he doesn’t? Will you still love him? Will you be as kind and generous to the man (or, if you are a man, the woman) God has entrusted to you for life? Will you love him . . . even when?

    This “even when” is at the heart of every good, lasting marriage. It does not deny or gloss over faults and frailties, but accepts that person warts and all — and believes that God is working in and through him, for the good of you both.)

    The above struck me as I stand for my marriage to be restored, when so many people tell me to divorce him and move on with my life, the above is the reason I don’t. God made my husband and I one-flesh. Though my husband is off having an affair, God has called me to show unconditional love to my husband, as God loves us unconditionally. Many people have asked how long will I wait, and I say forever, for my husband is my husband for life. This is what God has told me, and to fully rely and depend on God to stand for my marriage and the restoration of my marriage.

    So, the Abandonment Prayer is about unconditional love, for God and for your husband.

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    • Lorie: You have blessed me with your courage and honesty. It makes doing this whole thing worthwhile — even if no one else benefits.

      I am praying for you, specifically and daily, this Lent. Please stay in touch as you can. I’m believing God for your miracle.

      Heidi

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  2. Wow that is the hardest part of this prayer. I am humbled & so amazingly excited to be joined with you all here praying and in essence battling the evil one from destroying our marriages thru our weakness’. I am reminded of a penance I once received in confession for a month I was to ponder daily what I allowed to open the door to evil in my marriage/life.. Thank you all as we continue this journey united in prayer

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  3. Lorie,

    You are an inspiration. Just yesterday I felt like giving up on my marriage. But feeling and knowing are two different things, and knowing that God does not want this to happen makes me stronger. Like you, I want to stand for my marriage, forever if need be.

    Angel

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  4. Angel,

    Please look for me on FB – Lorie Hayden Ingram. (((HUGS))) to you and know that the more we stand for our marriages, we are defeating the enemy!

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  5. Tess,

    You are welcome. We are going through the same things and I know it will help to connect with one another!

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  6. Lorie, I wll have to do it later, my office computer kicks me out of FB. Will have to probably create a new FB for this, for the 40 day challenge and to access the DB site. I would like to keep my relationship activities separate!

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