One of my favorite quotes comes from the pen of John Owen, the 17th century puritan, in his book The Glory of Christ:
The light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is the satisfactory good alone which I desire and seek after.
I read this practically every day on a sign in my office and I pray I see more of this in the New Year. I know we are several weeks into 2015 already, so I’m a little late to the whole “New Year Resolutions” thing. Joe Carter actually encouraged thinking of them as habits instead of resolutions. I’m trying about three questions for the new year: 1. What is a habit I can create for my mind? 2. What is a habit I can establish for my heart/soul? 3. What is a habit my wife and I can begin for the good of our family?
- What is a habit I can create for my mind? I will read several (2-3) books per month.
This can also double as to being good for my soul, but I need to challenge and stretch myself through reading. This year I already have several books planned that will not be a walk in the park and I am still looking for one that will make me mad.
- What is a habit I can establish for my heart/soul? I will pray with my wife regularly.
This also doubles with being good for my family, but I need to pray. I confess my sin of self-reliance and recognize a great need of prayer in my life. Sarah and I have always wanted to pray more together and now with a little boy around the house it’s even more challenging so we are scheduling this into our weekly routine.
- What is a habit my wife and I can begin for the good of our family? I will go out on a date at least once per month alone with my wife.
Our son is a wonderful gift from the Lord and we love him more than we can express. However, I love my wife and Lord willing she will still be around when he gets married and moves out on his own someday. I feel bad for the number of parents who put their marriages on hold once children are born. I know it’s tough, but we must be intentional about this.
Originally I wrote these as more of a desire than a resolution. I truly do want these to happen, but given my natural male passivity I know I must be diligent and determined or come December I will just be writing the same resolutions. We Americans tend to be people of resolve which can be good but can also lead towards self-salvation. By God’s grace and his mercy I pray the Spirit will establish these habits and that He gives me both the desire and the determination to do so and that through all of this my love and affection for Jesus and his glory will grow.