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So today, as the graphic would indicate, is day one of my 30 Day Challenge.

And the subject/question for  today is…

“Five ways to win your heart.”

And that is not an easy question to answer…

Normally the phrase “win your heart” would apply to some form of romantic context and the truth is that I am just not very romantically inclined.  That is not to say that I cannot be romantic or even recognize romantic things, but I am not – in my understanding and opinion – free to be romantic.

Firstly, my faith is core to me and any relationships would have to fall in line with the beliefs that I hold in that regard.

Secondly, but intrinsically linked to the first point, I am still technically married and have remained true to those vows ever since the day I first took them 25 years ago.

Have I developed romantic feelings for others along the way?

Yes, after my wife and I separated some years back and realizing that there was no hope nor desire for reconciliation, I developed incredible romantic feelings towards someone in the States.

In fact we developed said feelings for each other. But I decided that since I was still technically married it would be wrong to pursue such feelings and so we talked it through, prayed about it, sought counsel on it, and then felt that I was not free to pursue the relationship.

The fact is that my faith and beliefs are so very important to me and I respected and  loved her (the lady in the States) too much to allow my feelings to develop any further.

Thankfully, she is a wonderful woman and sister in the Lord and understood where I was coming from and as difficult as it was, I believe for both of us, we had to respect the leading that I was getting.

I will however always have a special place in my heart for her, and tremendous respect for the way that she supported me in this.

Thirdly, and again this plays a huge part in this – and in the interest of honesty and candor, I have serious mental health issues and this can have a huge impact on your self-image.

As sad and as limiting as this may sound, I am not sure I would want to inflict having to live with me on anyone else and certainly not on those whom I love.

So when it comes to romantic aspects of “winning my heart” it is a difficult one for me for sure, but also one that is not likely to happen.

But in the interest of openness and approaching this challenge with honesty and candor there is another way that my heart can be won.  A way that is not romantically linked but that incorporates another form of love.

My heart belongs to God. As a Christian I try to see things through the eyes of Christ and to meet people with His love.

My heart is easily won, all that is required is for God to place someone on or in my heart and that happens so very often.

I care deeply for people, and my heart is already won in respect of many people, because I truly believe that they are on God’s heart.

What highlights this for me?  What five ways can my heart be won – albeit not in a romantic way?

Honesty.

Respect.

Trust.

An Openness – to the possibility that God does have a plan for our lives.  And,

A willingness to reach out and explore the possibility that no matter what this life may have dealt us, God is real and is a loving heavenly Father and that we can be loved.

So there you have it.  Day one of my 30 Day Challenge.  I hope it made sense and that you enjoyed reading it and I look forward to your comments and feedback.

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