**Sentences in bold print were taken from the book The Love Dare.
If you remember, Gene brought home a book called the Love Dare one night last week. It is a challenge including 40 specific dares that you and your spouse are suppose to complete to bring you closer together. We thought that February was a fitting month to start walking through this book. It is designed to last 40 days, with a specific dare on each day, but it is going to take us more than 40 days because Gene is only home 3 nights a week, and I am pretty sure I need to "see" him to be able to complete some of these dares. Of course, it is not the amount of days that is important, but rather that we are more conscious of each other and growing as a couple.
Last night we read the introduction together and the first dare. One of the paragraphs really stuck with me. It said that to be successful with this challenge and in marriage that I have to make the choice not to FOLLOW my heart, but rather to LEAD it. The world tells us to follow our hearts, to do what feels good for the moment, to say what we what, and to go after what we want. That is not what the Bible says. The Bible tells me in Jeremiah 17:9 that my heart is deceitful above all things, meaning that it will always pursue what feels right in the moment, not necessarily what is best for the long run. As a christian, I have to take control of my heart through prayer and resist thoughts that are not beneficial to my marriage, making the choice to LEAD my heart.
Marriage is not the process of trying to change Gene into the person that I want him to be. It is the process of genuinely excepting who he is. Love is a decision and not just a feeling. It is selfless, sacrificial, and transformational. I cannot wait for Gene to display these characteristics, and then make the choice to follow suit. It is my responsibility on a daily basis to choose the see the best in him, to choose unconditional love, regardless of his actions or responses. If we both choose to focus on these things, then our marriage will be a beautiful thing.
The first dare had to do with patience. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. A lack of patience will turn your home into a war zone, while the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. Patience helps gives your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails.
Our dare has to do with our words. For one whole day, we are not to say anything negative to each other. If the temptation arises, we are to say nothing at all.
I thought this would be a piece of cake, even though my mouth gets the best of me some time.
Well, this morning before 6:30 a.m., I felt the need to break this challenge.....I didn't, but I really wanted to. I was in the shower and Gene came in and decided to use the bathroom and flushed the toilet in the middle of my hot shower, taking all my water pressure. I thought that was thoughtless. Seems like he could have waited to flush it until I turned off the water, and I was about to tell him so when I remembered the dare.....so what did I do? I said absolutely nothing. Even when he came over and told me he wasn't thinking and was sorry, I said nothing. He thought I didn't hear him, so he said it again. At this point, I just said, "OK", and that was about it. Beautiful picture of love, right? At least I didn't say anything negative.
He got in the shower after me and you know exactly what I was thinking, don't you? I really wanted to go flush the toilet. After all, I wouldn't have been breaking the dare. I could have easily flushed the toilet without saying anything negative. I decided against because #1 ....It would have been really childish of me...and #2...He did apologize.
And to think, I have 39 more challenges to go. This might be harder than I thought.
Ephesians 4:2 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
*I won't be sharing all 40 of the dares because that might be breaking some copyright of the book....just saying.
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