Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Love Dare

Daniel and I recently started going through The Love Dare, a marriage book inspired by the movie Fireproof and written by the brothers Stephen & Alex Kendrick (creators of the movie). While I have yet to see Fireproof (we're hoping to borrow it from some friends), Daniel and I are enjoying this book/devotional/challenge.
Basically, for those who haven't seen the movie, The Love Dare is a 40 day challenge to love your spouse unconditionally. It is broken into daily challenges, based on a specific aspect of love. For example, the first day includes a discussion on the aspect of patience in marriage. Following this is the daily challenge. This day challenged the reader to "resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all..." Some dares are more concrete (actually doing something for your spouse or saying something to them), others are more internal. It's been a wonderful way to focus on aspects of love that are so easy to forget in our own human selfishness! Daniel and I are both committed to growing our marriage and growing in our love for one another through individual and couple prayers, couple devotional times, as well as enjoying time together. This book has been another wonderful resource to encourage that growth, and I highly recommend this 40 day challenge to any couple!
Yesterday's topic especially stood out to me. Here is a sample from the discussion on "Love Cherishes."

"Consider these two scenarios. A man's older car begins having serious trouble, so he takes it to a mechanic. After an assessment is made, he is told it will need a complete overhaul, which would tax his limited budget. Because of the expensive repairs, he determines to get rid of the car and spend his funds on a new vehicle. Seems reasonable, right?
Another man, an engineer, accidentally crushes his hand in a piece of equipment. He rushes to the hospital and has it x-rayed, finding that numerous bones are broken. Although frustrated and in pain, he willingly uses his savings to have it doctored and placed in a cast, then gingerly nurses it back to health over the following months. This, too, probably seems reasonable to you.
The problem within our culture is that marriage is more often treated like the first scenario. When your relationship experiences difficulty, you are urged to dump your spouse for a 'newer mode.' But those who have this view do not understand the significant bond between a husband and wife. The truth is, marriage is more like the second scenario. You are a part of one another. You would never cut off your hand if it was injured but would pay whatever you could afford for the best medical treatment possible. That's because your hand is priceless to you. It is part of who you are...
It's time to let love change your thinking. It's time for you to realize that your spouse is as much a part of you as your hand, your eye, or your heart. She, too, needs to be loved and cherished. And if she has issues causing pain or frustration, then you should care for these with the same love and tenderness as you would a bodily injury. If he is wounded in some way, you should think of yourself as an instrument that helps bring healing to his life... when you look at your mate, you're looking at a part of you. So treat her well. Speak highly of him. Nourish and cherish the love of your life." (The Love Dare, Stepehen and Alex Kendrick)

I desire to cherish Daniel and love him with God's unconditional love. And only with His help is such a desire possible!

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