In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
My thoughts and reactions
Today was a bit more challenging than yesterday. The day started off on a hurried note as we were all running a little behind. Where I normally would have gotten upset at certain things I had to make a conscious decision to choose kindness. By the time we were leaving the house, the tone of the morning hago begun to improve, in many ways because of that decision.
Later this evening just before dinner I had the opportunity to share with my two older boys some of the verses I mentioned yesterday about anger. They were fighting with each other and the battle continued to escalate. The three of us sat down and I read Proverbs 15:1 and James 1:19 with them. We discussed how quickly anger can spread and talked about some other examples of anger in our house over the last week. It’s always amazing to see how God teaches us lessons just in time for us to share them with others. I pray that as this 40 day dare continues I am able to share more lessons that I am learning with those around me.
“The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.”
My thoughts and reactions
Well, the journey begins today. And there is probably no better way to begin then to focus on patience. In fact in I Corinthians 13:4 when the attributes of love are described the first one that is mentioned is patience. As I focused on patience today, not just towards my wife but in everything that I did, I noticed many times my flesh wanted to react harshly to a situation. A quick step back and a reminder of what Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” helped me to refocus my response. It’s amazing how many times in a normal day we are presented with opportunities to demonstrate patience.
God does things in an amazing way. Tonight we watched a TV show and the one of the themes of the episode was kindness vs harshness. The main character was trying to decide how they wanted to treat people, did they want to be mean or nice. While being mean seemed to get some results at the end of the episode they determined that they really got better results with kindness.
Overall I think today was a win. The Bible has many verses that talk about patience and the benefits it provides. I hope that I can continue to demonstrate more and more patience as I add the next dares over the coming weeks.
A few years ago I watched the movie “Fireproof” on a plane while traveling on business. A few months later I watched it again, but this time with my wife. It’s a great story, but our marriage wasn’t in trouble (and it still isn’t) so It didn’t have any effect on my actions. Then, a few months ago a coworker confided in me that their marriage was going thru some tough times. I didn’t mention “Fireproof” at the time, but “The Love Dare” definitely came to mind. The more I thought and prayed about it the more I was convinced that before I could recommend “The Love Dare” I needed to do it for myself.
So that brings me to this blog. This is where I will hopefully document my 40 day journey thru “The Love Dare” and the impacts that it has on my marriage. If you know me personally, please do your best to keep this quiet. While it’s not a secret, I have chosen to not tell my wife, at least at this time. I believe once I have completed the dare I will share this blog with her, but at that time she should have already seen the change in my life and in the way I treat her.
Feel free to join me in my dare. If anything in this blog strikes you leave a comment, share your stories, thoughts, concerns, struggles, victories, etc. I commit to praying for you in your journey, and in return I ask that you pray for me in mine. This journey will not be easy, but Paul writes in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”