Hello all. It’s been awhile since I wrote. I’ve been working harder than usual for the class that I’m taking and for my job.
There’s something that’s been on my mind for awhile that I want to challenge everyone who reads this to attempt. I’m sure we have all heard of the Love Dare, made famous in the movie Fireproof. If not, it is a 40 day challenge intended to restore your marriage. I bought the book awhile ago, and read it over this past summer. I was not married or even in a struggling relationship at the time, but I found the daily challenges to be almost like a devotional. I would like you all to join me in this challenge. We can keep each other accountable and share success stories, as well as our fears of failing. We can uplift each other and encourage those who are getting down and giving up to push on.
Now here is where my challenge is slightly different than that of the book and the movie. Maybe some of your marriages are high on the hill right now and doing these challenges would be no different than living your daily lives. Maybe some of you aren’t even in relationships right now. That’s ok. When I read the book over the summer, I still completed each of the dares. However, instead of showing my love to a spouse or significant other, I chose to do the dares on my two children. Some I had to alter a bit, but that is just somewhere else we can help each other in succeeding with this dare.
Let’s start with Day 1:
Love is Patient
Be completely humble an gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. -Ephesians 4:2 NIV
Love works. It is life’s most powerful motivator and has far greater depths and meaning than most people realize. It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems. We are born with a lifelong thirst for love. Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs ned oxygen. Love changes our motivation for living. Relationships become meaningful with it. No marriage is successful without it.
Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Those pillars are patience and kindness. All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes. And that’s where your dare will begin. With patience.
Love will inspire you to become a patient person. 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. Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.
No one likes to be around an impatient person. It causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways. The irony of anger towards a wrongful action is that it always spawns new wrongs of its own. Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath. It clears the air. It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.
If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you are spreading poison, rather than medicine.
Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. You don’t get what you want and you start heating up inside. It is often an emotional reaction hat flows ou of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives.
Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn’t rush to judgement but listens to what the other person is saying. Patience stands in the doorway where anger is clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgement. The Bible says “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)
As sure as a lack of patience will turn tour home into a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anfer calms a dispute.” (Proverbs 15:18) Statements like these from the Bible book of Proverbs are clear principles with timeless relevance. Patience is where love meets wisdom. And every marriage needs that combination to stay healthy.
Patience helps you give your spouse room to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure.
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