Jan 11 2010

Love Dare - Day 6

 "Love is not irritable"

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.  -Proverbs 16:32


Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive.  How easily do you get irritated and offended?  Some people have the motto, “Never pass up an opportunity to get upset with your spouse.”  When something goes wrong, they quickly take full advantage of it by expressing how hurt or frustrated they are.  But this is the opposite reaction to love.


To be irritable means “to be near the point of a knife.”  Not far from being poked.  People are irritated are locked, loaded, and ready to overact.


When under pressure, love doesn’t turn sour.  Minor problems don’t yield major reactions.  The truth is, love does not get angry or hurt unless there is a legitimate and just reason in the sight of God.  A loving husband will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and restraining his temper.  Rage and violence are out of the question.  A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercise emotional self-control.  She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations.


If you are walking under the influence of love, you will be a joy, not a jerk.  Ask yourself, “Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?”


Why do people become irritable?  There are at least two key reasons that contribute to it:


Stress.  Stress weighs you down, drains your energy, weakens your health, and invites you to be cranky.  It can be brought on by the relational causes: arguing, division, and the bitterness.  There are excessive causes: overworking, overplaying, and overspending.  And there are deficiencies: not get enough rest, nutrition, or exercise.  Oftentimes we inflict these daggers on ourselves, and this sets us up to be irritable.


Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  This means you must balance, prioritize, and pace yourself.  Too often we throw caution to the wind and run full steam ahead, doing what feels right at the moment.  Soon we are gasping for air, wound up in knots, and ready to snap.  The increasing pressure can wear away at our patience and our relationship.


The Bible can help you avoid unhealthy stress.  It teaches you to let love guide your relationships to so you aren’t caught up in unnecessary arguments (Colossians 3:12-14).  To pray through your anxieties instead of tackling them on your own (Philippians 4:6-7).  To delegate when you are overworked (Exodus 18:17-23).  To avoid overindulgence (Proverbs 23:16)


It also exhorts you to take a “Sabbath” vacation day every week for worship and rest.  This strategically allows you time to recharge, refocus, and add breathing room or margin to your weekly schedule.  Establishing these kinds of extra spaces will place cushions between you and the pressures around you, reducing stress that keeps you on edge around your mate.  But there is a deeper reason why you can become irritable –


Selfishness.  When you’re irritable, the heart of the problem is primarily a problem of the heart.  Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34 NKJV).  Some people are like lemons: when life squeezes them, they pour out a sour response.  Some are more like peaches: when the pressure is on, the result is still sweet.


Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule.  But selfishness also wears many other masks:


Lust, for example, is the result of being ungrateful for what you have and choosing to covet or burn with passion for something that is forbidden.  When your heart is lustful, it will become easily frustrated and angered (James 4:1-3).  Bitterness takes root when he is provoked (Ephesians 4:31).  Greed for more money and possessions will frustrate you with unfulfilled desires (1 Timothy 6:9-10).  These strong cravings coupled with dissatisfaction lead you to lash out at anyone who stands in your way.  Pride leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation.


These motivations can never be satisfied.  But when love enters your heart, it calms you down and inspires you to quit focusing on yourself.  It loosens your grasp and helps you let go of unnecessary things.


Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge.  To be grateful instead of greedy.  To be content rather than rushing into more debt.  Love encourages you to be happy when someone else succeeds rather than lying wake at night in envy.  Love says “share the inheritance” rather than “fight with your relatives.”  It reminds you to prioritize your family rather than sacrifice them for a promotion at work.  In each decision, love ultimately lowers your stress and helps you release the venom that can build up inside.  It then sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.


Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.  Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule.  Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.


 Things to ponder: 

Where do you need to add margin to your life?  When have you recently overreacted?  What was your real motivation behind it?


I always do my best to have a clear conscience towards God and men.  -Acts 24:16

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.



Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission. Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

Comments (51) -

1/11/2010 4:24:24 AM
JENNIFER United States
1/11/2010 4:39:48 AM
EJ United States
is today's posting missing a section between the opening scripture and the dare or is this how it's supposed to be? it seems as the meat of the devotion is missing, but maybe that's on purpose. i don't know.
1/11/2010 5:26:37 AM
Trish United States
Good morning Lisa & Eric,
I just wanted to say I have been following this 40 day love dare and I think it is a wonderful lesson to day to day to be learning.  I am not married, but I have been following for many different reasons.  I believe that my biggest reason is because I want a better relationship with God to learn how to love Him and be in love with HIm because I know somehow if that is better then all other areas in my life will be worked on by Him and fixed things may not be easy, but I want this with Him more then anything right now.  I learn something new each day from your the postings on here and I am glad to be listening everyday and as supporter of your ministry even if I am not always able to give money I can definitly give prayer and lots of it I just want to say thank you for all your wonderful words and the music I get to listen to everyday all day.  Even though the things I am going through some of the worst pain in my life right now and things are hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel I am, I just wanted you to know that I will never leave His hands and I will hold on with all that I have in me.
Thanks for you time in reading this.

P.s. With all due respect and with much love I dont know if someone was tired this morning, but you might want to do a spell check on today's posting.  
1/11/2010 5:33:37 AM
Heather United States
I, too, thought that today's post was missing something.  Will the rest of it be posted?  I really value the rest of the material that has been there the past few days.  Thanks!
1/11/2010 5:35:21 AM
Nancy Black United States
Nancy Black
I also noticed the lack of a body to the devotional.  And the really funny ironic part is that for a few moments it annoyed me!! Of course that's what makes me laugh as well. Ok, I'll drop my annoyance and enjoy the humor of the situation.
Blessings on you all!
1/11/2010 5:36:49 AM
Tina United States
Hi - Can someone help me out on today's dare?

I am a bit confused as to what "Add a bit of "MARGIN" into my schedule means.  Where do I need to add "margin" to my life?  Define Margin please.  Thanks!
1/11/2010 5:39:50 AM
Trish United States
pss. sorry for my typos in my comment lol
1/11/2010 5:55:59 AM
Scott United States
Why is this day so short? The devotion is missing.
What happened?
1/11/2010 6:06:42 AM
lisa United States
hey all:  we're working on getting the devotion part up.  sorry about the typosSmile  all fixed now.  blessings, Lisa
1/11/2010 6:08:55 AM
JoElynn United States
I also was confused by the word "margin." This is the definition I found that seems to make sense in this context.

margin: allowance; a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits; leeway, tolerance
1/11/2010 6:12:10 AM
lisa United States
Eric is working on getting the whole devotion up for youSmile  God bless Eric!!
1/11/2010 6:17:24 AM
Tina United States
@JoElynn - Thanks for giving me the definition in which the word "margin" makes sense in the context of our "love dare" Smile
1/11/2010 6:17:49 AM
Sara United States
I was a little confused with "margin" as well. I also looked up the word to see if that would help...it did slightly, but I am a little confused as to the direction we are supposed to go with this. Seeing as how it's the "Love Dare", I am assuming it is saying to "add margin to your life" as it directly affects your spouse (or whomever you are doing the Love Dare with)?
1/11/2010 6:24:03 AM
Trish United States
I agree, I was confused on what add margin to my life means.  I hope and pray that will all be given a devine enlightenment by God Himself.  AMEN

1/11/2010 6:24:58 AM
Malinda Daniel United States
Malinda Daniel
2009 was an especially rough year in our lives and with a tween and a high school graduate life can get very hectic.  Restraining anger and frustration can be a challenge for both of us since we are both teachers and involved in a lot of things.  I believe that this love dare will help us as we work to bless each other for our 22nd anniversary on February 14th.  Thank you for doing this.  I want to be an example to others and share love with teachers as well because teaching is a relationship.  My website www.drmalindadaniel.com can tell you more about supporting the unique needs of students.
1/11/2010 6:30:43 AM
Shannon United States
I am so glad to hear the Love Dare is working for so many.  I have tried most of these things and many more over the past 9 months with my wife.  Unfortunately she has not been responsive and has only grown colder to me.  I have not been perfect as I've walked thru this tough time, but my heart has been turned 100% towards her.  I moved out into my parents house yesterday.  That was the toughest thing I have ever had to do.  We have two wonderful daughters, ages 11 & 7 and this tears me up!  My wife has wanted me out since July and so I finally gave in as a last chance effort.  My Christian counselor said to honor her and show she is the most important person in my life and do this if she wants.  My wife says she plans to file for divorce once she finds a fulltime job.  She is a Christian and we had served together in our church as Sunday school teachers for nearly 5 years up to last August when we resigned our positions.  Her name is Shari.  Please pray for God to work a healing miracle in our marriage.  I don't want to lose her or my family.  But I am trusting God will work it all for the good and His glory.  If I am to be killed for His sake, then let me die.  I only want God to be glorified in my life...
1/11/2010 6:32:56 AM
Holly Kay United States
Holly Kay
Could someone explain what it means to add margin to my schedule?  Thanks!
1/11/2010 6:33:20 AM
Susan United States
thank you for doing this, I was sent to this by a relative in your state, I am in Texas and am doing the love dare each day, and being challenged of course.
1/11/2010 6:47:52 AM
Debbie Buskey United States
Debbie Buskey
Thanks for finishing the post!!! It's probably all us East Coasters looking for the rest of it since we've been up for hours!!! hehehe :o)
This is great that you are doing this with all of us. My husband is a non-believer and I am hoping that doing the love dare together will open the door for God in his life.
1/11/2010 6:52:18 AM
Dee United States
Hello all-  I am truly enjoying this love dare!! I am amazed at how God is restoring my marriage!!! My husband is actually asking me what is the dare for the day!!! PRAISE GOD!!!! I pray that all who are participating will find peace and joy in their relationships!! God Bless You!!
1/11/2010 7:20:47 AM
Jo Ellen Elixson United States
Jo Ellen Elixson
David and I were separated for 8 months and got back together in April.  Since then we have really both worked on our marraige and definately added more God to the marraige.  We read the Bible together every night and since Christmas we have been reading the devotional book devoted to couples that my daughter gave us.  We have joined the love dare and find it just adds another dimension of Godliness to our marraige.  Thank you so much.  35 years and going stronger through God.  
1/11/2010 7:41:47 AM
Bill United States
For the past 6 months my marriage of 19 years has been tested, my wife just signed a lease on an apartment and is moving out at the end of the month.  She says she needs to feel like she needs me and feels that moving out will help her decide if she does or not.  I have the Love Dare book and will use it and follow along with what KLOVE is doing as well.  I love her more than anything in this world and I feel God is the only answer to our relationship being repaired.  Thank you KLOVE for all your support durring this difficult time, it's not over but your helping me through it.
1/11/2010 7:45:30 AM
Becky United States
When I saw the word "margin" my thought was space....a margin is space on a paper and it's asking us to add SPACE to our lives.  Irritability comes from STRESS, stress comes from not giving ourselves the space or "margin" to first and foremost, connect with God on a daily basis (or during a Sabbath!  how many of us still "work" during the Sabbath??) and second to connect with our spouses and family. When we are overworked, over scheduled, overtired our patient level goes down and our stress level goes up.  Who are the first people in our firing range???  The ones we are suppose to love and cherish most.  By allowing margin into your lives you are letting go of some other things in order to spend time with God, spend time loving on and nurturing your family.  

I know that my high stress times are when the kids get home from school.  I have a 2 year old who is cranky after his nap, a 7 year old who has homework and is very uncooperative and dinner.  Everyone wants snacks, everyone is hungry and some evenings there is someplace we have to be.  I try VERY hard to not let my stress spill over to affect my husband, but occasionally it does, but mostly it affects my children.  If I can have dinner mostly put together before the kids get home and not try to cram all the homework in before Daddy gets home and allow him to help, than maybe I can create a calmer, more peaceful home in the evenings and be more pleasant to my husband and children.  
1/11/2010 7:47:02 AM
James United States
I am so very glad that KLOVE is doing this, though.  I think it's wonderful!  Thank you so much, and thanks to everyone who has been commenting here.  It's a great encouragement to know we are not alone in our struggles to have a godly marriage.
1/11/2010 7:47:31 AM
Aubrie United States
"[The Bible] also exhorts you to take a “Sabbath” vacation day every week for worship and rest.  This strategically allows you time to recharge, refocus, and add breathing room or margin to your weekly schedule."

For those wondering what the "margin" idea is, this is the place where I saw that word specifically used in the devotional text. I think that it asks us to recognize those areas in our lives where we need to recharge - in what areas of your life do you see your Christ-likeness begin to fade when you are stressed and busy? And what can you do to get back to a loving and patient attitude?

I know for myself that I need to begin exercising more regularly. Exercise has more benefits than just physical health and weight, but helps you maintain healthy hormone levels and keep your mind healthy. I know that when I exercise regularly I am less irritable and less likely to snap at my husband.
1/11/2010 7:51:10 AM
Sara United States
Thanks Aubrie and Becky Smile Your input is very helpful!
1/11/2010 7:57:09 AM
Julie Mc. United States
Julie Mc.
I interpreted "margin" to mean "boundaries".  So, 'make a list of boundaries that you need to put around your schedule'.  That's a little bit easier for me to understand, anyway.
1/11/2010 8:04:30 AM
Shannon United States
Hello friends. The Love Dare is fantastic! I'm really enjoying it so far! I was reading some of the posts for Day 6 and saw a bunch of comments on "margin" and thought I would leave a few thoughts. I'm a member of LifeChurch.tv and coincidentally, the current series, which began yesterday, is all about margin! Simply stated, our pastor defined margin as the difference between what you need and what you have. You could apply this to many areas of your life; money left over at the end of the month, energy left over at the end of the day, time left over at the end of the day for people you care about, etc. The message was pretty straight forward. The more margin you have, the less stress and more relational intimacy you will have with God and others in your life. If you have a cushion or "margin", you are more likely to handle situations that arise with grace, understanding, and patience instead of having a complete and total meltdown, and consequently taking it out on those around you. The Dare for today is asking you to increase the cushion in areas of your life where you feel stress, which could be easier said than done depending on the situation. But, if you can increase your emotional margin and reduce your stress, you are less likely to explode on your spouse over something unimportant, which is what today's Dare is really all about. On increasing margin, our pastor used the story of Mary, Martha, and Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was running around like a chicken with no head, doing seemingly good things all the while, but not stopping to do what was the most good, which was spend time with Jesus. Like Martha, seemingly important or "good" things can take control of our lives, run us dry, and leave us feeling exhausted and without any margin. If you want to increase your margin, you'll probably have to stop what you're doing, take a deep breath, and reassess what is really important in your daily life. Then, restructure your routine around that new-found significance. You might even have to give something up (ouch!) in order to gain some margin. I'm excited about the rest of the series. You can follow along at www.LifeChurch.tv is you're interested! Have a wonderful day!  
1/11/2010 8:11:48 AM
Rae United States
My husband and I are enjoying this Love Dare.  We actually met last May of '09 and got married October 10th of 09'.  Even being newly weds, we decided to do this journey to strengthen our marriage right from the start since we're still trying to understand one another.  It's working beautifully and we've made the decision to do this Love Dare every year to keep our relationship strong and have a marriage that God intended us to have!!  
1/11/2010 8:12:13 AM
Bob United States
Lisa and Eric,
Thanks for doing the Love Dare for your listeners.  My wife and I have been separated for over 5 years now.  I beleive with all my heart that God can restore the relationship and make it better than before.  The Love Dare Challenge has reminded me to continue to love my wife unconditionally No-Matter-What (that's kinda redundant, I guess).  Sometimes it gets to be a rut just to do the everyday things to "survive".  But the challenge has reminded me to continue to stand and to go the extra mile.  Early in our separation, the Lord strengthened my resolve to stand for restoration rather than divorce.  He had me write those resolutions down and in 2008 these were published in a book by Xulon Press.  The book is "WHY STAND? A Resolve to Stand for Marriage Restoration."  It is available online from most book sellers including Amazon.  It could be an encouragement to those who feel hopeless in their situation.  
May God Bless the both of you personally and the KLOVE ministry.
1/11/2010 8:21:00 AM
jessie United States
I am very interested in doing the love dare. I am engaged to be married in May! Would this be something that him and I would do together, almost as a "pre-marrage" exercise for us. Or is this something I would do on my own? We have a strong relationship, but who wouldnt want something stronger, right?  

1/11/2010 8:30:48 AM
N Hendricks United States
N Hendricks
I just wanted to thank you for taking a step of faith in doing the "Love Dare" this year.  After we saw the movie I asked my husband about doing it, of course "we don't have any problems we don't need it".  I even tried to involve our children, as it is not just about strenghten  marriages, but relationships as well.  I tried to do it by myself, but didn't feel I was getting anywhere so I quit.  When he heard it on K-love he said he wanted to try, not that there were any problems, but something you said, not sure what, got his attention.  We have been participating from day 1 as a family.  It's the little things that matter, when our 14 year old son bought his 17 year old brother a drink at school and gave it to him of course the question was why - reponse, it was the last one they had and I was thinking about you - WOW!! It was tough yesterday trying not to "justify" where we needed to grow, but it got us all thinking and this morning when the water froze, believe it or not no irritation, just working together to figure out where to go and take showers.  Thank you for all that you do for God's kingdom.
1/11/2010 8:36:14 AM
letticia United States
Please pray for me to be able to do this challange.  i would have thought that this would have been yesterdays challenge since i tried to hard to get along with my spouse, and i think i did a good job,i did not yell or scream, and i bit my tongue when i did not believe things he was saying were correct.  i spoke in a sweet, mello voice, but it was difficult.  he was very edgy, and with anything i said he was on the offense, i dont know if i can handle another day like that! thanks!
1/11/2010 9:31:44 AM
bridgette United States
My husband and I have been married for 13 wonderful years.  We are doing the love dare, just to draw closer to each other.  This is great for couples who are having problems, but it can also show you areas you might need to work on in a good relationship.  I pray that the next 34 days will be an eye opening experience for everyone willing to take the DARE.
1/11/2010 10:29:12 AM
Susan United States
can someone help me, I posted a comment earlier, and mistakenly added that I want to be notified of comments, because for some reason I thought the full devotional would notify me, my error. However, is there any way to unsubscribe from new comments?
1/11/2010 10:51:16 AM
rachel United States
I'm having problem posting today's devotion to my facebook. Nothing's showing except for klove's website link. Anyone else having the same problem?
1/11/2010 11:03:15 AM
Natasha United States
wow this seems hard!!!!
1/11/2010 11:03:53 AM
yeny United States
a must read------
many of the posts don't sound like my struggle (my husband and I) I have been seperated for almost 5 years and just want everyone to know that GOD can and will restore my marriage. I know that there are many people going through the same situation. LETS NOT GIVE UP, continue to pray.... God will be magnified through the restoration of out marriage.
1/11/2010 2:16:43 PM
Liz United States
I am on day 6 as well. I already feel better, and I am using it on my step-daughter as well, there I have already noticed a change and she has too. My husband told me that he thinks there is something missing from our marriage. When I asked what he couldn't pinpoint it. He knows about the Love Dare, but he said " I can't commit to it now."  It's frustrating because it would show him that loving me the right way would make him feel better. I am going to trust God, and I ask for his peace on all of you as you continue to do this. Don't give up and I won't either!!!!!!!!!!!
Glory be to God in the highest!
1/11/2010 4:28:29 PM
Laura United States
Just wanted to let you both know that I've thoroughly been enjoying the Love Dare. This is a great exercise and has encouraged me to try it in my own marriage and relationships in general. I'm taking the challenge and blogging about it each day. (Shameless plug: To read my own thoughts, visit http://lauramaly.wordpress.com @ Common Grounds.) Thanks again for the great challenge! I look forward to continuing the Love Dare.
1/11/2010 4:57:49 PM
no name 2 United States
no name 2
yes i glad for the insight on the margin deal too. Today has been really hard for me, my car blew up this morning on my way to work and my husband has been out of work since November and the past 2 weeks i had only got to work 1 day becasue of a winter storm we had. I just have to pray and get through this difficult time in my life.
1/12/2010 4:55:58 AM
Ana United States
My margin is taking time to go to the gym in the evenings.  It sometimes feels selfish to take this time out for myself, since I could be home doing the dishes or cleaning.  But, I find that if I don't take this time out, I become irritable.  That's one of the margins I need to stay steady.  

For some reason, these are all things I know.  The LOVE DARE is reminding me to put them into practiceSmileThanks to the scripture in LOVE DARE I am seeing the Bible in ACTION!!!!!
1/12/2010 1:07:33 PM
Raquelle United States

Shannon - I have and will pray for you and your wife Shari. Whatever God's plan is for your life, know that He is awesome in His power. Thank you for taking time to share your struggles and to be human. I appreciate the lifechurch link - I am always looking for Christian references.  God bless.
1/18/2010 11:11:20 PM
Elizabeth United States
This is a hard one -- especially towards the end. I got hurt because lust entered the picture - I know people see visual examples and looking a nudity of the opposite gender wrong. But everything I know about screams don't do it - be careful eyes what you see, where you go and what avenue takes you there. It is something I find very painful, i can't measure up to those images and it s not me, he got caught repeatedly looking at. The line was drawn and it was crossed - I am not sure how to deal with this - sad part is Christians are plagued by this just as much as non - I am trying to forgive - I haven't made it there yet - but I won't compromise or play second fiddle to visual images on display in magazines or the internet or videos, they are simply destructive to the marriage. I am tired of hearing it's normal or all guys do it -- I have said no repeated through a marriage and I am still saying no - His eyes are meant just for me.
2/4/2010 10:08:27 AM
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1/15/2011 1:48:00 AM
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2/18/2011 10:00:32 PM
trista Canada
Yesterday was SOOO hard! I am still crying about it. But I did it! And now I have a definite idea of what changes need to occur (from my husband's perspective) in me to make me a better person to live with and a better wife. Today looks easier. It is something I have been meaning to get to anyway. I have been thinking about ways to make mornings easier as this is my high stress time. I have a plan to simply get more ready the night before. Have a shower, prep for breakfast, lay out clothes, get the kids to lay out their clothes for tomorrow too. Have materials and snacks ready for our day's lesson (we homeschool) and the bag packed by the door in case we have to leave the house.
    I have found since the new year, when I started making a weekly meal plan (for shopping purposes) that it creates a new margin before dinner, not having to worry each day about what we are having for supper and whether we have the ingredients on hand. I use the slow cooker a lot now and that frees up even more time. This has eliminated a high-stress time in my day and I think after reading this and woking on this today, I can improve in other areas as well. Thank you Heavenly Father, for this sanity being restored to me and the restoring of my family as well!
3/15/2011 11:33:57 AM
Jaap Canada
hello every one. I am new to the site, but am encouraged by the open and honest notes. I'm on day 8 (jealousy) and a little weary. Pray for me please.
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