Jan 19 2010

Love Dare - Day 14

Love Takes Delight

 

Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life. – Ecclesiastes 9:9 HCSB

 

One of the most important things you should learn on your Love Dare journey is that you should not just follow your heart.  You should lead it.  You don’t let your feelings and emotions do the driving.  You put them in the back seat and tell them where you’re going.

 

In your marriage relationship, you won’t always feel like loving.  It is unrealistic for your heart to constantly thrill as the thought of spending every moment with your spouse.  Nobody can maintain a burning desire for togetherness just one feelings alone.  But it’s also difficult to love someone only out of obligation.

 

A newlywed takes delight in the one they now call their spouse.  Their love is fresh and young, and the hopes for a romantic future linger in their hearts.  However, there is something just as powerful as that fresh, new love.  It comes from the decision to delight in your spouse and to love him or her no matter how long you’ve been married.  In other words, love that chooses to love is just as powerful as love that feels like loving.  In many ways, it’s a truer love because it has its eyes wide open.

 

Left to ourselves, we’ll always lean toward being disapproving of one another.  She’ll get on your nerves.  He’ll aggravate you.  But our days are too short to waste in bickering over pretty things.  Life is too fleeting for that.

 

Instead, it’s time to lead your heart to once again delight in your mate.  Enjoy your spouse.  Take her hand and seek her companionship. Desire his conversation.  Remember why you fell in love with her personality.  Accept this person – quirks and all – and welcome him or her back into your heart.

 

Again, you get to choose what you treasure.  It’s not like you’re born with certain pre-sets and preferences you’re destined to operate from.  If you’re irritable, it’s because you choose to be.  If you can’t function without a clean house, it’s because you’ve decided no other way will do.  If you pick at your mate more than you praise them, it’s because you’ve allowed your heart to be selfish.  You’ve led yourself into criticism.

 

So now it’s time to lead your heart back out.  It’s time to learn to delight in your spouse again, then to watch your heart actually start enjoying who they are.

 

It may surprise you to know that the Bible contains many romantic love stories, none more blatant and provocative than all eight chapters from the Song of Solomon.  Listen to the way these two lovers take pleasure in one another in this poetic book …

 

The woman: “Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men.  In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.  He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (Song of Solomon 2:3-4).

 

The man: “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!  O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely” (Song of Solomon 2:13-14).

 

Too sappy?  Too mushy? Not for those who lead their heart to delight in their beloved – even when the new wears off, even when she’s wearing rollers in her hair, even when his hair is falling out.  It’s time to remember why you once fell in love.  To laugh again.  To flirt again.  To dream again.  Delightfully.

 

Today’s dare may be directing you to a real and radical change of heart.  For some, the move toward delight may be only a small step away.  For others, it may require a giant leap from ongoing disgust.

 

But if you’ve been delighted before – which you were when you married – you can be delighted again.  Even if it’s been a long time.  Even if a whole lot has happened to change your perceptions.

 

The responsibility is yours to relearn what you love about this one to whom you’ve promised yourself forever.

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse.  Do something he or she would love to do or a project they’d really like to work on.  Just to be together.

 

 

Give me your heart … and let your eyes delight in my ways.  (Proverbs 23:26)

 

 

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 (31) -

1/19/2010 3:41:20 AM
Dan Weidenhof United States
Dan Weidenhof
The first time I heard of the Love Dare was in the movie "Fireproof."  Not sure if that is where this came from, or maybe if the movie came from this, but either way, they coincide and if you haven't seen the movie, it is definitely a MUST SEE!  It mixes relationship building with fire fighting, so men will also enjoy the movie.  As a fire fighter myself, I absolutely LOVE the movie!
1/19/2010 5:38:21 AM
Jen United States
Jen
I love todays dare!

Having met later in life, both of us came to the relationship with baggage from past relationships. From day one though, we knew we wanted this to be different.  We probably were a little unrealistic in our expectations.  Early on I remember saying "I want this feeling to never go away...I always want it to be just like your first love feels in highschool, when every minute you're apart, you anticipate being together!"

I like to think we've kept a bit of that feeling.  I know I still sometimes feel that way, 6 years later.  But it is different now too, there is a deeper affection that comes from having lived and experienced life together, each of us holding his grandmother's hands as she lay breathing her her last breaths in the hospital at 2 in the morning, and the two of us standing at the top of that waterfall, tears in our eyes as we felt the power of life and love flowing over us...

I need this Love Dare, I thought I was doing it for him, but it's actually for us...for me, reminding me that it's not just about having a hand to hold when you're lonely, but it's about experiencing the power of life each day, both small and trivial as well as the exciting moments that take your breath away!

Continuing to pray for all of us, needing and wanting the same things...
Jen
1/19/2010 5:54:11 AM
cntrygrl United States
cntrygrl
I love this dare and am waiting to see if my husband will give up watching a hockey game tonight to spend time together...keep you posted!
1/19/2010 6:33:28 AM
Cheryl United States
Cheryl
I am taking the love dare by myself because my husband left me.  We have been married for 27 years and he has become increasingly angry at life.  He states he has to leave to deal with his problems and be a better man when he returns.  I understand up to a point.  I do not know why he cannot stay here and let us work on it together.  The Love Dare is wonderful and has helped me to be a better wife but I am not sure how to show him when he is not here.  I know God is in control and he wants our marriage to work but not hearing from him is absolutely killing me.  I know I need to be patient but it is so hard.  I love him so much.  Please pray for both of us.  
1/19/2010 6:37:20 AM
Liz United States
Liz
It is so difficult to do this by myself, knowing that the changes happening within me are bringing me so much happiness, while he still will not even think about trying it.  I do want our marriage to become something it has never had, through my fault as well as his.

It is hard to not take the enemies bait. It is hard when my husband is on Facebook for 2-3 hours each night talking to women,he says there is no foolishness going on. I must believe and trust him, for I must trust God that His hand is in this. My human pettyness wonders " Why is he seeking friendship from them?" And after long stints on chat and Facebook is when he says " I don't feel the same way about you that I used to, I love and care for you, but I don't know if I'm in love with you.""We have different interests, etc. I'm older..etc" When we married 5 years ago, we didn't have any of those issues. These all cropped up in the last 6 months(after he turned 40) which he says he doesn't mind.  We still have the same interests, he is just not seeing them.

It seems to me that he is choosing to spend time with these women who are his age( 40, I am 29) because he's not getting what he wants from me.  I do get busy with our 8 year old daughter( my stepdaughter-who's mother is a real mess), but not that busy,  I finish my homework after making dinner, washing dishes and feeding the dogs. Then I go sit in the living room and wait for him to visit me, usually from 8-11. If I try to talk to him while he is on the computer, he is course, frowning, and often times cusses at me. All I want is some time, without him checking his phone to see if anyone messaged him. He does it EVERYWHERE, church, dinner table. It's so bad that he'll be on the computer for 2-3 hours, come get in bed and GET ON HIS PHONE for another 30 minutes. All without saying more than one sentance to me. Then he'll want "attention". It is very difficult for me to be loving with all this going on.
So basically I feel as if there is nothing I can do, if he is going to choose other women's friendship over my friendship, how can I win? It's just as bad for me as if he were having an affair.  Those other women aren't going to be there for him, when he's old. I will. As if job stress weren't enough, this adds to it.

I will continue the Dare, as it is the only thing keeping me from weeping openly everywhere I go. If anyone can tell me any advice, please, tell me anything.  I feel so humanly alone. PLEASE PRAY FOR US.
1/19/2010 8:02:27 AM
Treva United States
Treva
My comment is to Liz...

I too am doing this dare on my own.  My husband is aware that I'm doing the dare but chooses not to do it with me.  We did the dare back in Oct/Nov '09 and he got about 9 days into the dare and stopped.  After 3 weeks of doing the dare myself I stopped.  I got frustrated that he wasn't keeping up with his dare.  This time, I'm doing the dare for our marriage and I'm seeing it through to the end.  

My husband too sits on his xbox and laptop for hours on end.  It's gotten a little better (he's got burnt out on a game he plays on xbox live) for the time being but I think that's until the next "BIG" game comes out.  He doesn't talk to other women on the computer but he does talk to people on xbox live non-stop.  I feel your pain.  When I want his attention (even for just a bit) he get annoyed.  He gets caught up in the moment of a game and cusses(while our 9 yr old yells get the cuss bucket!!) {we've got a joke going on that if he doesn't watch his mouth, we're going to create a cuss bucket and he's going to have to put money into it every time he cusses} He talks on his phone majority of the time when we're on our way home from work.  We have 2 girls (ages 9 & 4) and they've even noticed him not paying attention. All I can say is don't give up hope!  I've started praying for my husband every morning.  I haven't see a BIG change but I'm starting to see small changes here and there.  Patience is the key.  We will be married for 10 yrs this August.  I've already seen a major change in him over this almost 10 yr period.  So don't give up hope!  Start praying for your husband and God will reward you for it.  God sees your heart.  I know it's easy to look at the negative and want to "take it" out on your spouse but that's not Love.  That's not what God would have you do.  Remember to stay focused on the positive things.  God can do exceedingly abundantly above anything you can ask or think.  Don't give up!  
1/19/2010 8:03:28 AM
Jenn United States
Jenn
Cheryl

I am in sort of the same situation as you. I have been just doing what I can with the dares. With the ones that sort of require his physical presence I try to write him a note and mail it instead. (He is in Iraq for a year and we are separated and he has no intentions of coming back).
For instance today I might write him something like..

I was thinking about you today and thought about how much it would be such a blessing to just leave the dishes in the sink and curl up to you on the couch and watch your favorite fishing show.

Keep the faith Cheryl, I know it's hard.
Many Blessings.
1/19/2010 8:25:25 AM
Stephanie L C Mellon United States
Stephanie L C Mellon
This movie has giving me hope for my future with my significant other. We have had the worst of times but this movie has helped us see more n we have over come so much in a year n a half. This movie will do wonders in your relationships if u are struggling n even if u are not it will strenghten n all areas. I reccomend seeing this movie n even if u dont have a big view on god this movie might help u see differnly

-God bless-
1/19/2010 8:47:43 AM
Stephanie L C Mellon United States
Stephanie L C Mellon
This movie has giving me hope for my future with my significant other. We have had the worst of times but this movie has helped us see more n we have over come so much in a year n a half. This movie will do wonders in your relationships if u are struggling n even if u are not it will strenghten n all areas. I reccomend seeing this movie n even if u dont have a big view on god this movie might help u see differnly
1/19/2010 9:09:37 AM
Amber United States
Amber
I am only 19, and I am not married or engaged. My boyfriend and I will be celebrating three years here in March. He is turning 21. I know we are young, but we are on fire for God together, and the most important thing to me is to let Christ shine through our relationship.

I saw the love dare on  Fireproof like many others have. I started this dare with KLove on the first day, and I will end it on Valentines! The neat part is that although I work full time, go to school full time, etc- I have been keeping a daily journal of the dares/my thoughts/actions to give to him on Valentines day, along with a copy of the LoveDare book. Thank you everyone for doing this dare. Smile
1/19/2010 9:13:06 AM
Trevis Meseroll United States
Trevis Meseroll
I'm learning w/ each an every dare that my happiness an my wife's happiness is equally important!  I am learning to love my wife more an more each an every day, cherish her for who she is an what she is to me.  We have watched "Fireproof" an it was a GREAT motivator for us!  I love you Tracy!
1/19/2010 9:30:26 AM
Alexis United States
Alexis
Thank you Liz for helping me to realize I am not alone. This morning I discovered one more female connection on my fiance's yahoo account. I was feeling lost and confused so I came here in hopes that someone's post would make me feel better and it did!  We are all in this world waiting for Jesus and all we can do is pray and ask God for guidence. I will pray for you Liz. Remember, God has a plan for us. Put your faith in that and find comfort in the Lord
1/19/2010 9:46:08 AM
Martha United States
Martha
I pray for my sisters Cheryl and Liz, you are not alone. Many woman go throght the same things that you are facing right now. I'm doing the Love Dare for the 2nd time! I did it once a year ago and it helped my marriage soooo much. But, you now how busy one can get and how hard it is to brake ones old ways. I find myself fighting with my husband more and more each day. He was doing the chat thing too and he didn't have any relationship beyond friendship - but why was I not his friend anymore? He has never tried hard to save our marriage, he wouldn't even do the love dare with me. we are about to call it queits but I started thinking (the day before the love dare was started)he still comes to church with me, he stills says that he loves me(just can't live with me),he still lives withme, he still sleeps right along side of me. I have time to save this marraige. I think GOD for each additial day I get with my husband and for keeping out famly together one more day. I seems as if weman just have more % of the work load now days. Its hard tending to the kids, dishes, laundry, getting kids to ans from school, cooking, cleaning, taking out the trash or haveing to ASK for it to be takin out, house hold finances, work and/or school, and taking care of your husbsands needs....just pray and remeber that you are not alone. God has giving you sisters who understand...don't give up!
1/19/2010 10:19:01 AM
AMANDA United States
AMANDA
I love how God uses His Word to cut the cancerous behaviors and thoughts from us. I started the Love Dare because I wanted God to change my husband because, after all, he's the "unsaved" one. God made me realize MY selfishness in my marriage, MY unforgiveness, MY unlovingness all that I was doing in being a bad example for my husband. Thank you for the Love Dare and thank you my Father for loving me so much that you correct my ways to help me along!
1/19/2010 12:50:14 PM
Lisa United States
Lisa
Liz I totally understand how you feel. My husband says i'm the problem so I also am doing this by myself. The only thing I can say is this love dare is changing the way I look at situations. I try not to let my husband bait me into an argument. When acusations come flying all the time its hard but i've made up in my mind that no matter what GOD is the only one I need approval from! just continue to have faith our GOD is awesome and he will see you through every thing. Stay strong and I will be praying for you!
1/19/2010 1:19:54 PM
mariela United States
mariela
This is just such a great help...so many ppl going thru same thing that I know I m not alone...Im grateful for the prayers...I learn something new everyday
1/19/2010 1:48:45 PM
george United States
george
this comment is for cntrygrl. as a man giving his perspective, i sit and watch "chic fliks" with my beloved even though iam not really into them. do you want to blow his mind dear one? sit down with him, snuggle close, dont talk, just be with your man. speaking from experiance when my beloved sat and watched baseball with me i was touched. give a try. keep us posted  
1/19/2010 2:47:15 PM
yeny United States
yeny
oh man !!! That devil is working overtime. It seems like we are all in this together... lets continue to pray and GOD will deliver us to victory... I too have felt like giving up... I too get a little discouraged.
1/19/2010 2:56:05 PM
nancy United States
nancy
altho i think that there are a lot  of good things in this book.  It is hard to imagine that people will truly respond to being part of a "canned" plan and a recipe for success.  Sorry, this is one person whose ex-husband tried this on me to some extent and all i felt was manipulated, it was just to get his own way.  Not to truly change himself
1/19/2010 4:43:22 PM
Rebecca United States
Rebecca
Comment to Jenn...First let me start by saying good for you for continuing with the dares.  I think you are a phenomenal woman for doing it.  I also wanted to let you know that I'm away from my husband for a week and I was trying to figure out how I was going to be able to accomplish these dares that require mine and his physical presence and you answered my question.  Thank you.  I will keep you in my prayers hon.
1/19/2010 5:21:37 PM
Liz United States
Liz
Thank you to Treva and Alexis! After getting through a rough day, I came here and saw your words and I am happy that God used me to show you that your situation is not just happening to you.

I am adding you to my prayer list and am partnering with you in this Dare. I will NOT give up if you won't either.
Treva, you need to feel the happiness God wants for you by completing this and Alexis you too. Don't take the bait of jealousy, calmly(not condescendingly like I usually do) ask your questions. Ask God for the right words to say to get the message across so that you and he actually work it out.
Today I had an issue where on Facebook, I wrote "You are awesome and I love" you. Later on I noticed he had erased it which of course hurt and made me think he was hiding something.
I did the things I just described and in about an hour, while he was still at work, it was resolved! I asked God to hold back my emotions so that I wouldn't make things worse and He did!
After a almost horrible day I did the things that the Dare suggests, and it worked, but only when I told God I couldn't do it on my own.

I love you all in Christ and may God bless us everyone! lol(A little Tiny Tim reference for ya there) lol
1/19/2010 9:55:29 PM
Veronica United States
Veronica
God bless all of you on here.  I pray that God will help soften the hearts that need it as well as strengthen those of you dealing with these relationships.  I have been praying for my relationship for a long time and God is really working.  I am still struggling with my fears of many years of pain, but God is really helping me.  The Love Dare is an amazing book.  I also have the book "The Power of a Praying Wife."  I recommend it to all of you wives out there.  That book opened my eyes to a lot of things.  God bless you I am praying for you all.
1/19/2010 11:30:03 PM
joey perez United States
joey perez
What a great night. When Jesse saw the Dare he made plans for dinner and a movie and was very sweet about reminding me to put the chores off till later and getting me out the door. We had a very nice dinner and saw Avitar, excelent movie, a modern day FernGully. And boy has 3D come a long way, very impressive.
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2/23/2011 9:38:49 AM
Priscilla Mexico
Priscilla
Thank you very much for posting The Love Dare. I'm not a religious person but when I saw the movie I thought it was a church move to get more people on their benches. When I finished watching the movie I was so moved by the whole "fire-proof my marriage" that I decided to get into action.
I didn't wait to problems sneak into my marriage and I can tell you that I am a much better wife now and I enjoy a lot more married life. I even got interested in reading the bible. Thank you so much!

God bless you!
3/2/2011 7:45:03 AM
Felicia United States
Felicia
I have been married for almost 16 years and I am now doing the Love Dare for the 2nd time. Our marriage has been getting progressively worse over the years due to behavior that my husband refuses to change or even address things head on...he tried the Love Dare last year but didn't complete it. I have learned that anything that requires work and effort just does not work for him. I have tolerated it and even changed the way I address/react to it just to keep the peace, all to no avail. In the process of dealing with that, I have fought tooth and nail to try to keep my marriage together even in the midst of me wanting to walk out several times. This last episode of his has been almost too much to bare and in yet another effort to seek God's direction, I went on a 10 day fast. After the fast, I told him, I am still here for the long haul because I want to honor the committment I made to him and before God...2 days later, he told me he wanted out. I think I have been numb ever since. I am planning to leave in a few months and as of right now, I am done trying. If he wants this, then he needs to put forth some effort. I have been still going thru with the Love Dare, but today's challenge is just too much for me because I don't want to force myself on him since he said he wants out. I am still in prayer and just keeping quiet these past few days because I have put it in God's hands.
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