Jan 21 2010

Love Dare - Day 16

Love Intercedes

 

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. – 3 John 2

 

You cannot change your spouse.  As much as you may want to, you cannot play God and reach into their heart and mold them into what you want them to be.  But that’s what most couples spend a large part of their time trying to do – change their spouse.

 

Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  But isn’t that what happens when you try to change your mate?  It’s frustration at the highest level.  At some point you have to accept that it’s not something you can do.  But here’s what you can do.  You can become a “wise farmer.”

 

A farmer cannot make a seed grow into a fruitful crop.  He cannot argue, manipulate, or demand it to bear fruit.  But he can plant the seed into fertile soil, give it water and nutrients, protect it from weeds, and then turn it over to God.  Millions of farmers have made a livelihood from this process over the centuries.  They know that not every seed sprouts.  But most will grow when planted in proper soil and given what they need.

 

There is no guarantee that anything in this book will change your spouse.  But that’s not what this book is about.  It’s about daring to love.  If you take the Love Dare seriously, there is a high likelihood that you will be personally changed from the inside out.

 

And if you carry out each dare, your spouse will likely be affected and your marriage will begin to bloom in front of your eyes.  It may take weeks.  It may even take years. But regardless of the soil you’re working with, you are to plan for success.  You are to get weeds out of your marriage.  You are to nurture the soil of your mate’s heart and then depend on God for the results.

 

But you won’t be able to do this alone.  You will need something that is more powerful than anything else you have.  And that is effective prayer.

 

Prayer really does work.  It’s a spiritual phenomenon created by an unlimited, powerful God.  And it yields amazing results.

 

Do you feel like giving up on your marriage?  Jesus said to pray instead of quitting (Luke 18:1).  Are you stressed out and worried?  Prayer can bring peace to your storms (Philippians 4:6-7) Do you need a major breakthrough?  Prayer can make the difference (Acts 12:1-7).

 

God is sovereign.  He does things His way.  He’s not a genie in a lamp that submits to your every wish.  But He does love you and desires an intimate relationship with you.  This doesn’t happen apart from prayer.

 

There are some key elements that must be in place for prayer to be effective.  But suffice to say that prayer works best when coming from a humble heart that is in a right relationship with God and others.  The Bible says, “Confess sins to one another, and pray for one another … The effective prayer of righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).

 

Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse’s hidden faults?  Do you really think it’s for endless nagging?  No, it is for effective kneeling.  No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you.

 

Has your scolding or nagging been working?  The answer is no, because that’s not what changes a heart.  It is time to try talking to God in your prayer closet instead.

 

A husband will find that God can “fix” his wife a lot better than he can.   Wife will accomplish more through strategic prayer than from all her persuasive efforts.  It is also a much more pleasant way to live.

 

So turn your complaints into prayers and watch the Master work while you keep your hands clean.  If your spouse doesn’t have any type of relationship with God, then it’s clear what you need to start praying for.

 

Beyond this, begin to pray for exactly what your mate needs.  Pray for his heart.  Pray for her attitude. Pray for your spouse’s responsibilities before God.  Pray for truth to replace lies.  Pray for forgiveness would replace bitterness.  Pray for your heart’s desires – for love and honor to become the norm.  Pray for romance and intimacy to go to a deeper level.

 

One of the most loving things you can ever do for your spouse is to pray for them.  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to” (Matthew 7:7)

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

Begin Praying for your spouse’s heart.  Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse’s life and in your marriage.

 

 

If anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He listens to him (John 9:31).

 

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 (19) -

1/21/2010 12:39:17 AM
Elizabeth United States
Elizabeth
After reading today's dare, I picked up my phone and text my husband this phrase, "I love you and God will heal and deliver." AT this point I am learning once again to turn it over to God, even in the pain. I can sit here and contemplate why he choose porn and repeatedly broke his word to me,or I can turn it over to God and say it's broken -- I am broken, please show us how to fix it." This in no way minimizes what happened - but it allows us to start working on us. I haven't returned home yet but that is partially due to the demands of school at the moment. The hurt of being betrayed is still there and I am not sure what to do with it, it will take time to heal, trust to be rebuilt but I think there is work to do on both sides of the fence - I am human too and I know I am not perfect - all I know at this point is that I can pray and ask God for healing, and to heal our marriage." That is a start from where I was last Friday when I left home.
1/21/2010 5:42:33 AM
Rhonel United States
Rhonel
Elizabeth,
I will pray with you.  Pornography is a stronghold of the evil one and can only be broken by the blood of Jesus.  Is your husband a Christian?  If not, then we must pray for his salvation.  Praise God that you are participating in the Love Dare.  One step at a time and one day at a time.  God bless you for having the courage to share your heart.
1/21/2010 6:01:53 AM
Annie United States
Annie
I watched Fireproof last night with my husband, both of us seeing it for the first time.  I want so much to see the same improvement in my own marriage, and to see my husband come back to church and his faith.  I let him know that the Love dare has been  a part of my day for the past few weeks, but did not explain my reasons for working through this process, in case it caused friction between us.  He has been suspicious of my changing churches and the new community that I am getting more involved in each week.  I have always had a more noticable faith than him, he has not been a church goer through our 24 years of marriage, since leaving his Mom's house.  I have always wanted him to choose to join me in prayer and worship, but he has not.  Today's challenge to pray for my spouse and his needs takes me back to many other nights of prayer and journaling about my aloneness in my faith in my own house.  As an adult, I cannot force his beliefs, but it would be great to share more of my lifestyle with my spouse.  There is a void between us in an otherwise good relationship, and it feels like a dealbreaker sometimes.  Luckily, I don't stay down for long, and have stayed in my covenant with hope for the future.
1/21/2010 6:28:34 AM
Jeannie United States
Jeannie
My "One Word" is "Obedient". It keeps me on the right path most of the time!
1/21/2010 6:36:05 AM
Jeannette United States
Jeannette
Wow. Reading these have really struck my heart. My husband and I have really gone through a lot and even though pornography was not the issue it has been hard. We recently came to Jesus together as a couple and God has begun to work wonders into our lives and marriage. Elizabeth, I know things can seem bleek at times and it seems like you have strong faith. The Lord will bring you through and heal your marriage and he will open the heart and eyes of your spouse. I believe in Him and He beleives in us all. Annie, your husband too will see the change in your heart and your faith and he will want to rejoice in your joy. For the Joy is ours and no one can take that. I love you in the name of Jesus.
1/21/2010 6:57:53 AM
Rosa United States
Rosa
WOW!!!!! This dare is powerfull. The ironic thing for me is that since I began this love dare challange I have been doing nothing but PRAYING everyday for us, for him, for our children, for our friends and family.  I know that God has answered a lot of my prayers. He is working over time.  I'm not sure if anybody has read a lot of my post, but just to bring you up to speed.  I was the one that wrote about my husband just wanting a divorce now.  I let everyone know that I was in a jam I didn't know what to do.
I got us into counseling right away.  I did not want to give up my husband.  He is the best thing that has happened to me. Hence I married him.  I took my vows very seriously.  
Things started to take a curve for the better, because I was praying and my sister-in-law was praying for us.  I asked for everyones prayer.  It almost felt like overnight things changed.  That is the power of God.  
In counseling this week the chaplain asked me what I was doing in our marriage to make things change for the better.  I replied with a big smile on my face "I've been praying".  He was so happy to hear that and he told me that God does answer prayers.  He also went on and said we need to start praying together, a family that prays together will stay together.  My husband and I haven't really started to do that yet.  I don't want to rush him, but this morning he sent me a text that I just starred at for a while with amazement it read "Just wanted to tell you I love you. Hope your day is wonderful. I am so greatful for you. I am PRAYING  for our happiness and success".  Now I was amazed because I still am not too sure if he is taking this love dare challenge with me.  I haven't asked him.  But the last couple of days it seems like he has been on the same page as all of us.  So I pray that he is.
So I can say to many of you that are going through a lot of trials out there is, do not give up, do not try to change your spouse, listen to what your spouse is saying to you and read between the lines.  When he/she says something hurtfull realize that they are crying out because they are hurting inside. When you realize what they are hurting about try to fix it or change what you may be doing.  You can only make a change on things you don't like.  Don't just complain about it take quick action.  Hopefully you to can overcome what is going on in your marriage.  I so far have proven that theory.  When I placed my first post I prayed that I can become a success story.  My prayers are being answered my sisters and brothers. I am happy we have a lot of work to do but I wont stop at nothing.  I will keep all of you in my prayers.
GOD BLESS!!!!
1/21/2010 7:15:25 AM
Broken Hearted United States
Broken Hearted
Elizabeth, I feel your pain.  My husband hasn't been in to porn but I just found out that he has had 3 affairs.  How do we trust again?  I have asked him how I can be assured that I am not the consolation prize.  I am starting counseling for myself.  I know that my anger and frustration is a part of the issue.  I agree with today's dare.  I can't fix him.  I have yelled at God to fix him but he hasn't answered that demand.  So maybe I can pray for my heart's desire.  I need to fix me.  I think my marriage is going to survive.  I hope so at least.  Pray for me. I will pray for  you.
1/21/2010 8:12:00 AM
linda Treusch United States
linda Treusch
My comment is pretty simple. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage. We have the normal struggles most couples probably face. We get dissapointed with each other from time to time, sometimes one takes more than they gives (on both sides)...etc.etc.

Today's message get's a big "Amen" from me.

I asked for prayer this past weekend, concerning my heart towards my husband.  Frustration was filling my heart, where  unconditional love needed to be. I knew this feeling needed to be nipped before it's poisoned became toxic, on a grander scale.

God intervene very quickly on my behalf by showing me something about my husband that allowed love, to push back those feelings of frustration, back to the pit it came from!


1/21/2010 12:33:19 PM
Les United States
Les
Rosa, I got a little teary eyed reading your post. I'm so happy for you and pray that God continues to work in your marriage. I've been reading through the book of Mark where Jesus performs such incredible miracles and if he can do those then he can surely heal your marriage. I'm not married, but wrote a few days ago about my boyfriend (who proposed) and I doing the dare. He's been very cold to me for a long time until he went on a trip over the weekend. When he came back it was like a different person stepped off the plane. So I count that as an answered prayer as well.
1/21/2010 4:10:40 PM
KW United States
KW
I've been doing the love dare alone.  My husband and I have separated after 5 years of marriage.  He's admitted to multiple affairs.  He is dishonest and says he has already checked out of our marriage.  He says he doesn't want to stay married because he doesn't trust himself to be faithful to me.  He says he doesn't think he can change.  No part of me wants a divorce.  Please pray with me that God would soften my husband's heart and restore our marriage.

I lift each of you up today and pray that God would continue to do a work in each of us and in our marriages.  Thank you KLove for this opportunity.  Blessings to all!
1/21/2010 6:54:06 PM
Jen United States
Jen
Well today was my 45th birthday, and I was reminded of how blessed I am in family and friends.  

Somehow it just didn't make up for the fact that I didn't hear my love's wishes of "happy birthday."  He wrote it on my facebook page, but he hardly speaks anything to me at all and what he does say sounds filled with contempt and disgust.  

I am still hanging on and doing the love dare.  I am struggling though to remember those moments during the dare that I've felt uplifted and filled with inspirtation.

I know this journey is one God wants me to take, but tonight has been so hurtful, I'm having a hard time finding the energy and desire to keep going forward.

Please keep us in your prayers,
Jen
1/21/2010 8:04:10 PM
Darrick United States
Darrick
Although I've been in the wrong most of my relationship. I started that way by looking at the faults in my wife. I started down my path by saying that she was to mean, or I didn't know she was this way or that way. She shops to much, she nags to much, and complains to much about nothing. Today's Dare is opening my eyes to see that I shouldn't look at how dirty her yard is but that I need to sweep around my own front door. I can not change her, (nor should I try) but I can pray for her guidance, patiences, and forgiveness. During the love dare so far I've seen a huge improvment in our interaction and for the first time in my 16 year marriage I am looking forward to a future with her. I am anxious to see what the dare will bring tomorrow and what new way I can learn about my wife. Thank you for starting this. I hope you don't mind but I have been sharing this as well on my facebook page and I believe people are learning like I am from this. I know several have bought the book already. God bless you, see you tomorrow.
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