Jan 23 2010

Love Dare - Day 18

Love Seeks to Understand


How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. – Proverbs 3:13


We enjoy discovering as much as we can about the things we truly care about.  If it’s our favorite football team, we’ll read any article that helps us keep up with how they’re doing.  If it’s cooking, we’ll tune to those channels that share the best grilling techniques or dessert recipes.  If there’s a subject that appeals to us, we’ll take notice any time it comes up.  In fact, it’s often like an area of personal study.


It’s fine, of course, to have outside interests and to be knowledgeable about certain things.  But this is where love would ask the question, “How much do you know about our mate?


Think back to the days when you were courting.  Didn’t you study the one your heart was yearning for?


When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her.  He learns her likes, dislikes, habits, and hobbies.  But after he wins her heart and marries her, he often stops learning about her. The mystery and challenge of knowing her seems less intriguing, and he finds his interests drifting to other areas.


This is also true in many cases for women, who start off admiring and building respect for the man they desire to be with.  But after marriage, those feelings begin to fade as reality reveals that her “prince” is a flawed and imperfect man.


Yet there are still hidden things to discover about your spouse.  And this understanding will help draw you closer together.  It can even give you favor in the eyes of your mate.  “Good understanding produces favor” (Proverbs 13:15).


Consider the following perspective: if the amount you studied your spouse before marriage were equal to a high school diploma, then you should continue to learn about your mate until you gain a “college degree,” a “master’s degree,” and ultimately a “doctorate degree.”  Think of it as a lifelong journey that draws your heart ever closer to your mate.


·        Do you know his or her greatest hopes and dreams?

·        Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love?

·        Do you know what your spouse’s greatest fears are and why they struggle with them?


Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are simply because you don’t understand them.  They probably react very differently to certain situations than you do, and you can’t figure out why?


These differences – even the ones that are relatively insignificant – can be the cause of many fights and conflicts in your marriage.  That’s because, as the Bible says, we tend to “revile” those things we don’t understand (Jude 10).


There are reasons for his or her tastes and preferences.  Each nuance in your spouse’s character has a back story.  Each element of who he is, how he thinks, and what he’s like is couched in a set of guiding principles, which often makes sense only to the person who holds them.  But it’s worth the time it will take to study why they are the way they are.


If you missed the level of intimacy you once shared with your spouse, one of the best ways to unlock their heart again is by making a commitment to know them. Study them.  Read them like a book you’re trying to understand.


Ask questions.  The Bible says, “The ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15).  Love takes the initiative to begin conversations.  In order to get your mate to open up, they need to know that your desire for understanding them is real and genuine.


Listen.  “Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand” (Proverbs 10:14).  The goal of understanding your mate is to hear them, not to tell them what you think.  Even if your spouse is not very talkative, love calls you to draw out the “deep water” that dwells within them (Proverbs 20:5).


Ask God for discernment.  “The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).  Things like gender differences, family backgrounds, and varied life experiences can cloud your ability to know your mate’s heart and motivations.  But God is a giver of wisdom.  The Lord will show you what you need in order to know how to love your spouse better.


“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4).  There is a depth of beauty and meaning inside your wife or husband that will amaze you as you discover more of it.  Enter the mystery with expectation and enthusiasm.  Desire to know this person even better than you do now.  Make him or her your chosen field of study, and you will fill your home with the kind of riches only love can provide.



Today’s Dare


Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you.  The dinner can be as nice as you prefer.  Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about.  Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.


Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.  (Proverbs 4:7)



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 (22) -

1/23/2010 4:34:36 AM
no name United States
no name
today will be hard seeing to how we dont have a babysitter and my husband is sick with a cold. I have planned to fix a special dinner this evening all ready.
1/23/2010 8:39:08 AM
Lisa Elliott United States
Lisa Elliott
Hello Eric and Lisa I just want to say that doing this study with you has mad me feel so much better with my friendships and other things in life I was married not anymore and because you stared this I am doing it with you some of the things are hard Iam finding that being not married no more that I almost gave up but kept reading on and doing the things it has asked to do and its helping me in my friendships and helping me to keep my mouth shut at the same time thank you so much to both of you for doing this study its helping God Bless you,
1/23/2010 9:11:36 AM
Annette United States
Oddly enough on Wednesday after a really bad argument the previous day without even knowing what today's dare was ~ I asked my husband to go on a date with me for Italian food and spend the night at a hotel away from the kids for some "us" time.

It is awesome how God was already working in me to prepare for today's dare! I am so excited about tonight! Definitely a different feeling than Wednesday when I last posted. I pray for everyone doing the Love Dare and hope they are finding the newness of their marriage.

I watched Fireproof last night and the beginning was so much like my husband. All the words were the same. He got up and left the room after he realized there was a connection to the Love Dare. LOL My daughter and I just laughed.
1/23/2010 1:14:04 PM
Shel United States
I woke up today and this message really spoke to me along with K-Loves encouraging word of the day. I read it in context and it so applies to my life. God is so amazing in how He can speak to you! My husband did come home and he shared our bed with me last night, although he still continues to remain as physically distant as possible. I have to keep reminding myself that God is at work. I have to keep reminding myself that I am NOT having false hope because my hope is in God. I have to keep reminding myself that God favors marriage and he can restore and renew it! PLEASE, please keep praying for my husband and me.  Thanks all and God Bless you!
1/23/2010 1:20:58 PM
Shel United States
I read this today and it certainly came at the right time, just like yesterday's. I have to keep reminding myself that God is at work here. I have to keep reminding myself that my hope for a renewed and rekindled marriage isn't false because my hope lies in God and God favors marriage. PLEASE keep praying for my husband and me!  I know it is working....God Bless You All!
1/23/2010 2:29:41 PM
Doris United States
I thought that I knew my husband before marriage.  In many ways I FELT THAT  he did not tell me what he really thought while we were dating.  I underestimated the differences between men and women.  In contrast he assumed things about me just because I am a woman.   I have a male friend.  My friend will talk about certain things with me and another set of things with my husband.  Few couples when with us don't split with the women talking with me and the men talking with my husband.  I tell him that I want to get to know him for how can I really love him when I don't really know him.
1/23/2010 3:28:06 PM
~Melody @ 6 Feet Over~ United States
~Melody @ 6 Feet Over~
Found this site via a friend's Facebook post. LOVE it! I'll have to start from Day 1!

Keep it up!

1/23/2010 3:58:07 PM
Susan McDaniel United States
Susan McDaniel
I feel blessed to share the miracle that happened in my life through the movie Fireproof. My husband of 20 years and I are at this time separated. I asked him to leave because I believed I needed time away and although I said I loved him it was not the love that would carry us through another 20 years. Early in our separation it came to me that what I was looking for, for myself was not going to be outside the relationship but any changes that needed to happen needed to happen within our marriage. I found the movie Fireproof as I had heard from friends what a great movie it was. Sadly my husband had asked me to watch Fireproof about nine months before our world fell apart and I refused. Anyway I chose to watch in the early morning hours while my children were asleep so there would be no interruptions. On 11/19/09 at 3:17 am it came to me. Jesus spoke to me and made it clear that this was about me and not my husband and that he, Jesus was my salvation. The message was loud and clear. The spirit of Christ was present in me like never before. Take a look at John 3:17 pretty incredible. I immediately purchaged the Love Dare Journel and I have been faithfully following every dare. You will be glad to know my husband will be home by 2/13/20 and our relationship is blossoming like never before. The feelings I had prayed for are stronger than I ever hoped. I can not say enough for this movie and the Love Dare Journel and the profound message that it provides through Jesus Christ our Savior. Blessings all this Christ's love is real!
1/23/2010 5:38:00 PM
Debi United States
I hope that God will lead my husband to do The Love Dare. Most of the daily dares have been the things I already have been doing for 10 years.
But if he doesn't feel the need to do it I know that God has put me with the right person. It would just be nice to have him want to go out of his way for me for a change without me asking. I show love through doing he shows it through telling. This is something I mainly decided to do for me. To help me become a more obedient christian.
By the way "OBEDIENT" is my word for the new year.
God wants me to be obedient in all things for his glory.
1/23/2010 9:38:54 PM
Susan United States
I am in the same position with my husband as well. Women just tend to be more in touch with showing love for our husbands every day with the acts of kindness and such. My husband has fizzled out on doing the Love Dare as well, but I have noticed something very nice. I have started to see, and acknowledge, when my hubby does do some of these "dares" on his own (without reading anything). Because he doesn't do this stuff as often as I do, I sort of generalized him as not doing any at all. I really react in a loving and excited way to his "kindnesses" to me, he sees this, and is starting to do them more often. Take heart. Your husband will eventually SEE you for the beautiful Christian woman you are, and start responding to you as well. (Lots of praying doesn't hurt either!) God Bless.
1/24/2010 5:25:14 AM
Rebecca United States
We didn't have anyone to watch our children, so I modified this Dare a little to fit our needs.  Instead of making a dinner, I made appetizers and then went out and bought Monopoly and Uno.  Then once our son was down for the night we started playing Monopoly and then when my daughter was ready to go down, we got her ready for bed and then continued our game.  We didn't have really deep conversation or anything, but we had fun and that was a nice change from same ole same ole that we've been having lately.  
1/24/2010 1:53:38 PM
julia United States
i've haven't blog for a while i am still doing the love dare but i also been saying alot of prayers for everyone--it breaks my heart to know the hurt and pain everyone is going thru--i am so sorry--right now things may look bad or even looks like it hasn't changed but please understand that God needs to change you first before He can change your spouse--everyone is a sinner everyone makes mistakes--make today a day that you speak to your spouse ask your spouse what it is that makes him or her do the thing that they do--listen to what he or she is saying--and try not to fight or get defensive--ask God what the question is you are suppose to ask your spouse--i still will be praying for all of you--REMEMBER CHRIST LOVES YOU AND CARES FOR YOU
1/26/2010 5:42:13 PM
booklady United States
Husband and I have been married almost 20 years. Had it's ups and downs.  I just don't show love well to him (although I do love him)and need to demonstrate it better.  I saw someone on Facebook mentioning Love Dare on KLove so decided to try it (I'm already at work by the time it comes on the air daily).  He isn't doing it and I'm okay with that, but it is making him sit up and think about our relationship. At one point, he even asks if everything is okay over the past 20 days because I'm certainly trying to stay out of the negativity room.  Have to bite my tongue some days...  

I've been going along doing every dare. For this one, I wasn't really keen on the dinner at home thing. That is almost like punishment for both of us.  In the book, there are questions to lead the discussion on the topic of personal and marriage.  I typed those out and put them in two baggies.  During our dinner out, he had to choose a category and I would read a question.  Any time he tried to turn the table to a question about me, I said it wasn't my turn to share.  It was actually fun.  I'm not sure how I would have answered some of the questions had it been me.

He has two questions in his wallet he is contemplating.  

I would encourage those who don't have the book to get it.  There are appendixes that add more information or give additional guidance.
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