Jan 14 2010

Love Dare - Day 9

Love Makes Good Impressions

 

Greet one another with a kiss of love.  – 1 Peter 5:14

 

You’ve covered some serous ground so far in this journey.  Learning to demonstrate aspects of love patience, kindness, and encouragement are not always easy but are certainly crucial to a healthy relationship.  So dealing with the way you greet your spouse each day may seem inconsequential, but this small issue carries surprising significance.

 

You can tell a lot about the state of a couple’s relationship from the way they greet one another.  You can see it in their expression and countenance, as well as how they speak to each other.  It is even more obvious by their physical contact.  But how much importance should you give a greeting?

 

The Bible has more to say about greetings than you might expect.  The apostle Paul took time to encourage his readers to greet one another warmly when they met.  In fact, near the end of his letter to the Romans, he asked fellow believers to greet twenty-seven of his friends and loved ones for him.  He even took time to list each one by name.

 

It’s not just about your friends, however.  Jesus noted in His Sermon on the Mount that even pagans speak kindly to people they like.  That’s easy for anyone to do.  But He took it a step further and said that being godly included being humble and gracious enough to address even your enemies with kindness.

 

This raises an interesting question.  How do you greet your friends, coworkers, and neighbors?  How about acquaintances and those you meet in public?

 

You may even encounter someone you don’t necessarily like yet still acknowledge them out of courtesy.  So if you’re this nice and polite to other people, doesn’t your spouse deserve the same?  Times ten?

 

It’s probably something you don’t think about very often – the first thing you say to him or to her when you wake up in the morning, the look on your face when you get in the car, the energy in your voice when you speak on the telephone.  But here’s something else you probably don’t stop to consider – the difference it would make in your spouse’s day if everything about you expressed the fact that you were really, really glad to see them.

 

When someone communicates that they are glad to see you, your personal sense of self-worth increases.  You feel more important and valued.  That’s because a good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction.  Like love, it puts wind in your sails.

 

Think back to the story Jesus told of the prodigal son.  This young, rebellious man demanded his inheritance money and then wasted it on foolish lifestyle.  But soon his bad choices caught up with him, and he found himself eating scrapes in a pigpen.  Humbled and ashamed, he practiced his apologies and tried to think of the best way to go home and face his father.  But the greeting he was expecting was not the one he received.  “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed” (Luke 15:20).

 

Of all the scenarios this young man had played out in his mind, this was likely the last one he expected.  But how do you think it made him feel to receive his father’s embrace and hear his thankful tone?  He no doubt felt loved and treasured once again.  What do you think it did in their relationship?

 

What kind of greetings would make your mate feel like that?  How could you excite his or her various senses with a simple word, a touch, a tone of voice?  A loving greeting can bless  your spouse through what they see, hear, and feel.

 

Think of the opportunities you have to greet each other on a regular basis.  When coming through the door.  When meeting for lunch.  When saying good-night.  When talking on the phone.

 

It doesn’t have to be bold and dramatic every time.  But adding warmth and enthusiasm gives you the chance to touch your mate’s heart in subtle, unspoken ways.

 

Think about your greeting.  Do you use it well?  Does your spouse feel valued and appreciated?  Do they feel loved?  Even when you’re not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and give them value by the way you greet them.

 

Remember, love is a choice.  So choose to change your greeting.  Choose love.

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

Think of a specific way you’d like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm.  Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

 

 

For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love.  (Philemon 7)

 

 

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.

 

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

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

 

Jan 14 2010

Meredith Andrews - Haiti

We thank our friend Meredith Andrews, a singer and worship leader in Chicago, for joining us this morning on K-LOVE.  Meredith just got back from Haiti a few days ago, so the tragedy with the recent earthquake has really hit home with her.  We love Meredith's heart and her love for the people of Haiti is apparent.  She has a new album coming out March 2nd that has a song she specifically wrote for the child she sponsors in Haiti.  Be sure to check out Meredith's website to find out more about her and her ministry.

 

Jan 13 2010

Haiti

WAYS TO HELP:
From Switchfoot's Twitter:   Oxfam is on the ground  after 7.0 earthquake. You can help-please donate

To help you pray, please read this field report from Cindy McMartin and Phyllis Schmid at Bolosse in Port-au-Prince with Missonary Flights (missionaryflights.org):  "This is Cindy and Phyllis writing to let you know that we are all safe here at Bolosse.  We were hit hard, though.  The Bible School building collapsed all over the attic and the office floors.  Students were in classes.  Bruce, David and a bunch of students are still working trying to get the last two students out; haven’t heard noises from them recently so we’re not sure they’re alive.  We don’t have the equipment for this.  We’ve heard horrible rumors of the damage around the city.  Students are all up here sitting around on the lawns, will probably sleep here tonight all of us outside.  I’m typing this without my glasses so can’t see to find periods and hyphens, etc.  Just wanted to let someone know out there that we’re alive so that if you get calls you can respond.  We’ll try to email family now, too.  Telephones are out of course, we've turned off water, gas, electric, etc.  It was a terrifying experience and I know there are many dead outside and around. 

-Largest earthquake to hit Haiti since 1770.  13 aftershocks 7 of those above 5.0
-President Obama asking all to pray and says the US Government will reach out with immediate assistance.  Lots of families in the United States are trying desperately to see if their loved ones in Haiti are safe.  The toll-free number to find out more or to report of Americans you know who are in Haiti:  888-407-4747 for the US State Department.
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Jan 13 2010

Love Dare - Day 8

Love is Not Jealous

 

Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.   It burns like blazing fire. – Song of Solomon 8:6 NIV

 

Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man.  It comes from the root word for zeal and means “to burn with an intense fire.”  Scripture pointedly says, “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4).

 

There are actually two forms: a legitimate jealousy based upon love, and an illegitimate jealousy based upon envy.  Legitimate jealousy sparks when someone you love, who belongs to you, turns his or her heart away and replaces you with someone else.  If a wife has an affair and gives herself to another person, her husband may have justified, jealous anger because of his love for her.  He is longing to have back what is rightfully his.

 

The Bible describes God as having this kind of righteous jealousy for His people.  It’s not that He is envious of us, wishing He had what we have (since He already owns everything).  It’s that He deeply longs for us, desiring for us to keep Him as our first love.  He doesn’t want us to let anything take precedence over Him in our hearts.  The Bible warns us not to worship anything but Him because “the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24).

 

With this established, we will shift our focus to the illegitimate kind of jealousy that is in opposition to love – the one that is rooted in selfishness.  This is to be jealous of someone, to be “moved with envy.”

 

Do you struggle with being jealous of others?  Your friend is more popular, so feel hatred towards her.  Your coworker gets the promotion, so you can’t sleep that night.  He may have nothing wrong, but you became bitter because of his success.  It has been said that people are fine with our succeeding, just as long as it is not more than theirs.

 

Jealousy is a common struggle.  It is sparked when someone else upstages you and gets something you want.  This can be very painful depending upon how selfish you are.  Instead of congratulating them, you fume in anger and think ill of them.  If you’re not careful, jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart and strikes your motivations and relationships.  It can poison you from living the life of love God intended.

 

If you don’t diffuse your anger by learning to love others, you may eventually begin plotting against them.  The Bible says that envy leads to fighting, quarreling, and every evil thing (James 3:16, 4:1-2).

 

There is a string of violent jealousy seen throughout Scripture.  It caused the first murder when Cain despised God’s acceptance of his brother’s offering.  Sarah sent away her handmaiden because Hagar could bear children while Sarah could not.  Joseph’s brothers saw he was their father’s favorite, so they threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave.  Jesus was more loving, powerful, and popular than the chief priests, so they envied Him and plotted His betrayal and crucifixion.

 

You don’t usually get jealous of disconnected strangers.  The ones you’re tempted to jealous of are primarily in the same arena with you.  They work in your office, play in your league, run in your circles … or live in your house.  Yes, if you aren’t careful, jealousy can also infect your marriage.

 

When you were married, you were given the role of becoming your spouse’s biggest cheerleader and the captain of his or her fan club.  Both of you become one and were to share in the enjoyment of the other.  But if selfishness rules, any good thing happening to only one of you can be a catalyst for envy rather than congratulations.

 

He may enjoy golf on the weekend while she stays home cleaning the house.  He boasts to her about shooting a great score and she feels like shooting him.

 

Or perhaps she is constantly invited to go out with friends while he is left home with the dog.  If he’s not careful, he can resent her popularity.

 

Because love is not selfish and puts other first, it refuses to let jealousy in.  It leads you to celebrate the successes of your spouse rather than resenting them.  A loving husband doesn’t mind his wife being better at something, having more fun, or getting more applause.  He sees her as completing him, not competing with him.

 

When he receives praise, he publicly thanks her for her support in aiding his own success.  He refuses to brag in such a way that may cause her to resent him.  A loving wife will be the first to cheer for her man when he wins.  She does not compare her weaknesses to his strengths.  She throws a celebration, not a pity party.

 

It is time to let love, humility, and gratefulness destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart.  It’s time to let your mate’s successes draw you closer together and give you greater opportunities to show genuine love.

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy.  To help set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday’s list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it.  Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.

 

 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  (Romans 12:15)

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.