Jan 06 2010

The Love Dare - Day 1

Day 1

Love is patient

 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient,
bearing with one another in love. —Ephesians 4:2 NIV

Love works. It is life’s most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize. It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems. We are born with a lifelong thirst for love. Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen. Love changes our motivation for living. Relationships become meaningful with it. No marriage is successful without it.

Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Those pillars are patience and kindness. All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes. And that’s where your dare will begin. With patience.

Love will inspire you to become a patient person. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.

No one likes to be around an impatient person. It causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways. The irony of anger toward a wrongful action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own. Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath. It clears the air. It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.

If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.

Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. You don’t get what you want and you start heating up inside. It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives.

Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn’t rush to judgment but listens to what the other person is saying. Patience stands in the doorway where anger is clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgment. The Bible says, “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29).

As sure as a lack of patience will turn your home into a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute” (Proverbs 15:18). Statements like these from the Bible book of Proverbs are clear principles with timeless relevance. Patience is where love meets wisdom. And every marriage needs that combination to stay healthy.

Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure.

But can your spouse count on having a patient wife or husband to deal with? Can she know that locking her keys in the car will be met by your understanding rather than a demeaning lecture that makes her feel like a child? Can he know that cheering during the last seconds of a football game won’t invite a loud-mouthed laundry list of ways he should be spending his time? It turns out that few people are as hard to live with as an impatient person.

What would the tone and volume of your home be like if you tried this biblical approach: “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationships. That’s a good starting point to demonstrate true love.

This Love Dare journey is a process, and the first thing you must resolve to possess is patience. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it’s a race worth running.

 

 

 

Today's Dare

 

The first part of this dare is fairly
simple. Although love is communicated
in a number of ways, our words often
reflect the condition of our heart. For
the next day, resolve to demonstrate
patience and to say nothing negative
to your spouse at all. If the temptation
arises, choose not to say anything. It’s
better to hold your tongue than to say
something you’ll regret.

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.

 

 

 

Jan 05 2010

The Love Dare

Receive this as a warning.

This forty day journey cannot
be taken lightly.

 It is a challenging and often
difficult process, but an incredibly
fulfilling one. To take this dare
requires a resolute mind and a
steadfast determination.

It is not meant to be sampled or briefly
tested, and those who quit early will
forfeit the greatest benefits. If you
will commit to a day at a time for forty
days, the results could change your
life and your marriage.

Consider it a dare, from others
who have done it before you.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES SAY that God designed and created marriage as a good thing. It is a beautiful, priceless gift. He uses marriage to help us eliminate loneliness, multiply our effectiveness, establish families, raise children, enjoy life, and bless us with relational intimacy. But beyond this, marriage also shows us our need to grow and deal with our own issues and self-centeredness through the help of a lifelong partner. If we are teachable, we will learn to do the one thing that is most important in marriage—to love. This powerful union provides the path for you to learn how to love another imperfect person unconditionally. It is wonderful. It is difficult. It is life changing.

This book is about love. It’s about learning and daring to live a life filled with loving relationships. And this journey begins with the person who is closest to you: your spouse. May God bless you as you begin this adventure.

But be sure of this: it will take courage. If you accept this dare, you must take the view that instead of following your heart, you are choosing to lead it. The world says to follow your heart, but if you are not leading it, then someone or something else is. The Bible says that “the heart is more deceitful than all else” (Jeremiah 17:9), and it will always pursue that which feels right at the moment.

We dare you to think differently—choosing instead to lead your heart toward that which is best in the long run. This is a key to lasting, fulfilling relationships.

The Love Dare journey is not a process of trying to change your spouse to be the person you want them to be. You’ve no doubt already discovered that efforts to change your husband or wife have ended in failure and frustration. Rather, this is a journey of exploring and demonstrating genuine love, even when your desire is dry and your motives are low. The truth is, love is a decision and not just a feeling. It is selfless, sacrificial, and transformational. And when love is truly demonstrated as it was intended, your relationship is more likely to change for the better.

Each day of this journey will contain three very important elements:

First, a unique aspect of love will be discussed. Read each of these carefully and be open to a new understanding of what it means to genuinely love someone.

Second, you will be given a specific dare to do for your spouse. Some will be easy and some very challenging. But take each dare seriously, and be creative and courageous enough to attempt it. Don’t be discouraged if outside situations prevent you from accomplishing a specific dare. Just pick back up as soon as you can and proceed with the journey.

Last, you will be given journal space to log what you are learning and doing and how your spouse is responding. It is important that you take advantage of this space to capture what is happening to both you and your mate along the way. These notes will record your progress and should become priceless to you in the future.

Remember, you have the responsibility to protect and guide your heart. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. Resolve to lead your heart and to make it through to the end. Learning to truly love is one of the most important things you will ever do.

 

Now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love

1 Corinthians 13:13

 

If I speak with the tongues of men and
of angels, but do not have love, I have
become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

 

If I have the gift of prophecy,
and know all mysteries and all
knowledge; and if I have all faith,
so as to remove mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.

 

And if I give all my possessions to
feed the poor, and if I surrender my
body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

 

1 Corinthians 13:1–3

 

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.

 

Jan 05 2010

Nineteen things to say to your children...

 Nineteen things to say to your children...


  1. I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that.
  2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one!
  3. It's all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or worried; when they are angry, afraid, or lonely. Big people cry too. I do.
  4. You've made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It's all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you.
  5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn't easy, you did it. I am proud of you; you should be too.
  6. I'm sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake.
  7. You can change your mind. It's good to decide, but it is also fine to change.
  8. What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever!
  9. That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make you feel good inside. Thank you!
  10. I have a surprise for you. It's not your birthday. It's for no reason at all. Just a surprise, a little one, but a surprise.
  11. I can wait. We have time. You don't have to hurry this time.
  12. What would you like to do? It's your turn to pick. You have great ideas. It's important to follow your special interests.
  13. Tell me about it. I'd like to hear more. And then what happened? I'll listen.
  14. I'm right here. I won't leave without saying good-bye. I am watching you. I am listening to you.
  15. Please and Thank You. These are important words. If I forget to use them, will you remind me?
  16. I missed you. I think about you when we are not together!
  17. Just try. A little bit. One taste, one step. You might like it. Let's see. I'll help you if you need it. I think you can do it.
  18. I'll help you. I heard you call me, here I am. How can I help you? If we both work together, we can get this done. I know you can do it by yourself, but I'm glad to help since you asked.
  19. What do you wish for? Even if it's not yet time for birthday candles and we don't have a wishbone, it's still fun to hear about what you wish for, hope for, and dream about.

 

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Dec 28 2009

One Last Look

I saw this on ESPN over the weekend and it really touched my heart ... I thought it might touch yours, as well ...
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