Jan 12 2010

Love Dare - Day 7

Love Believes the Best

 

[Love] believes all things, hopes all things. – 1 Corinthians 13:7

 

In the deep and private corridors of your heart, there is a room.  It’s called the Appreciation Room.  It’s where your thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things about your spouse.  And every so often, you enjoy visiting this special place.

 

On the walls are written kind words and phrases describing the good attributes of your mate.  These may include characteristics like “honest” and “intelligent,” or phrases like “diligent worker,” “wonderful cook,” or “beautiful eyes.”  They are things you’ve discovered about your husband or wife that have embedded themselves in your memory.  When you think about these things, your appreciation for your spouse begins to increase.  In fact, the more time you spend meditating on these positive attributes, the more grateful you are for your mate.

 

Most things in the Appreciation Room were likely written in the initial stages of your relationship.  You could summarize them as things you liked and respected about your loved one.  They were true, honorable, and good.  And you spent a great deal of time dwelling on them in this room … before you were married.  But you may have found that you don’t visit this special room as often as you once did.  That’s because there is another competing room nearby.

 

Down another dark corridor of your heart lies the Depreciation Room, and unfortunately you visit there as well.

 

On its walls are written the things that bother and irritate you about your spouse.  These things were placed there out of frustration, hurt feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations.

 

This room is lined with the weaknesses and failures of your husband and wife.  Their bad habits, hurtful words, and poor decisions are written in large letters that cover the walls from one end to the other.  If you stay in this room long enough, you get depressed and start expressing things like, “My wife is so selfish,” or “My husband can be such a jerk.”  Or maybe, “I think I married the wrong person.”

 

Some people write very hateful things in this room where tell-off statements are rehearsed for the next argument.  Emotional injuries fester here, adding more scathing remarks to the walls.  It’s where ammunition is kept for the next big fight and bitterness is allowed to spread like a disease.  People fall out of love here.

 

But know this.  Spending time in the Depreciation Room kills marriages.   Divorces are plotted in this room and violent plans are schemed.  The more time you spend in this place, the more your heart devalues your spouse.  It begins the moment you walk in the door, and your care for them lessens with every second that ticks by.

 

You may say, “But these things are true!”  Yes, but so are the things in the Appreciation Room.  Everyone fails and has areas that need growth.  Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage.  This is a sad aspect of being human.  We all have sinned.  But we have this unfortunate tendency to downplay our own negative attributes while putting our partner’s failures under a magnifying glass.

 

Let’s get down to the real issue here.  Love knows about the Depreciation Room and does not live in denial that it exists. 

 

But love chooses not live there.

 

You must decided to stop running to this room and lingering there after every frustrating event in your relationship.  It does you no good and drains the joy out of your marriage.

 

Love chooses to believe the best about people.  It gives them the benefit of the doubt.  It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions.  And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward.  As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.

 

It’s time to start thinking differently.  It’s time to let love lead your thoughts and your focus.  The only reason you should glance in the door of the Depreciation Room is to know how to pray for your spouse.  And the only reason you should ever go in this room is to write “COVERED IN LOVE” in huge letters across the walls.

 

It’s time to move into the Appreciation Room, to settle down and make it your home.  As you choose to meditate on the positives, you will learn that many more wonderful character qualities could be written across these walls.  Your spouse is a living, breathing, endless book to be read.  Dreams and hopes have yet to be realized. Talents and abilities may be discovered like hidden treasure.  But the choice to explore them starts with a decision by you.

 

You must develop the habit of reining in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your mate.  This is a crucial step as you learn to lead your heart to truly love your spouse.  It is a decision that you make, whether they deserve it or not.

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

For today’s dare, get two sheets of paper.  On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse.  Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day.  There is a different purpose and plan for each.  At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

 

If there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)

 

 

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.

 

Comments (45) -

1/12/2010 3:59:07 AM
Lynn United States
Lynn
I just wanted to say this dare has been alot harder then I thought it would be but in these last 7 days I think I have learned more about me and the women God wants and calls me to be. Thank you for issusing this challenge.
1/12/2010 4:29:47 AM
Kristin United States
Kristin
My husband and I took the Love Dare last year as a couple.  It was the best decision that we have made for our relationship!  This Dare reminds us to love one another as Christ loves us.  
This time I am taking the Love Dare without my husband.  I am wanting to show him how I continue to love, honor, and respect him.  I am journaling my the dares and my responses and thoughts each day.  My plan is to give my husband the journal for Valentine's Day.  What better way to say I love you!
Thank you for all your love and support!
1/12/2010 4:59:07 AM
Ana United States
Ana
I am married, however, I plan on typing out one positive attribute of each of my 130 students.  I will give each a copy so that they may also be encouraged.  

Now, to find a margin in order to make a list about my husband......
1/12/2010 5:23:55 AM
Sharon Trinidad and Tobago
Sharon
I love this. This is a real boost for marriage and thank you so much. Keep up the great work. May the Lord Bless KLOVE
1/12/2010 5:37:06 AM
sheila United States
sheila
I started this love-dare on day one, got 5 co-workers to join on day 5. They look forward everyday to next chapter.  Thank you for putting this out there.  For me personally it is showing me how much I needed to reconnect with my spouse, it is showing me how much i have let come between us as a couple.  Thank you for your love and support.
1/12/2010 5:42:45 AM
lisae United States
lisae
I AM THINKING THAT THIS MAY BE EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO CONTINUE TO DO WHAT HE NEEDS FROM ME RIGHT NOW. HE HAS BEEN HAVING ROUGH DAYS AND UNDER A GREAT DEAL OF STRESS/DEPRESSION.  MAYBE I CAN GIVE HIM THE NUDGE HE NEEDS TO REMEMBER WHY WE ARE TOGATHER.
1/12/2010 6:45:27 AM
Rebecca United States
Rebecca
This Dare is a big one for me.  I am guilty of being quick to magnify my husband's negative qualities and to downplay my own.  That is so very wrong of me and it actually breaks my heart to say that outloud.  I'm excited about writing out my husband's positive qualities and celebrating them today...and every day after.  

Thank you Lord for today's dare....for opening my eyes to what I'm doing to my marriage.  I pray that you will help me spend more time in my Appreciation Room enriching and enjoying my marriage.  Amen!

May God Bless all of you, your spouses and your marriages as you commit to this Love Dare!
1/12/2010 6:50:43 AM
Nolette United States
Nolette
Ok I've been doing the challenge w/o my husband knowledge it has been ez up until yesterday.  Let me just say the challenge has brought sweetness to a bitter marraige.  I fell off the balance beam yesterday (not literally) and choose to react to a circumstances in my marriage in a not loving way and invited irritation and frustration to seap in.  Kinda of down 2day about it, but 2day is a new day, time to get back and abide n 2 days challenge.  Thanx Lisa and Eric for being God's voice. Smile
1/12/2010 6:53:47 AM
Veronica United States
Veronica
WOW I totally needed to hear todays dare story. I recently found some stuff out that he did behind my back that casued great greif and a mistrust in me. I prayed about it and decided to continue with our relationship. But, personally, Im having a hard time with making "negative assumptions of the unknown" I prayed before I read todays lesson and got my answer. I will let LOVE lead me in the positive direction and will choose to stay in the Appreciation Room permenently. Thank you Lisa and Eric.
1/12/2010 7:29:28 AM
Sal United States
Sal
I have been married for going on 26 years and it hasn't been the best marriage. I was always seeing what my husband did wrong.  I spent all my time and love on my children and now, my grandchildren.  One day we were all together when I said something very negative to him in front of my grown daughter and he answered me back in the exact way that I had spoke to him.  I was immediately hurt by his actions.  I asked him how he could talk to me in that manner and he replied, I only talk to you the way you talk to me. Later I was complaining to my daughter about her dad and she said, "Mom don't you see how you talk to dad? You were really mean to him today." It makes me sad to see you treat eachother that way."  Wow was that an eye opener, that is when I truly noticed that my marriage needed work.  I started the Love Dare on my own and I have already noticed a difference in my marriage.  I am really trying to respect and Love my husband unconditionally and so far it's going great.  He has responded to my kindness with kindness of his own.  Thank-you Lord for K-love.
1/12/2010 7:53:48 AM
Adrienne United States
Adrienne
As I sat down to write the two lists, I discovered that the positive list is quite long, and the negative list is quite short. Yet I have tended to focus on the negative and let it bother me much more than it should. Most of the negatives were annoyances and not real issues at all. What a great dare, to shift my thinking to the positive, and diminish the negative to its proper place, far in the background.
1/12/2010 7:58:07 AM
Lynn Strain United States
Lynn Strain
I am not married, I divorce last year.  I decided to use this dare on every person in my life and every person I meet each day.  It is helping me to have true love for my neighbor!  I put each days dare on my face book page so that hopefully my friends will join in, a few have.  Thank you K-Love for putting this out there, not just for married people, but for everyone!
1/12/2010 8:02:38 AM
Sara United States
Sara
Today's dare really hit home for me.  This one will be the hardest so far, but probably the most rewarding.  I may need to read and reread this through out the day.  Thank you for bringing this to me, Lord.  And help me to follow through with your plan.  I am full of fear, worry and doubt.  Help me to be full of faith instead.
1/12/2010 8:45:08 AM
Jessica United States
Jessica
I am so glad for this love dare! I am in a bit different situation than some because I am not yet married! My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and have a beautiful boy who is 2. I ran from God and made some poor decisions but have recently made a decision to seek God!! I found this love dare soon after my decision to follow God again. I feel this is Gods answer to my failing relationship!! I was about ready to let it go even though we are planned to be married this september!! I was constantly being dissappoited by him and his mistakes were on my mind all the time!! As you would say I was not only visiting my depreciation room I had moved in and was living there every day!! Instead of looking at my own faults it was so easy to point out his! I saw this love dare and thought why not. Selfishly in my mind I thought "I'll show him. I'll do this and he'll realize what he's doing wrong and how much I'm trying!" But really it has shown me what I have been doing wrong! It has been a little hard to do but I have been doing it! I have realized what I have been doing wrong and I realized that I threw in the towel a long time ago and quit trying when I should have been trying harder every day! God is showing me how to love again and I am beginning to love my boyfriend more than I ever have.  I have been praying that God would open his heart and bring us closer to god as a couple but above that, that through the changes in my life my boyfriend would come to know christ. My boyfrined has no idea that I am doing this love dare and while I was at church this past sunday I felt lead to go to the alter and when I got home, later that day, my boyfriend and I had a  talk about realtionship issues and I was able to bring God up in the conversation! The next Day I got up and he had left me a note about how he wants to make the changes in his life! He said he wants to let God in his life and love him as much as he loves me!! Praise God!!! Blessings are on the way!! Keep us in your prayers!! Salvation is near!!!
1/12/2010 8:50:24 AM
Lauren Perrault United States
Lauren Perrault
I did this on my own to safe my marriage about a year ago.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  And when you are doing it alone...it is so much harder!  You can get so angry and take on the martyr attitude "I do everything for him! I've done my part to make this work".  But this book changed my attitude and my life.
I learned to let go of those feelings...to stop living in the "depreciation" room. I learned how to love my husband again and in return (just as it suggests will happen) my husband grew too.
It didn't happen overnight or even in a month.  It took until day 20 to shift my attitude completely and longer for him to notice and try himself.  So DON"T GIVE UP!!
Today we are expecting our second child in July and planning a wonderful 8 yr wedding anniversary trip together.
He's my best friend again and I thank GOD for putting this book into our lives.  
1/12/2010 8:51:51 AM
Sabrina United States
Sabrina
This year marks me and my husband's 5 year anniversary.  We have had many struggles from moving multiple times, the births of our two children, financial hardships, struggles with other family members, and selfish addictions. But we worked on these issues together and have become so strong as a couple.  We have a strong marriage but I am convinced that it can only become stronger so this is my second time taking this dare for him.  I like the idea one listener had of journaling this time and giving it to him  as a valentine's day gift.  Today's challenge has helped me see again what a treasure my husband is and how much he and I have together.  The negative list was hard to write because I don't focus on the negative, but I realized that I also don't focus on the positive.  Sometimes we are just so busy that we are going through the motions.  Today I resolve to take time for my family and my marriage and focus on them instead of all the little things that distract and distraut me.
1/12/2010 8:56:02 AM
let United States
let
my husband and i just got back together from being seperated for a month because he wanted a divorce. He is back and we desperately needed this ,Love Dare. We both have started this on yesterday and i have faith that as we both open our hearts to gods word together, we will be transformed. Im happy for what god has already done , bringing us back together again. I thank god for Klove and this Love Dare. God bless
1/12/2010 8:58:15 AM
JC United States
JC
Last year, my church showed the movie Fireproof for married couples around Valentines Day.  They offered sodas and popcorn and handed out a copy of The Love Dare to each couple at the end.  What a powerful message!  We were still in Newlywed status at the time, but now we just had our first child and things have changed mostly for the better.  Unfortunately, we have had less time for each other due to the needs of an infant and we have snapped at each other in our sleep deprived states.  I don't have much time, but setting aside time for my marriage should be at the top of my priorities list.  I'm getting a late start with the "dare", but I am starting today! Thank you K-Love for the inspiration to do this! Thank you for be willing to let God work through you in AMAZING ways!  
1/12/2010 8:58:48 AM
Bobby Shoutz United States
Bobby Shoutz
Me and my wife were on the brink before i found the lord again. We have found a new committment to each other and this is a tool we can use to get back to what we once were. thank you.
1/12/2010 9:55:51 AM
Carolina United States
Carolina
I've been doing the "Dare" since day 1, and it's been hard. Usually my husband is so wonderful, I thought it would be easy to do it on him, but it's actually been difficult. I know,however,that this is already helping me build character in myself and helping me to appreciate a good husband.
1/12/2010 11:16:12 AM
Dawn Zicchino United States
Dawn Zicchino
It is so hard to find positives, without the negative, like a two sided sword.  I find myself saying this is good on the one side, but it is bad as well...help I won't to be positive but it is so hard.
1/12/2010 11:23:46 AM
Anamaria United States
Anamaria
I missed the love dare for the first 2 days, does anyone have those written down??? Please post here if you do.  

Thanks
1/12/2010 11:37:10 AM
Jeannie M United States
Jeannie M
Thank you so much for "daring" us to take the "Dare", I have hooked,(hook, line & sinker) 15 of my friends here at work, (christians & non-christians) and they have taken the challenge. I hope we can all stay committed and see the wonderful results the Lord will bring to each of us. I have been married 32 years and it still seems as if it all just happened yesterday. The courtship, romance, children, & disagreements but a stronger love.  We have decided to love the Lord first and then honor & respect one another secondly, in this action are where all truths lie.
1/12/2010 12:21:15 PM
Valerie United States
Valerie
I am not married, but God lead me to look into this dare. At first I wasn't up for it because I think it's only for married people, but I am learning quickly it isn't! I have a boyfriend, we both are believers, and really love God. I believe we both want to go further to marriage, but waiting right now. I know this dare will continue to show me what a marriage is all about and hopefully grow a deeper grow not love but a respect for my boyfriend as a person.
1/12/2010 12:24:38 PM
Stella United States
Stella
My journey through this Love Dare has really opened my heart. I realized I need to change the way I function as a wife and a mother. Since day one my husband noticed there is a change in me. Todays dare showed me there are more positives about my hubby in my heart than the negative. I plan to pray about the negative and remind myself and know how awesome my husband is. We have been married 10 months-very challenging.  
1/12/2010 12:50:24 PM
Danielle United States
Danielle
It seems that my husband and I have struggled a lot in our 19 year relationship.  We have gone to marriage counseling, done a Marriage Encounter and gone to the follow up classes, etc.  I feel like I am constantly trying to read self-help books on relationships.  I don't get very far in them, as I can read, but am not a strong reader, it is not my passion.  Just recently I had rented Fireproof and it really hit home.  I bought the book and perused the introduction, but hadn't started anything.  Then, on day 1, I was driving the kids to school, heard Lisa and Eric talking about the Love Dare, and that it ended on Valentine's Day!  I thought, what perfect motivation for me to do it with someone (millions maybe) else.  So, thank you Lisa and Eric.  I will be wrapping this up and giving this to my husband on Valentine's Day.  In just day 7, it has already made such a difference in myself and my spouses reaction to me!  I can't wait for Valentine's Day!
1/12/2010 1:28:22 PM
Jen United States
Jen
I have to say. Today was really a wakeup call for me. My husband and I have been together 17 years and married for almost 12. Today reminded me that even though some things can annoy me, I really am a lucky wife. Thanks for the support in trying to get through this.
1/12/2010 1:54:31 PM
Tara United States
Tara
I have loved ever day of this dare. I look forward to the day that my spouse is as happy as when we first got married. Even though there is tention in the home, knowing that I am acting in a way that God wants me to is and extra push I need to keep up with the dare.
Thank you for spelling it out for us.
1/12/2010 2:19:47 PM
Christina United States
Christina
this is a very big struggle, I am on the edge of divorce but I committed myself to doing this first.  I am really struggling daily, but with the Lords strength I will finish and at least I can say I gave it my best.  thanks for your encouraging words each day they definetly help me to keep trying.
1/12/2010 4:42:38 PM
TINA United States
TINA
i did this last yr and it made my marriage stronger ....my hubby and i have been married 22 yrs and now were going threw something more improtant...im going threw breast cancer and if your hubby is not with you on this he will never be thier for you...it is a life changing thing.....good luck to all and god in the one the only and he is and always will be....
1/13/2010 8:09:09 AM
Renee United States
Renee
My husband had an affair. I found out on Thanksgiving. I always thought I would immediately leave him if that happened.  I can't. The Lord opened my eyes to how I have treated him over the last 12 years of our marriage.  I have been praying for his salvation but not working on myself. By the grace of God I accidentally received a copy of the DVD Fireproof, two days before Thanksgiving! I was going to return it but I kept it. This dare is hard but I am hanging in there. I beleive God wants me to do this and I will!  Please pray for my husband and me.  Thanks!
1/13/2010 6:14:47 PM
Susan United States
Susan
I added a twist - I took my negative list and for each negative, I turned it into a positive (example: negative was can't/won't quit smoking -- the positive was - only smokes outside.)  There are two sides to every personality trait or habit and I will be trying to focus on the positive side.
1/16/2010 3:51:44 AM
Amie Elliott United States
Amie Elliott
After reading this i realized that , far too often i am finding myself in the OTHER  room. I have been down and depressed for many reason and even though i claim to TRUST in the lord and give my hurts to him,. I selfishly try to deal with them myself. This challenge has helped me to appriciate the things that made me fall in love with my husband to begin with. Although still haveing many things to work on i can now say THANKS instead of asking WHY& WHAT NOW!
1/17/2010 8:22:51 AM
Jonique United States
Jonique
I thanked my husband for being supportive. He has been so great with everything that is going on with my job and has even done some research on his own to help out...without my asking.

Surprisely, the good list was easier than the negative list. Of course, this is the second time I've done this dare and I've changed so much since the first time I tried to do the 40 days. This time I will finish!
1/17/2010 3:14:04 PM
Nachos Mexico
Nachos
My Depreciation Room has taken over the entire "house".  I have no Appreciation room, or if I do, it's tucked in the corner of the attic or basement.
1/18/2010 11:30:39 PM
Elizabeth United States
Elizabeth
Today -- i am choosing to move forward, I will stand and wait for God to heal my heart, and restore us as a couple. God is capable --If Christ could cover my sin, take my place at the cross, then I can certainly write, The sin is covered by the blood and Christ as well as my love for him. Love endures all and believes all, and hopes for the best. I will stand and wait God, I will wait on you.
2/2/2010 9:58:23 PM
Michael United States
Michael
This one is something i realy needed/need to hear, im not married but im doing it for my girlfriend, today has been tough for me because i realy love her but today and yesterday i've been stumbling over something that happened in the past and i realy want to talk to her about it and get over it but with her schedule and mine we don't have time till friday, however today i got off early from work and tried calling her; she was at a party i forgot about and didn't want to talk then so this realy put me in a bad mood, she also said "you go ahead and be upset" i know she was just reacting to my attitude and well it sent me to the depreciation room, however i love her so much and plan on marrying her so i can't live there i have to stop; i have to break the cycle just deciding to make the right choice is allowing me to think positive and not be so depressed.
2/4/2010 10:08:46 AM
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8/31/2010 7:47:44 PM
alex United States
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I thanked my husband for being supportive. He has been so great with everything that is going on with my job and has even done some research on his own to help out.http://www.inkicks.com/..without my asking.
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2/18/2011 10:14:09 PM
trista Canada
trista
Oh boy, am I ever guilty of this!! Like Nachos said..... My Depreciation room is the whole house and I will need to find where in the attic or basement I have hidden the Appreciation room! This is very challenging and very rewarding too! My husband pointed out my negativity and sarcasm on day 5 and this is the root of it here. This is the perfect way to bring about the change I need to be the wife he deserves! Thank you Heavenly Father for the wonderful husband I have!
2/24/2011 7:36:48 PM
Mark Crochet United States
Mark Crochet
Today was fairly easy because my positive list is a mile long.  I thanked my wife for being such a good friend to all her friends.  She is the most thoughtful person I know, and I've been taking that for granted.  Day 8 will be tougher, and I'll tell you why tomorrow.  We had a great conversation tonight and I have learned a lot over the last 7 days, a lot of ugliness that I had been demonstrating.  It's hard to look at yourself and realized you became cold, bitter, and sullen and expected others in your home to act as if nothing was wrong.  I can definitely feel the hand of God leading me down the right path.  I can only hope my wife will be there to meet me.
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