Jan 17 2010

Love Dare - Day 12

Love Lets the Other Win

 

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests others.  – Philippians 2:4

 

If you were asked to name three areas where you and your spouse disagree, you’d likely be able to do it without thinking very hard.  You might even be able to produce a top ten list if given a few more minutes.  And sadly, unless someone at your house starts doing some giving in, these same issues are going to keep popping up between you and your mate.

 

Unfortunately, stubbornness comes as standard feature on both husband and wife models.  Defending your rights and opinions is a foundational part of your nature and make-up.  It’s detrimental, though, inside a marriage relationship, and it steals away time and productivity.  It can also cause great frustration for both of you.

 

Granted, being stubborn is not always bad.  Some things are worth standing up for and protecting.  Our priorities, morals, and obedience to God should be guarded with great effort.  But too often we debate over piddling things, like the color of wall paint or the choice of restaurants.

 

Other times, of course, the stakes are much higher.  One of you would like more children; the other doesn’t.  One of you wants to vacation with your extended family; the other doesn’t.  One of you wants to vacation with your extended family; the other doesn’t.  One of you prefers home-schooling your kids; the other doesn’t.  One of you thinks it’s time for marriage counseling or to get more involved in a church, while the other doesn’t.

 

Though these issues may not crop up every day, they keep resurfacing and don’t really go away.  You never seem to get any closer to a resolution or compromise.  The heels just keep digging in.  It’s like driving with parking brake on.

 

There’s only one way to get beyond stalemates like these, and that’s by finding a word that’s the opposite of stubbornness – a word we first met back while discussing kindness.  That word is “willing.”  It’s an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations.  It’s like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest winds because it knows how to gracefully bend.  And the one best example of it is Jesus Christ, as described in Philippians 2.  Follow the progression of His selfless love …

 

As God, He had every right to refuse becoming a man but yielded and did – because He was willing.  He had the right to be served by all mankind but came to serve us instead.  He had the right to live in peace and safety but willingly laid down His life for our sins.  He was even willing to endure the grueling torture of the cross.  He loved, cooperated, and was willing to do His Father’s will instead of His own.

 

In light of this amazing testimony, the Bible applies to us a one-sentence summary statement: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5) – the attitude of willingness, flexibility, and humble submission.  It means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself.

 

All it takes for your present arguments to continue is for both of you to stay entrenched and unbending.  But the very moment one of you says, “I’m willing to go your way on this one,” the argument will be over.  And though the follow-through may cost you some pride and discomfort, you have made a loving, lasting investment in your marriage.

 

“Yes, but then I’ll look foolish.  “I’ll lose the fight.  I’ll lose control.”  You’ve already looked foolish by being bullheaded and refusing to listen.  You’ve already lost the fight by making this issue more important than your marriage and your spouse’s sense of worth.  You may have already lost emotional control by saying things that got personal and hurt your mate.

 

The wise and loving thing to do is to start approaching your disagreements with a willingness to not always insist on your own way.  That’s not to say your mate is necessarily right or being wise about a matter, but you are choosing to give strong consideration to their preference as a way of valuing them.

 

Love’s best advice comes from the Bible, which says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield” (James 3:17 NKJV).  Instead of treating your wife or husband like an enemy or someone to be guarded against, start by treating them as your closest, most honored friend.  Give their words full weight.

 

No, you won’t always see eye-to-eye.  You’re not supposed to be carbon copies of each other.  If you were, one of you would be unnecessary.  Two people who always share the same opinions and perspectives won’t have any balance or flavor to enhance the relationship.  Rather, your differences are for listening to and learning from.

 

Are you willing to bend to demonstrate love to your spouse?  Or are you refusing to give in because of pride?  If it doesn’t matter in the long run – especially in eternity – then give up your rights and choose to honor the one you love.  It will be good for you and good for your marriage.

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse.  Tell them you are putting their preference first.

 

 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  (Romans 12:18)

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 (20) -

1/17/2010 7:53:27 AM
Jonique United States
Jonique
Both my husband and I have a problem with this. He believes that he's [always] right and that angers me to no end putting my pride and stubborness on full alert.

Since I am doing this by myself, it will probably result in a lot of humility for me. :o) With God's grace and the lessons that I've learned thus far...I'll make it.
1/17/2010 10:41:57 AM
Michael Corbin United States
Michael Corbin
well, Our puppy died yesterday, Shira came over and for the first time in a week , we got to see each other, and for the first time in a couple of months, we acctually communicated. Shira said I seem stronger and less emotionally dependent, I am not less dependent though, I am more so, only on a Perfect God.  She could tell there was a differance, then when the puppy acctually died she came over again and we spent several hours together, better than things have been in forever, a few days ago I didn't have any hope at all, I have spent the lions share of my days in prayer, I didn't know If i'd get to be involved in my daughters life at all, now I know I am going to be there.  She even agreed to fly to Michigan in a few weeks once Zoe is born so my dad, who has esophageal cancer and is about to start another round chemo, can meet our first child. Have faith, the Lord can do all things. pray for Him to intercede with those who are hurt and angry, let go of all anger, and fear. Do not allow conversations to repeat over and over in your head, every time you do you can change things in your memory even slightly, The accuser and his minions love to use our emotional memories to hurt, cofuse, cause anger, cause fights , and take away peace. The Lord Is Good . continue to pray for Shira,Zoe and I, I have hope for us, however, there is a long way to go, and a lot more Love to show.
1/17/2010 11:03:27 AM
Ted Teater United States
Ted Teater
Thank you for this enlightening and frustrating truth. While Sharri and I weren't able to think of three things that we currently disagree on we did recognize the symbolisms of our own, sometimes, obstinence. I beleive that to bend is to strengthen rather than to weaken and in so doing we will find ourselves closer to walking in rather than next to the footsteps of our Lord Jesus.

God Bless You,
Ted Teater
1/17/2010 1:29:48 PM
Kay Kay United States
Kay Kay
Michael Corbin...
You are inspiring...  I will pray for you and your family.  I'm not sure where this journey will take me either, but I do know that with God all things are possible.  I am praying for God to work a miracle in my husbands life.  However, I know I must change to for this to happen.  I will try to "bend", even though I feel it is not right what my husband is doing...but I will persevere...with God's help.  Thank you KLOVE for sharing these blogs.  It is very helpful to all of us!
1/17/2010 2:07:03 PM
Sophia Origer United States
Sophia Origer
I am also doing this alone. Today's dare is going to be a BIG step for me.  I am the one in our marriage that seems to never give in or give up on an arguement.  I started doing this "Love Dare" for our marriage but I think it is teaching me alot of thing about myself some, good and the not so good. My husband is greatly benefiting from this whole experience as well as I.
1/17/2010 2:13:28 PM
Shel United States
Shel
They weren't lying when they said this would be hard. My husband's affair continues. He even spent the night with her last night. I haven't heard from him since yesterday at noon. He will not respond to my texts or phone calls. I hope I am doing the right thing by continuing this love dare when every fiber of my being screams for me to kick him out and end it. Please K-Love brothers and sisters, please continue to pray for my husband and me. I am feeling like I can't go on. I have never had this sort of pain before and it feels like I want to die.
1/17/2010 2:32:40 PM
Michael Corbin United States
Michael Corbin
It is not a coincidance that some of us are doing the Love Dare alone, Honestly, we are probably the ones God feels need the most work most urgently. It is not that we are worse or that we are more at fault for the troubles in our relationships; although in some cases I am sure that is true as well; The Lord knows everyones heart, not only how they feel or what their true motives are now, but how much they can bend and change may not be enough for either of you now, but you are able too. No it is not "fair" but in a fallen world what is? Everything that is being done in us now is for a reason that we can't see.  We don't need to see. Some of us feel closer would help, knowing why, knowing things are over, or that the worst is done and reconciliation is on the horizon. But if we knew these things, would we spend the hours in prayer, learning to become ever more dependant on God? isn't the time spent with the creator of the universe and the peace that He give worth it? God does not enjoy or willing give us pain, He allows humans to live with results of our sins. We would not feel so absolutly alone if we did not make our spouses more important than God. Closeness to Adoni automatically brings peace, mercy, grace, hope and love. It is not possible to be near to Him and not feel the Bounty of His Spirit and His Love.
1/17/2010 2:40:13 PM
JaneK United States
JaneK
Shel i will pray for you dear..I will pray..i will admit that i never was in a situation as hard as yours, but remember what it says in the bible..this that God works all things together for good of those who love Him..you are doing the right thing by doing this Dare...and by not throwing him out..i know at times it feels like you can not go on, but Lean on Our Lord, Our Savior, He'll be the lover of your soul..Your Husband..and with your obedience to our Lord, things could and MAY change for the better with your husband. Pray hard for him now, pray for him, pray pray..and God will listen!

I am not here to preach, but definitely to pray for you dear Shel...my prayers are with you in this hard time..and don't let the DEVIL convince you that life is not worth it. Life is beautiful, and it's worth it Smile) I have a lady friend who struggled with her marriage for years, and this year she was ready to divorce, well God intervened and they are back together full force and are in ministry together..and i know of one other couple who got back together..So have hope dear one!! Do not ever give up Hope Smile

If you ever need a chat or someone objective to listen to feel free to email me at janect_2004@yahoo.com

God Bless You and your family!!

And K-Love thanks for having this dare, it will change many lives!!

In His Love, Jane
1/17/2010 2:46:03 PM
Doug McIntire... United States
Doug McIntire...
If we "really" fallow Christ's teachings, Paul’s maturity in love, you will find both spouses deserving the same love and respect, even under, inline with scripture, with the specific passage that describe man and wife.

With Love and in Christ
Doug
1/17/2010 2:46:51 PM
Kainoa United States
Kainoa
Shel, God has put it on my heart to respond to your post.  In these times of despair and it feels as if there is nothing more, KNOW that GOD, and ONLY God is lifting you up, it is through HIS healing that you can take another breath.  Believe that He loves you and has a plan for YOU and YOUR life.  I am praying for you,Shel.   God, I lift up Shel into YOUR loving embrace, mend her broken heart and ease her mind.  Reassure her faith and give her comfort.  Lord, I lift up her husband that he may change his ways and honor his marriage vows, but moreso Lord I pray that he seeks YOUR guidance, seeks your enlightenment.  Lord, give Shel the strength to endure the plans that YOU have in store for her life.  In the name of you son, Jesus, AMEN.
1/17/2010 3:14:10 PM
Angie United States
Angie
Shel, your determination to follow God in such devastating circumstances is encouraging to me.  I think that Psalm 34, especially verses 17-18 might encourage you during this time.  I'll be praying for you.  Remember, with God all things are possible.
1/17/2010 4:09:01 PM
Linda United States
Linda
Shel ~
My heart is breaking for you right now because I, too, know your pain ... it is the kind you don't think you will make it through.  Please know you are not alone and I am with you ~ praying for you and God is with you!  Having gone through this nearly 9 years ago, trust me when I say that I do feel your sorrow (and I am so very sorry) however I can't stress to you how important it is NOT to give up.  Surround yourself with true friends who will hold you, love you and not judge you.  Take God's hand and don't let go and know that God does heal all wounds and miracles do happened.  I remember that I would pray and ask God to heal my marriage but HE knew that the marriage was not what needed healing .... it was my heart.  So in HIS wonderfull fatherly love he showed me how to love HIM first, then love myself before the marriage could be addressed.  It took over a year for God to put my marriage back together and the forgiveness is daily and it is an ongoing, but what I learned about God and myself while going through the darkest time of my life was worth every tear I cried.  You are a precious child of God and please remember that don't let the enemy fill your minds with all the self-doubt and fear.  You are worth all the love and joy God wants for you.  While I was going through this I read Palms over and over because I was in the fight for my life -- when the pain felt like it was unbearable and I could not eat or sleep I would hold my bible over my heart and asked God to heal and to take all the voices and images out of my head, crazy as that seems it worked!!!  You fight and when you have no fight left in you ask God to give you more energy just to get through the next battle.  Take it day by day, minute by minute, don't beat yourself up.  I will continue to keep you in my prayers and your husband!  God Bless you and your family.
1/17/2010 4:41:17 PM
julia United States
julia
Heavenly Father I pray for the hurt and wounded that they may feel your love, peace, and have your strength to move forward--I pray that JESUS will interceed and open up the hearts of those who are doing the hurting--and I pray that everyones relationship with a loved one be restored--I pray this in JESUS name AMEN
1/17/2010 8:19:23 PM
Elizabeth United States
Elizabeth
A year ago I started the love dear and got distracted with school and all the demands of life and laid it down and walked away--forgetting why I was doing the love dear. Now a year later my marriage has hit an ice berg. It's been that way for a while -- I discovered my husband is emotionally, mentally not there for me and something crept in when I wasn't looking --it's broken my heart--I don't know if I can trust him again--I made an appointment with a Christian counselor--he says he will go --I hope so--today I am recommitting myself to the love dear with my whole heart--Only God can save our marriage -- 15 years and I am wondering if its over -- but I will stand and wait -- I am going to wait for the break through even though I am broken, hurt, and crying out to God for help!! God is my refuge, my shield, and my strong hold, in Him I will trust.
1/18/2010 5:52:17 AM
Wayne United States
Wayne
Although I am single and not in a relationship at this time I find the Love-Dare inspiring and thought provoking. Maybe somewhere along the line K-Love will do something like this for us singles. In regards to Shel's post I feel for you greatly. I can't imagine the pain you are going through right now. I pray right along with Kainoa prayer for you.
1/18/2010 7:37:23 AM
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1/18/2010 9:42:26 AM
Liz United States
Liz
Linda,
Thank you for your words today. I too am in Shel's place. I have spent a lot of time at addoration chapel and the presence of the Lord helps in ways you can not imagine. There are times I sit and cry and think the tears will not stop and then there are times I sit there in great peace, knowing He is with me through it all. Your statements are all so true and so strong and were just what I needed to hear today. Thank you to you and the Holy Spirit for guiding me here today so I could read this!
1/22/2010 8:48:06 AM
Pam United States
Pam
Linda,
I have lost my husband's heart to an old girlfriend also and it breaks my heart. I identify with Shel and believe that God brought me here today to read your words of encouragement as I have had a heart filled with hate, anger and bitterness. He wants us to work on the marraige and I am not sure I'm willing. Please pray for me and for him.  Pam
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