Feb 07 2010

Love Dare - Day 33

Love Completes Each Other

 

If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  -- Ecclesiastes 4:11

 

God creates marriage by taking a man and a woman and uniting them as one.  And although love must be willing to act alone if necessary, it is always better when it is not just a solo performance.  Love can function on its own if there is no other way, but there is a “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31).  And love dares not to stop loving before it gets there.

 

This “completing” aspect of love was revealed to mankind from the beginning.  God originated the human race with male and a female – two similar but complementary designs meant to function in harmony.

 

Are bodies are made for each other.  Our natures and temperaments provide balance, enabling us to more effectively complete the tasks at hand.  Our oneness can produce children, and our teamwork can best raise them to health and maturity.  When one is weak, the other is strong.  When one needs building up, the other is equipped to enhance and encourage.  We multiply one another’s joys and divide one another’s sorrows.

 

The scriptures say, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the other one will lift up his companion.   But woe to the one who falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up”(Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10).  It’s like your two hands, which don’t just coexist together but multiply the effectiveness of the other.  In order to do what they do, neither is quite complete without the other.

 

Although our difference can frequently be the source of the misunderstanding and conflict, they have been created by God and can be ongoing blessings if we respect them.

 

One of you may be better at cooking, for instance, while the other is more thorough in cleaning the dishes.  One may be more gentle and able to keep peace among family members, while the other handles discipline more directly and effectively.  One may have a good business head but needs the other to help him remember to be generous.

 

When we learn to accept these distinctions in our mate, we can bypass criticism and go straight to helping and appreciating one another.

 

But some can’t seem to get past their partners differences.  And they suffer many wasted opportunities as a result.  They don’t take advantage of the uniqueness that makes each of them more effective when including the other.

 

One such example from the Bible is Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who presided over the trial of Jesus.  Unaware of who Christ was and against his better judgment, he allowed the crowd to influence him into crucifying Jesus.

 

But the one person who was more sensitive to what was really happening was Pilate’s wife, who came to him at the height of the uproar and warned him he was making a mistake.  “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with what righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him” (Matthew 27:19).

 

She was apparently a woman of keen discernment who grasped the magnitude of these events before her husband did.  Certainly, God’s sovereignty was at work, and nothing would have kept His Son from marching obediently to the cross for us.  But Pilate’s dismissal of his wife’s intuition reveals an unfortunate side to man’s nature that is often downplayed.  God made wives to complete their husbands, and He gives them insight that in many cases is kept from their men.  If this discernment is ignored, it is often to the detriment of the man making the decision.

 

The effectiveness of your marriage is dependent upon both of you working together.  Do you have big decisions to make about your finances or retirement planning?  Are you having a real problem with a coworker who’s getting harder and harder to deal with, and you are grappling with the appropriate action to take?  Are you absolutely convinced that your educational choices for the children are right, no matter what your spouse thinks?

 

Don’t try doing all the analysis yourself.  Don’t disqualify his or her right to voice an opinion on matters that affect both of you.  Love realizes that God has put you together on purpose.  And though you may wind up disagreeing with your spouse’s perspectives, you should still give their views respect and strong consideration.  This honors God’s design for your relationship and guards the oneness He intends.

 

Joined together, you are greater than your independent parts. You need each other.  You complete each other.

 

Today’s Dare

 

Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success.  Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel.  If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

 

 

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.

 

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Comments (15) -

2/7/2010 11:29:39 AM
just me United States
just me
How lucky I am to have my husband!  There are so many things to be thankful for in my husband when I see today's dare.  We have been blessed to have very few issues where only one of us makes the decisions.  We made the choice when we got married that we were not going to be "My way or the highway" type people; that we were going to discuss everything that comes our way.  We have disagreed more times than I can count, but the end result is a respect for the other's opinion, and not a battle to see who wins most.
2/7/2010 1:26:44 PM
Shel United States
Shel
I have already asked my husband to forgive me for this, among other things on one of the dares before. I had to write it because we don't talk. He never mentioned it so I asked him to let me know when he forgives me. He said he would let me know but things can't be undone. Please pray for my unsaved husband. I am praying so hard, any of you who've read my previous comments already know. I'm starting to wonder if this marriage is going to be saved. But whatever happens, my husband needs to be saved.  Thank you and God Bless you all.
2/7/2010 2:54:21 PM
cj United States
cj
This one's my favorite so far.  I believe it 100% and have thought this for some time, praying my dh would too.   Today in fact, he made a break through in this area!  The less I push my point, loudly prove I'm right, but learn to wait for him to see for himself my strengths or discernment in certain areas, the more he's becoming willing to see them.  
Booklady, I'm seeing changes in my dh too and am starting to wonder if it's possible that mine is doing the dare?  That would be very, very out of character for him.   He's saved, usually thinks everything's fine till I have a meltdown.  I havent' told him I'm doing this, was afraid I'd fail or he'd be "grading" my dares to see how I was doing!   LOL
I'm so glad you are encouraged, Just Me!  
I'm so sorry, Shel, and Michael, and Free.   Asking for Holy Spirit help and protection for all and salvation for the unsaved.  
2/7/2010 6:15:49 PM
booklady
booklady
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the other one will lift up his companion"  Ecclesiases 4:9

I really find it hard to believe that we are almost through the 40 days.  I got started a couple of days late, but caught up quickly.  I've bought the Love Dare Couples devotional book for husband for Valentine's day.  

Again I'm so glad I got the book so I can go back and reread or mark items in the book that I need to finish. Plus i can continue to refer back to each as a refresher now and then.

I've noticed a definite change in myself in regards to my relationship with God and my husband.  I've seen a change in husband even though he didn't do the dares. Again many of our issues were not as complex as some others have shared.

Looking forward to tomorrow's dare (may have to read ahead in my book...LOL)
2/8/2010 1:46:00 AM
Michael Corbin United States
Michael Corbin
I have waited another week to file for custody (which means separation/divorce)and things have only gotten worse. I wanted to wait till the end of the Love dare, just to see, but the longer I wait, the harder it will be for me to an equal part in my daughters life. I have tried waiting and letting God work, but I only see more signs not to wait. I don't see how God could want me to, but I also don't see how He can't want me to be a proper Father to my daughter.I don't know what to do. I feel betrayed, everything that I know is right doesn't seem to matter. I realize that life isn't fair, God gave us Zoe, we are both supposed to raise her and be involved. Daughters need a loving and involved father especially, but all children need both parents, not just part time parents. I feel like giving up. Everything is painful and I can't see how God is working anymore. I know He is continuously refining and drawing me closer, but outside of His work in me (which I have not been keeping the last 2 days or so, The verbal assault from Shira and the Love Dare yesterday both blasted me hard.)  God provides. He is right next to me and carrying me when I can't move (which I have a feeling has been the last month or more straight) But I still have no answer except to file, it keeps coming up to me, and there has been no sign of any change or possibility of future change from Shira. I want God to work in her and speak to her, to call her and save her, but many people want that and God doesn't always answer every prayer with a yes, Please anyone, pray, give advice, I am seeking wisdom in what is one of the most impacting and long lasting decisions I have ever made.
2/8/2010 9:48:18 AM
booklady
booklady
cj~my husband knows I've been doing the love dare, but he hasn't done it himself.  I started it mainly to become a better partner for him.  He is always so loving and kind and always feel like I'm so mean. I could just have copied something you said  about 'he thinks everything is fine until I have a meltdown'.  I tell my husband he jsut likes to sweep things under the rug until the rug is pulled from under him. Very similar and boy have I had some meltdowns.

I guess the old saying "you can attract bees better with honey than you can vinegar" is true; hence the change in him as well. He has told me he has definitely seen me biting my tongue so to speak over some negative comment i wanted to make.  I have literally bitten my tongue some days especially in the beginning.

I know I don't sit at the lunch table with coworkers anymore and talk husband negativity.  Although I always got a laugh out the antics of my husband with my pals, I saw with one of the dares how wrong that was!

Michael Corbin~wish I had some sound advice for you.  You are definitely caught in a hard position between staying married and seeing your daughter.  I wish I had some magical formula to make it all better.  Just remember with God all things are possible even though things look bleak at the moment.

2/8/2010 10:16:14 AM
Laura Richards United States
Laura Richards
My favorite day!!!!!!!! My husband is not a believer, but God has brought us together for a reason.
2/8/2010 10:41:51 AM
Blessed Wife United States
Blessed Wife
To Shel

I pray for an abundance of blessings upon you and your husband.  A mans steps are ordered by God and through your trials and tribulations, many blessing will come out of the difficulties that you and your husband face.  I know from experience.  Be FAITHFUL in the Lord and he will being a healing to your husband. Take refuge in the Lord.  My prayers are with you.  Today's Dare was just as blessed as all the others.  Not all were easy for me and some I had to promise to do another day as my heart was heavy and I too felt attacked.  But, the Lord got me through and I am keeping my promises to fulfill each Dare that I either could not keep up with or on the days that were difficult.  33 days have gone by fast but I see the blessing of the Lord each day I wake up with my husband next to me and our disagreements are not so important anymore.  As I have grown through this process.  

I wish everyone many blessing, peace and faith through thier journey of this Love Dare and also through thier marriage or any other relationships.  Most importantly a closer walk with Jesus every day!

Sincerely,
Blessed Wife
2/8/2010 11:04:55 AM
Blessed Wife United States
Blessed Wife
TO: Michael Corbin  

My heart is heavy for you and the difficulties that you face.  I vow to pray for you and your daughter and her mother as well.  I can only imagine what you are going through.  However, at the same time - my husband is going throught the same thing you are.  The courts granted his ex wife her request to move out of state with his children and the last three years have been the hardest time ever in my husbands life.  Their mother had made life difficult for everyone because of her own selfishness.  She has failed to see the hurt she is putting the kids through.  However, we have stayed faithful in the Lord to do HIS WILL.  Not ours.  My husband has had some very terrible days but he knows that with each passing day, it is with the Lord how has given him strength.  I say to you, do not let the devil attack you and lead you to belive that here is no hope in sight.  It may not be today or tomorrow, but in the Lords time.  You will need the Lord daily because some days may be worse than others (as I'm sure you already have experienced).  "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  Remember - don't put your faith in man - Put your faith in the Lord.  Have faith the size of a mustard seed & live by faith and not by sight.  Be there for your daughter - enjoy every moment you are with her, do what ever you can keep her away from all the confusion between you and her mother.  You only have control over yourself.  There is nothing you can do to make her mother act any different than what she chooses - However you must pray for her.  The Lord will work on her.  Don't get discouraged when things seem to get worse or don't go your way.  As time passes (hopefully quick) your harvest will come....

We have court this Thursday after numerous times that thier mothers failed to put the kids on the plane to visit thier father.  Because of her unwilling to comply with court orders - we are hoping the courts will finally grant custody to thier father.  If so, it will be the Lords Will and not ours.  We only want what is best for the kids.  And if it the Lords will for the kids to be with thier father finally after three years - then our hope, prayers and faith was never in vain - always be faithful - never take your eye off the Lord.  Children need thier fathers too...

Sincerely,
Blessed Wife
2/9/2010 12:21:08 AM
RS United States
RS
Michael Corbin, one thing... confusion does not come from GOD! Take a little time and really seek what GOD wants... there won't be confusion... If there is confusion, maybe it is what YOU want... and you are right... GOD ALWAYS answers prayers, just not always the way we want... and sometimes... it takes a little (or alot) longer than we think is should... "be silent and wait on the LORD..."
2/17/2010 2:52:50 PM
Kayce Stanely United States
Kayce Stanely
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Hai Dunnaway
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Frank Roebuck
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Blair Kellog
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