Jan 09 2010

Love Dare - Day 4

Day 4

Love is thoughtful

How precious also are Your thoughts to me. . . .
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them,
they would outnumber the sand. —Psalm 139:17–18

 

Love thinks. It’s not a mindless feeling that rides on waves of emotion and falls asleep mentally. It keeps busy in thought, knowing that loving thoughts precede loving actions.

When you first fell in love, being thoughtful came quite naturally. You spent hours dreaming of what your loved one looked like, wondering what he or she was doing, rehearsing impressive things to say, then enjoying sweet memories of the time you spent together. You honestly confessed, “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

But for most couples, things begin to change after marriage. The wife finally has her man; the husband has his trophy. The hunt is over and the pursuing done. Sparks of romance slowly burn into grey embers, and the motivation for thoughtfulness cools. You drift into focusing on your job, your friends, your problems, your personal desires, yourself. After a while, you unintentionally begin to ignore the needs of your mate.

But the fact that marriage has added another person to your universe does not change. Therefore, if your thinking doesn’t mature enough to constantly include this person, you catch yourself being surprised rather than being thoughtful.

“Today’s our anniversary?”

“Why didn’t you include me in that decision?”

“Don’t you ever think about anyone but yourself?”

If you don’t learn to be thoughtful, you end up regretting missed opportunities to demonstrate love. Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship.

Let’s be honest. Men struggle with thoughtfulness more than women. A man can focus like a laser on one thing and forget the rest of the world. Whereas this can benefit him in that one arena, it can make him overlook other things that need his attention.

A woman, on the other hand, is more multi-conscious, able to maintain an amazing awareness of many factors at once. She can talk on the phone, cook, know where the kids are in the house, and wonder why her husband isn’t helping . . . all simultaneously. Adding to this, a woman also thinks relationally. When she works on something, she is cognizant of all the people who are somehow connected to it.

Both of these tendencies are examples of how God designed women to complete their men. As God said at creation, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). But these differences also create opportunities for misunderstanding.

Men, for example, tend to think in headlines and say exactly what they mean. Not much is needed to understand the message. His words are more literal and shouldn’t be overanalyzed. But women think and speak between the lines. They tend to hint. A man often has to listen for what is implied if he wants to get the full meaning.

If a couple doesn’t understand this about one another, the fallout can result in endless disagreements. He’s frustrated wondering why she speaks in riddles and doesn’t just come out and say things. She’s frustrated wondering why he’s so inconsiderate and doesn’t add two and two together and just figure it out.

A woman deeply longs for her husband to be thoughtful. It is a key to helping her feel loved. When she speaks, a wise man will listen like a detective to discover the unspoken needs and desires her words imply. If, however, she always has to put the pieces together for him, it steals the opportunity for him to demonstrate that he loves her.

This also explains why women will get upset with their husbands without telling them why. In her mind she’s thinking, “I shouldn’t have to spell it out for him. He should be able to look at the situation and see what’s going on here.” At the same time, he’s grieved because he can’t read her mind and wonders why he’s being punished for a crime he didn’t know he committed.

Love requires thoughtfulness—on both sides—the kind that builds bridges through the constructive combination of patience, kindness, and selflessness. Love teaches you how to meet in the middle, to respect and appreciate how your spouse uniquely thinks.

A husband should listen to his wife and learn to be considerate of her unspoken messages. A wife should learn to communicate truthfully and not say one thing while meaning another.

But too often you become angry and frustrated instead, following the destructive pattern of “ready, shoot, aim.” You speak harshly now and determine later if you should have said it. But the thoughtful nature of love teaches you to engage your mind before engaging your lips. Love thinks before speaking. It filters words through a grid of truth and kindness.

When was the last time you spent a few minutes thinking about how you could better understand and demonstrate love to your spouse? What immediate need can you meet? What’s the next event (anniversary, birthday, holiday) you could be preparing for? Great marriages come from great thinking.

 

Today’s Dare

Contact your spouse sometime during
the business of the day. Have no agenda
other than asking how he or she
is doing and if there is anything
you could do for them.

-------------------------------------------

 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. (Philippians 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.

 

 

Reproduced with permission

 

 

Comments (31) -

1/9/2010 6:11:51 AM
Rebecca United States
Rebecca
I kept yesterday's dare very simple...I went and bought my husband a card and wrote a little love note inside.  He got a kick out of it and asked why I had done it.  I told him that I just wanted him to know that I love him.  I almost lost it at one point last night though.  My 3 y/o son and I were playing with a slinky on the couch and my son let go and it accidently hit my husband in the face.  He looked at me and said "Maybe you shouldn't be playing with that on the couch", but he said it to me like I was 5 y/o.  I wanted SOOOO badly to lose it, but I bit my tongue...HARD and just slid off the couch and sat there and played with my son on the floor.  Amazingly though, my husband apologized for snapping at me.  Normally those situations don't end that peacefully and I know that it was because I kept the negativity to myself.  Later I went into the bathroom and prayed for forgiveness and added strength with my patience because I seemed to be a highly irritated and did want to "fall off the wagon" already.  I ended going to bed early.

Today should be fairly easy just because it's Saturday and I have to do to go run errands anyway, so I will ask him if he needs me to pick him up anything special of if he needs me to go somewhere else (out of my way) for him.  

Lord, I pray that today you will continue to help me with my negative response to certain situations and I also pray that maybe you will give me an opportunity during this Dare to share what I'm doing with my husband.  Please continue to soften his heart Lord as I continue to show him what real love is through you.  Amen.
1/9/2010 6:21:26 AM
no name 2 United States
no name 2
ok today will be hard. I have to say yesterday i said negative things to my husband. So hopefully today will be better. I did get him his tobacco yesterday without him asking me to.Also the other day i fixed him his favorite supper he really appreciated it. Thank so much klove. Everyone just keep praying for me i think he knows im doing the love dare
1/9/2010 6:34:23 AM
Kate United States
Kate
I had to talk my husband into participating in this Love Dare. He just felt he didn't have time and that since our marriage is wonderful; strong in the Lord and everywhere else that we didn't need this. He agreed to participate anyways because he knew how important it was to me.  He figured everything can improve. I was so busy yesterday at work that I completely forgot to get him something. He told me he hadn't either so it didn't matter. I get home and he and the kids had aranged my favorite flowers, hot pink roses in a beautiful vase. Along with it a note just from him saying, "I may need to be dared to try new things but I don't need to be dared to love you. I ALWAYS DO!!" I see strengthening already. Thank you for doing this Love Dare. I pray that it reaches those couples that need it the most. We were one of those couples that before Christ entered our lives that were headed for divorce. I will never forget my pastor's wife telling me that I can't leave just because I am unhappy. If she hadn't said those words, encouraged me to change who I was towards him and be more Christ-Like towards my husband, we wouldn't be deepening our marriage. Thank you KLOVE! I'll keep praying for you!
1/9/2010 6:46:43 AM
Adrianne United States
Adrianne
For all of you doing the Love Dare, my prayer for you is...
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this; He will make your righteouness shine like the dawn, the justice if your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him...  Psalm 37:5-7
1/9/2010 7:18:28 AM
Nicole United States
Nicole
I am amazed at how different things in my house are due to the "Love Dare" and we are only on day 4! Thank you, K-Love, for bringing peace and harmony into my home through this challenge!
1/9/2010 7:43:11 AM
David United States
David
From "Let’s be honest. Men struggle with thoughtfulness more than women" through the end of the article you basically skewer men and tell us how we've got to change in order to have effective communication in a marriage. And then you close with "Love requires thoughtfulness—on both sides." Your article doesn't support that statement.

Which is easier? To simply speak your mind, or to play Kreskin (aged reference, I know) and try to figure out what someone means? It seems to me the path of least resistance would be for women to just say what they mean. I don't mind occasionally reading between the lines but it is definitely not the most efficient means of communication. That sort of nebulous "guess what I'm saying" process is a fertile bed for misunderstanding.

And if you're thinking right now, "but that's the way women are!" then tell me why women get to be who they are but men are expected to change from a logical, concrete method in order to placate them. It just doesn't make sense.
1/9/2010 7:46:57 AM
Rebekah United States
Rebekah
Today I called my hubby while he was at work just to see how hi day going. He seemed more annoyed than happy that I did. So I suppose I will need to think of another way to let him know I  am thinking about him during the day. A little discouraging but that is okay.
1/9/2010 7:53:35 AM
Karen United States
Karen
Yesterday was a tuff one I lost my job a few weeks ago and don't start my new job for a few more weeks money to say the least is tight.So instead of buying something for my husband I looked in the cupboard and made one of his favorite dished and had it waiting on the table when he got home from work He to say the least was surprised and wondered what I was up to looking forward to the coming days
1/9/2010 7:56:54 AM
Gabrielle Horsman United States
Gabrielle Horsman
Thank you so much Lisa and Eric for being an encouragment to my marriege.  
1/9/2010 8:24:45 AM
Rae United States
Rae
My partner is going to love today's love dare, I think this page was written for us. I wasn't sure he would participate at all but everyday I have sent him the love dare and he's reading them.
1/9/2010 8:30:26 AM
Mariela United States
Mariela
It just doent come natural now this days...too much hurt...zero appreciation...I will try my best today  help me  God!!!
1/9/2010 9:28:13 AM
Shalom United States
Shalom
Hi Lisa & Eric,

I am sure almost everyone has told you how this Love dare is helping them. However, am sure that since i am God's favorite (lol) He had me in mind when He placed this idea in your hearts because THIS is what i need to do now for my marriage.

I love you guys and appreciate the fact that you have allowed God to use you in order minister to my life.
1/9/2010 10:02:43 AM
Lessslie Severns United States
Lessslie Severns
Day 4 and going strong! I plan to make it to the end.I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
1/9/2010 10:56:05 AM
RUBEN United States
RUBEN
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. THE 40 DAY LOVE DARE IS TRUTH AND WHEN APPLIED TO OUR MARRIAGE RELATONS WILL ENABLE BOTH HUSBAND AND WIFE TO UNLOCK THE PROMISES THAT GOD HAS MADE TO US. WE JUST HAVE TO GET THE KEYS AND USE THEM.(THE GOSPEL IS TRUTH)
1/9/2010 11:09:56 AM
lilia United States
lilia
i know these love dares are for marred couples but I've been having problems with my mom so I want to do this for her. I'm only 17 years old, but its fun to do something like this for here. I would like to show her that i care even if I've disappointed her so many times.
1/9/2010 11:49:05 AM
Emily United States
Emily
You have just describe the repeating pattern that is most difficult in my marriage.  I just want him to be thoughtful and he doesn't manifest that in the way I am looking for.  Will be checking back here in the next weeks to see more of your advice!
1/9/2010 12:16:16 PM
Tracey Butcher United States
Tracey Butcher
We just started this journey with you yesterday.  My husband, Gary and I have been married 12 years-13 in April.  We have 4 children, 2 of which have special needs.  It has been a challenge. Our marriage has been strained.  We are struggling most days just to keep it afloat.  There's been a lot of blame, which as you know eats away at a relationship.  He tells me that I need this challenge more than he does because I have been neglecting his needs.  I all goes back to placing blame, but we're going to give this challenge a try.  Pray for us please.  Thank you and God bless.

Tracey
1/9/2010 12:25:12 PM
Janice United States
Janice
Dear Lisa & Eric , I listen to you every morning while I get ready for work your show always lifts my spirits! I only wish my husband were with me to take the love dare but he is in jail . I am renting a room in our church drug rehab & working for subway sandwich shop .I live in the rehab because they are only charging me 200 dollars a month room & board so I can get things back in order! I feel sometimes if it weren't for KLOVE I would not be able to servive  God has put you in my life I believe to keep me going ! I am 52 yrs. old & so much of the time I feel like throwing my hands up & screaming & then you play the song "The Things I Would Say " & it makes me think I can"t give up I must trust in God that things will get better !!! Thank You for being there God Bless Janice  
1/9/2010 2:20:28 PM
Beth United States
Beth
I am excited to be taking the Love Dare.  It has given my an awareness to all of my relationships.  
1/9/2010 4:12:28 PM
Jerri Patterson United States
Jerri Patterson
Looking forward to the Love Dare
1/9/2010 4:26:02 PM
Michelle United States
Michelle
I am so glad I went and bought the book because I have been following on with my own book because I always cannot get on the internet and read each day.   Thank you guys for starting something so great and awesome.   I have seen some change already in myself I am doing this alone.
1/9/2010 4:53:33 PM
GOD Is Good!!!(ALL The Time...) United States
GOD Is Good!!!(ALL The Time...)
Love Dare rocks!This Love Dare on klove.com was recommended to me by a friend @ a much needed time in my life..."My past is not in my future",my marriage is my future,Love Dare is part of that!!!Thanx to my "friend"!Thanx K-Love!Thanx Lisa & Eric!But,most of all Thank You JESUS!!!
1/9/2010 5:10:21 PM
Pearl Barman United States
Pearl Barman
Lisa, Eric,
I listen to your show every morning on the way to work it is so inspiring to me and the love dare program is so great. My husband and I are doing in hopes that we can grow stronger in our relationship together and with God. I want to thank you for all of your wonderful words each and every morning. On my way home then its just as great. Thanks for all the wonderful works you do for everyone who calls and just the greatness.And to Scott on Monday to do nice things on Monday the story you told last week just made me sit and cry.  I am so happy that we have a father and savior who hears our crys. I know without a doubt that day he heard that one. Praise the Lord.  Thanks K-LOVE and all of you who are there for all of us out here.
1/9/2010 5:28:39 PM
Mara United States
Mara
My husband and I do this dare daily. At lunch everyday we text each. The first text is always "How is your day?" And so on. If the day is crummy we ask what we can do to cheer each other up. Then we share what we call is something good. This something good can be something we imagine for a relationship that will happen one day or something that has happened in the past that reminds us how in love with each other we are. As I did not post yesterday I will make up for it today. My husband talked me into going sledding. It was hilarious however by the end of the evening I was feeling very ill and I failed to get my husband something that showed him I was thinking of him. He however called me, ( we drove separate) to ask if I was hungry and if there was anything he could bring me, medicine or whatever. That was enough to show that my well being was on his mind. He is so good to me.
1/10/2010 6:06:37 AM
Jane United States
Jane
Thnk u for doing this!we just started feeling further away from eachother, n seam 2 take everything the other one says wrong... my husband and i just had our first child 7 weeks ago...  i know most of the problems have arrose just since she has been born due to being to tired to have time 4 ourselves let alone eachother... im trying this dare kinda by myself.  my prayer is he will want 2 do it as well...
1/11/2010 5:25:28 AM
james thornton United States
james thornton
the love dare has posed to very diffilcult for my wife and myself we argue all the time over silly things. last night she brought up somthing that i didnt agree with and i had nothing nice to say so i didnt say anything ans she turned it into me having a atittude about it because i said nothing i then explained my feelings and even still she found reason to say i started it.
1/17/2010 8:19:57 AM
Jonique United States
Jonique
Oh how the comments have dwendled.

Thankfully, I do this everyday already. With our different work schedules it's often the only time that we'll be able to talk about our day and discuss life. I like to know how his day is going and what he's up to.
1/18/2010 11:31:53 PM
Hery Saudi Arabia
Hery
First time visiting your blog..., thanks for your usefull article
1/24/2010 6:11:08 AM
Jonathan Keslar United States
Jonathan Keslar
My wife and I got seperated several months ago over somethings that both she and I did. I felt she was solely to blame and I made her feel horrible for it. I realised a few weeks ago that I was wrong to do that. I moved out last October and she now has a new boyfriend but, I still love her with all my heart. She's not happy with our current situation but she's afraid that I am going to go back to being the way I was before I started this. It's only Day four for me But she's already noticed the difference. I think we can make this work. I just need all of you to pray for my wife and I as we try to work this out. Pray that God gives me the strength to be the man I should have been this entire time. We have a 2 year old son together and I want him to know what I never did, a happy home with parents who love each other as God intended a man and woman to love each other.
1/31/2010 10:08:26 AM
Candice South Africa
Candice
James Thornton/Johanathan Keslar - I can totally relate.  My husband and I live in different countries - he went back last year to his.  I love and miss him horribly.  Things were so bad when he left, the whole works, cops, trashed house etc.  I love him so much and I do really want to be with him but I am scared to because of his violent temper.  I sent him an email today because I do love him and I did really mean it.  I was thinking that I couldnt call him because I have run out of money on my phonecard - now I'm thinking that I should just call international on my regular phone - just to let him know that I love him.  I hope he doesnt get annoyed.
2/16/2011 8:39:26 PM
trista Canada
trista
DANIEL: I hope you are still working on this challenge! You started around the same time I did. Please post and ler me know how you are doing!     Bless you. Trista
Comments are closed