Feb 09 2010

Love Dare - Day 35

Love is Accountable


Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  – Proverbs 15:22


Mighty sequoia trees tower hundreds of feet in the air and can withstand intense environmental pressures.  Lightning can strike them, fierce winds can blow, and forest fires can rage around them.  But the sequoia endures, standing firm, only growing stronger through the trials.


One of the secrets to the strength of this giant tree is what goes on below the surface.  Unlike many trees, they reach out and interlock their roots with the sequoias around them.  Each becomes empowered and reinforced by the strength of each others.


The secret to the sequoia is also the key to maintaining a strong, healthy marriage.  A couple that faces problems alone is more likely to fall apart during rough times.  However, the ones who interlock their lives in a network of other strong marriages radically increase their chances of surviving the fiercest of storms.  It is crucial that a husband and wife pursue godly advice, healthy friendships, and experienced mentors.


Everyone needs wise counsel throughout life.  Wise people constantly seek it and gladly receive it.  Fools never ask for it and then ignore it when it’s given to them.


As the Bible so clearly explains, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15).


Gaining wise counsel is like having a detailed road map and a personal guide while traveling on a long, challenging journey.  It can be the difference between continual success or the destruction of another marriage.  It is vital that you invite strong couples to share the wisdom they have gained through their own successes and failures.


Why waste years of your life learning painful lessons when you could discover those same truths during a few hours of wise counsel?  Why not cross the bridges others have built?  Wisdom is more valuable than gold.  Not receiving it is like letting priceless coins pass through your fingers.


Good marriage mentors warn you before you make a bad decision.  They encourage you when you are ready to give up.  And they cheer you on as you reach new levels of intimacy in your marriage.


Do you have an older couple or a friend or a friend of the same gender you can turn to for good advice, for prayer support, and for regular accountability checkups?  Do you have someone in your life who shoots straight with you?


You and your spouse need these types of friends and mentors on a consistent basis.  The Bible says, “Encourage one another day after day … so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).  Too often we can isolate ourselves from others.  If we are not careful, we could push away the people who love us the most.


You must guard yourself against the wrong influencers.  Everyone has an opinion and some people will encourage you to act selfishly and leave your mate in order to pursue your own happiness.  Be careful about listening to advice from people who don’t have a good marriage themselves.


If your marriage is hanging by a thread or already heading for a divorce, then you need to stop everything and pursue solid counseling as quickly as possible. Call a pastor, a Bible-believing counselor, or a marriage ministry today.  As awkward as it may initially be to open up your life to a stranger, your marriage is worth every second spent and every sacrifice you will make for it.  Even if your marriage is fairly stable, you’re in no less need of honest, open mentors – people who can put wind in your sails and make your marriage even better.


How do you pick a good mentor?  You look for a person who has the kind of marriage you want.  You look for a person whose heart for Christ comes first before everything else.  You look for someone who doesn’t live by his or her opinions but by the unchanging Word of God.  And more times than not, this person will likely be delighted you asked for help.  Start praying for God to send this person into your life.  Then pick a time to meet and talk.


If this doesn’t sound too important to you, it would be a good idea to ask yourself why.  Do you have something to hide?  Are you afraid you will be embarrassed?  Do you think your marriage is exempt from needing outside help?  Does diving into a river of positive influence not appeal to you?  Don’t be the captain of another Titanic divorce by ignoring the warning signs around you when you could have been helped.


Here’s an important reminder from Scripture: “Each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).  This appointment is unbreakable.  And though we’re all ultimately responsible for the way we approach it, we can surely stand as much help as others can give.  It might just be the relational influence that takes your marriage from mediocre to amazing.



Today’s Dare


Find a marriage mentor – someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you.  If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment.  During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.


In abundance of counselors there is victory.  (Proverbs 11:14)



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 (14) -

2/9/2010 5:35:56 AM
Onward and Upward United States
Onward and Upward
Shel, thanking God for snow and dogs and melting hearts!
2/9/2010 6:28:18 AM
cj United States
Me too, Shel!  
Just me, sorry I didn't see your encouragement from yesterday till now.  Thanks for that!  I wanted to tell you how God pulls me out of the imaginary world sometimes. I'll realize that the Holy Spirit has put a praise song in my head.  That gets my mind back to Him.  He is so loving and faithful!  (Like that Tenth Ave No. song, "By Your Side".."Why are you looking for love?  Why are you still searching, as if I'm not enough?")

As for today, I like what someone said in a past blog about God not being the author of confusion.  How true!  That is something I remember for guidance, and in who's counsel (in friendships) to take to heart.  
2/9/2010 6:42:27 AM
Michelle United States
I have not been able to get past day 31, letting go of leaving.  It seems like every time I put things behind me something happens to rehash those old feelings to just walk out. There is a part that wants to stay but another part that pulls me to leave before we end up hating each other. Today's dare is to find counsel.  I need counsel, I need prayer, I need help.  I want my marriage to work, but I don't have the strength, I am tired of fighting, I don't know how to do it anymore...
2/9/2010 8:45:49 AM
Jessica United States
Be encouraged, God will help you to leave the past behind.  One thing that helped me is to think of forgiveness in a way that you are forgiving the person you love, not the act.  The hurt you felt and pain you have carried were/are real, but you choice to forgive the person.  Some times healing/forgiveness is a on going process.
2/9/2010 10:00:12 AM
Shel United States
Michelle, I encourage you to hang in there. When this dare is over...do it again! Seek God, foucus on God, hand it all over to God. You cannot do this alone, I know. You need Go there, hand if over to Him and He will handle it for you. Continue to pray!  God Bless you!
2/9/2010 10:09:04 AM
Shel United States
This dare, I did in the beginning. My friend has been wonderful. When all the people who love me told me to leave, she was the voice of God. I am glad I listened to her. I am still struggling. I know that 40 days isn't enough, it's like a diet, you don't stop when you reach your goal, you change your habits to maintain it. I am so in love with my husband, and more; I am in love with my God. I have been able to realize that I don't control everything, that I don't have to. God is first, then my husband. I still need prayers for my husband's salvation, but I feel it is coming. I feel that God is going to use me as a vessel and a voice and I accept that honor! Hang in there, all of you...start the dare over if you have to and surround youself with God loving and God honoring people. God can mend and repair anything, focus your relationship with God. Stop and take time to hear Him. And know that He isn't a genie that grants wishes, He is God...never changing, loving you unconditionally...God.
2/9/2010 12:38:05 PM
just me United States
just me
This one today is the entire reason I am here!  I came looking for counsel and I can tell you it is working!!  I thank God for ALL of you here.  I thank God KLOVE is doing this to bring marriages/relationships closer to Him and His plan.  I thank God that He uses ME (!) to be a positive influence in someones' life.

CJ--I have shed a tear or two listening to that same song, the same lines of verse!  
2/9/2010 12:53:25 PM
Kelley United States
My husband wants to walk out on our 20 year marriage.  I haven't always been a great wife, but with the Love Dare and God have become all I was meant to be.  My husband says he appreciates me and my changes, but doesn't think things can be healed.  I go from optimistic that God will save our marriage to downtrodden and wondering which way to go next.  I have three teenagers that are struggling as well.  I don't know where to turn, but realized today I need counseling for myself before we begin couple's counseling.  I continue to hope that God will grant healing, but wonder if he will.
2/9/2010 5:00:23 PM
booklady United States
Husband and I are at odds about today's dare.  He doesn't think we need to seek out anyone even to have on standby.  I really think if we got to a point of needing  counseling we'd have to seek it professionally or we'd never agree on who to go to and what to share or not to share.

As much as we love our pastor, I don't think we'd choose him simply because..I guess almost admitting failure on our part.

I'm finding as I look back on the dares I haven't completed (marked with a sticky note in my book) that there are some that may never be completed...

2/10/2010 5:08:26 AM
Michelle United States
Thank you for your words of encouragement.  I talked to my husband told him of my feelings to still leave.  We have decided to attend a Family Life Weekend to Remember seminar together.  We went to one a few years ago and it was life changing for us for quite a while.  We re-connected in a whole new way. But life happens and now it seems we are back at ground zero again. Things get comfortable and we take each other for granted, I guess.  The conference was fun and enlightening and you are surrounded by people who are going through the same thing, issues and feelings.  The counselors were wonderful and was there for one on one if needed also.  I encourage you to look into it.  The link is www.familylife.com/.../Attend_a_conference.htm.
I am praying for God to work wonders in all of our marriages.  Thank you K-Love for bringing us couples together to meet in a place where we can find and seek encouragement from others who understand.  God Bless!
2/10/2010 9:34:26 PM
failure United States
my husband and I have tried this dare and he has only choosen to follow the dares hat he wanted to...then he complained that I wasn't doing anything....I am sorry to say that this is onne couple that has failed this dare cycle
2/11/2010 7:51:57 AM
hopeful United States
A friend of mine went out of her way to get me the book "The Power of a Praying Wife." I have used this book to guide me during this time. Prayer has been my salvation; there are days when I don't feel like praying for my husband, it's these days that I absolutely have. This book reminds why; when we pray we enter into the presence of God, when we do this the hardness in lur hearts melts away. The truth is, God doesn't want you to to fight, He wants to do it for you. God longs to come through for us. He can only do that if you pray and let Him take control. "Pray without ceasing...."
2/19/2010 1:33:19 AM
Gwenda Schwarts United States
Gwenda Schwarts
I thought  all the income made from web are scams. Now, i know and im enlightened.
4/7/2011 4:34:41 PM
Copywriting Services United States
Copywriting Services
This is such a great site. You encourage, challenge and inspire. Thanks!
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