Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dare 1

"Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13
Good morning! I am off to a new adventure and thought you might enjoy it. I bought The Love Dare at the beginning of the year, and am finally getting around to it. This book is by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, and was the inspiration for the movie Fireproof, or Fireproof inspired the book. Either way, I am excited to be tackling this. Everyone can dare to love more! So, 'The Love Dare is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love.' I'm looking forward to this. I hope you are too! I will take the dare day by day and let you know how and when I stumble (I'm sure it will happen), what the dare is, and a corresponding verse to go with it. I'm looking forward to how God will increase my love for my incredible husband...and the best thing is, he does not know I am going through the book:) And no, he doesn't read my blog...so he will either think I am crazy at times, or find me really charming and loving. A hopeless romantic. I will be dared to think differently than the world tells me to--lead my heart rather than be led by my heart. Blogging about it will help me to capture what is happening to both me and Zane along the way...and further roots my understanding the I have the responsibility to protect and guide my heart. Here goes:
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Eph. 4:2 Did that make you cringe? It made me! That familiar scripture was the first thing I read upon Day 1, after the title: Love is patient. Oh no. The gentle part, I can handle. The humble...well, I'm earnestly seeking to get better. But patient? Friends, I don't know about you, but I absolutely loathe going through something that requires patience. I'm not good at it...and I'm not sure I necessarily want to be good at. I want what I want, when I want it. But I also fully understand how beautiful and indescribable it is when something we have longed for, waited for, comes to pass. Patience is such a difficult virtue to master. One that God is always teaching me. But as a Christian, I am told repeatedly to be patient. The scripture is full of God's patience towards His people. Of His unconditional love for His people. If God were not patient, He would not love us unconditionally. He wouldn't love us. We would all be in so much trouble--because we make the same mistakes over and over and over and over. When someone makes a mistake towards me, my patience is already short. But when someone makes that same mistake twice, my fuse is shot. Praise God He loves us. He is jealous for us. And He will be patient with us, that we may abound in His steadfast love.
So, I suppose that is where this Dare comes in. I vowed on our wedding day to love Zane til death. We wrote our own vows, and read traditional ones, but part of my vows were to be patient, be slow to anger, to seek kindness and be that gentle tongue which turns away wrath. I promised that our strengths mixed with each other's weaknesses would only allow us to love each other more and abound in our need of Christ. And, I vowed to seek Christ, with Zane, and keep Christ the center of our lives, that we could grow to learn how to love each other perfectly...loving better as each day passes.
So, this means for me, that when I get my hopes up, I will be patient--which means kind and loving--and bear with my husband. Listen to his view point. Compromise where a compromise is possible. Notice that in the scripture, vs. 2b states to 'be patient, bearing with one another in love.' Being patient won't always be easy. But if I can be conscientious of Zane's heart, and bear with him in love, then God will enable me to be patient.
"When you choose to be patient, you will respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper...love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm...Patience is where love meets wisdom...few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationships."-Kendrick
So my dare? Resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to Zane at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. "It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret." Or as Thumper says, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

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