"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others." --Philippians 2:4
Having studied political science in college, when I hear the word 'interests,' I immediately think of countries. I remember that after declaring my concentration in International Studies, I was upset when I grasped how many countries stand idle while another nation is seeking help. It tears me apart that people argue against countries lending hands to one another unless they have a vested interest in the outcome. For me, I would hope that if someone needs my help, my first reaction would be to lend immediate aid...and the furthest thing from my mind to be the question, 'what can I get out of this?'
Unfortunately, looking out for our own personal interests far too often is the cry in marriage. Probably because stubbornness is a standard feature on--humans. The opposite of stubbornness is a word I've talked/learned about quite a lot during my love dares. "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."
I love how Kendrick describes the word 'willing.' Gracefully bending. It is beautiful, and that type of bending is something I lack. The most difficult thing for me in marriage is learning that my desires, my needs, my money, etc...these are no longer 'mine.' In a marriage, they are 'ours.' I constantly try to argue my way, or force my way upon Zane...especially when I don't understand why something can be such a big deal. But Christ teaches the opposite. He urges us to have an "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."
One way to practice a willing attitude is to stop arguing. The argument cannot continue unless both Zane and I are 'in it to win it.' The wise thing for me to do is stop insisting on my way. Consider Zane's preference as a way of valuing him. "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...choose to honor the one you love. It will be both good for you and good for your marriage."
Dare 12: Willingly choose to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. I completed this dare by letting my husband cancel an appointment I had to get a tattoo. I have been wanting so badly to get another tattoo...script that would be a love song to my King. But, my body is Zane's body...and if he doesn't want me to have ink on my skin, I shouldn't force him to see it...(hard, VERY had to gracefully bend on this...)
Dare 11: Cherish your spouse.
Dare 10: Love unconditionally.
Dare 9: Greet well.
Dare 8: Don't be jealous.
Dare 7: Believe the best.
Dare 6: Don't be irritable.
Dare 5: Don't be rude.
Dare 4: Be thoughtful.
Dare 3: Be selfless.
Dare 2: Be kind.
Dare 1: Be patient.
--Inspired by "The Love Dare"