Friday, August 20, 2010

Dare 26

"When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things." -Romans 2:1
Love is responsible, which means this could be the absolute hardest characteristic to master. To be responsible, we must seek God's strength and wisdom. We cannot do it on our own. Why? Because our pride far too often cripples us from saying things like: I was wrong.
Personal Responsibility: it's something we all agree others should have, but we struggle to maintain it ourselves. "We are so quick to justify our motives. So quick to deflect criticism. So quick to find fault--especially with our spouse, who is always the easiest to blame" (Kendrick).
But love covers our spouse in grace. Whether Zane accepts responsibility for his actions or not does not negate my responsibility to apologize for wrongdoing. Love strives to better your marriage. Love doesn't justify selfish motives or make excuses. Kendrick asks what might happen in your relationship if instead of passing blame, you admitted your own wrong? You listened to your mate instead of coming up with comebacks? "Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool" (Proverbs 17:10).
And you know what our responsibility is in marriage? Unfortunately, something I'm horrible at if I don't get my way, or feel my point of view isn't taken seriously. I am responsible to love Zane. Honor Zane. Cherish Zane. Period. Not if he does this or if he responds that way. Love, honor, cherish--no questions asked.
"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us; however, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8-9). We are instructed to swallow our pride and seek forgiveness regardless of how your spouse responds. Admitting your mistakes is your responsibility.
Dare 26: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God's forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse, sincerely and truthfully. Ask for forgiveness, and regardless of their response, cover your responsibility in love.
Dare 25: Forgive freely.
Dare 24: Kill lust.
Dare 23: Love protects.
Dare 22: Love your spouse. Period.
(For previous dares, refer to earlier entries.)

--Inspired by, "The Love Dare" Kendrick.

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