"Guard my soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You." -Psalm 25:20
This dare immediately made me start thinking of the Edwin McCain song, 'I'll Be.' Do you remember the chorus? "I'll be your crying shoulder. I'll be love's suicide. I'll be better when I'm older. I'll be the greatest fan of your life."
Today's dare is about focusing on that last line. Being the greatest fan of your spouse's life. Love encourages. Love becomes the cheerleader. Even when my favorite sport's team is losing, I cheer loud and hard. But how often do I cheer Zane on when I feel hurt, or neglected, or when he doesn't bend over backwards for me like he did on our first date? Unfortunately, that answer is not often, if at all. Ouch! If we all treat our spouses like that, no wonder there are so many unhappy marriages! Everyone is being discouraging and down on themselves and each other rather than lifting each other up, loving, cherishing, and cheering. Kendrick says "you must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations...love puts the focus on personal responsibility and improving yourself rather than on demanding more from others."
We have already discussed many times in this blog the way I feel when expectations are not met. Happily, I can say I think I am getting better at having a good attitude and realizing it's my own fault when I place unreasonable expectations on Zane. Haha...then I just get frustrated at myself for setting myself up again!
I hope I never cause Zane to feel like he is living with a speck inspector. Matthew 7:4-5 asks, "How can you say to your brother, 'let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Hmm...I wonder how quickly we jump to 'fixing' our spouse instead of looking within ourselves. It would probably be easier to count the number of times we look to change ourselves first. But when does our spouse's disapproval ever make us jump for joy and say sweetly, "thank you for letting me know! I look forward to doing better!" No. That scenario never happens. "Your spouse's disapproval only tends to entrench you. Rather than making you want to correct things, it makes you want to dig in even deeper" (Kendrick). Rather than putting each other in a position to rebel, we need to be allowing room for our spouse to be themself.
The Bible tells us to encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble (Isa. 35:3), and to build each other up, encouraging the fainthearted, helping the weak, and being patient with everyone (1 Thess. 5:11). A great place to start is with the one we chose to spend the rest of our life with.
Dare 27: Eliminate unrealistic expectations in your home. Become your spouse's biggest fan!
Dare 26: Seek forgiveness.
Dare 25: Forgive freely.
Dare 24: Kill lust.
Dare 23: Love protects.
(For previous dares, refer to earlier entries.)
--Inspired by, "The Love Dare."