Friday, September 3, 2010

Dare 33

"If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?" -Ecclesiastes 4:11
When Zane and I got engaged, I had a close friend who asked why I would get married so young when there were so many things I still wanted to do. My response was easy. Mine and Zane's goals in life, while different, matched each other perfectly. Wherever God decided to lead us, I knew Zane and I could do more being together, than being separate. Zane in no way was holding me back by marrying me. He was allowing me to do more!
That is where this love dare comes in. Love completes each other. Love must be willing to act alone if necessary, but it is always better when it is not just a solo performance. God's Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 12 that God makes us all for different purposes. But we, together, are a body. Just like a body can function on its own, there is a more excellent way. So it is with love! 1 Corinthians 12:31 says: "Earnestly desire the higher gifts, but I will show you a more excellent way." Then the love chapter follows! Take some time right now to read 1 Corinthians 13 as if you have never read it before. Let it sink in. Then continue on here...
"Our bodies are made for each other. Our natures and temperaments provide balance, enabling us to more effectively complete the tasks at hand. Our oneness can produce children, and our teamwork can best raise them to health and maturity. Where one is weak, the other is strong. When one needs building up, the other is equipped to enhance and encourage. We multiply one another's joys and divide one another's sorrows" (Kendrick).
Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 tells us that "two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up." Know that our differences have been created by God and can be ongoing blessings if we respect them. Meaning, I have to respect Zane's lack of spontaneity. Just because I prefer doing things randomly, with no thought preceeding the action, does not mean I cannot love Zane all the more for planning ahead! If he didn't plan ahead, we would be so in trouble most of the time. I'm quick to say yes. He's quick to consider the cost first before responding. That is something beautiful, that while difficult to learn in the beginning of marriage, we are now at a point where we enjoy and love our differences all the more.
The effectiveness of marriage is dependent upon both husband and wife working together. God made me to complete Zane, and vice versa. Which means that as badly as I want him to listen and understand my opinion, I should do the same for him. "Love realizes that God has put you together on purpose. And though you may wind up disagreeing with your spouse's perspectives, you should still give their views respect and strong consideration. This honors God's design for your relationship and guards the oneness He intends" (Kendrick).
Like my response to my friend, that Zane and I would be able to do more together than separate, God designed our marriage to do just that. Joined together, we are grater than our independent parts. We need each other. We complete each other. How beautiful to be brought together by Christ and held together by His great love for us.
Dare 33: Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success.
Dare 32: Satisfy your spouse's "needs"
Dare 31: Spouse=Top Priority of Earthly Relationships
Dare 30: Be Unified.
Dare 29: Express Your Love.
(For previous dares, refer to earlier entries.)

--Inspired by Kendrick's "The Love Dare"

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