Lent and the Love Dare – Part 4 of 4

 

SPOILER…  I survived the Love Dare.  So did my wife.  So did our marriage.  At this time, we must pause our program for station identification and thank our show’s sponsors, The Love Dare, Kirk Cameron, Fireproof Movie, etc., etc., etc.

Did I leave anyone out?  YES.  The Lord.  Man, what a great day it is in His kingdom.  I’m so tickled to be writing this to you all today, so let’s jump right back in!

Day 31 – Love and marriage – Genesis 2:24

Today’s dare?  I was asked if there was some sort of “leaving” issue unresolved or undiscussed with my parents or hers.  Frankly, this one didn’t apply to us.  We chocked full of flaws.  I’m not sure I could list them all adequately.  But, I can tell you discussion over what is true and false about our folks isn’t something we have avoided over the years.  We understand and are engaged with our folks and I truly believe the good practices for dealing with whatever lies ahead have been well debated and we hold a solidarity among us.  It was a light day considering this dare is a practice we share and share well.

Day 32 – Love meets needs – 1 Corinthians 7:3

Today’s dare?  “If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your spouse…”  I’m not blogging about that.  But, in case you were wondering, I was amazing…

Day 33 – Love completes each other – Ecclesiastes 4:11

I was tasked with including my wife in my future success.  She may not have recognized it, but we shared a series of conversations about my business, customer expectations, and we also talked about her workplace and the parallels.  I know she knows it, because I’ve made a point to include her and thank her, but I took the time to express to her that without her none of my work is possible.  This includes my financial contribution, but also my fellowship and volunteerism.  Without her I cannot do what I do with and for others.

Day 34 – Love celebrates Godliness – 1 Corinthians 13:6

This one came way too easy.  We had a small scrap over the discipline of our daughter.  Both thought the other had wandered off script.  Today’s dare tasked me with finding a specific recent example of when she’d demonstrated Christian behavior and highlighting it.  It played into our hand that we both took a calm reflection on the parting of ways a few moments earlier, arrived at what was true of the fork in the road, and I was able to thank her for behaving in the fashion she did.  We don’t do that well traditionally and that’s an aspect of The Love Dare that I’m noticing as a distinct change.  I like it.

Day 35 – Love is accountable – Proverbs 15:22 

Find a marriage counselor.  Use as needed.  Rinse and repeat.  Sounds almost like the instructions on a shampoo bottle, huh?  We’ve never actually scheduled an appointment with a professional, whether that’s a person in the psych industry or a pastor and had a joint session.  But we’ve both bounced areas of concern off colleagues and our pastors through the years.  I’d have zero problem with going to visit one should the need be present.  Some years ago I’d say my wife wasn’t willing to do something like that.  Now I know she would.  However, by nature of her career we’d search diligently to find a highly reputable and quantifiable guide if we needed help beyond our pastor.  I don’t seek to derail the intent of this dare, but you should be discerning when you ask for help if you can.  The fact is everybody reading this has a job or has worked.  Additionally we all know a person or two that suck at their job.  Don’t think for a moment that isn’t the case with pastors, counselors, or psychologists.  I assure you there are duds among them.  Don’t let that turn you off.  Instead, allow it to motivate you to seek help that will truly do your marriage and faith the textbook definition of respect and honor.

Day 36 – Love is God’s Word – Psalm 119:105

Commit to reading the bible every day…  That’s what I’m to do.  I’m exceedingly good at this at times and other days I simply don’t accomplish my intent whatsoever.  This is no more complex than putting in place good habits and keeping them.  True, I have a daily bible verse that is sent to my phone in the morning, and I think those small devotionals along with those are very helpful, but it isn’t the same as digging and delving so to speak.  I was also to discuss this with wifey poo to encourage her to do the same.  Some time ago I gave her a devotional so she could take it to work.  My hope was that she arrive at the her office, commit to reading, and it would help set the tone for her day and how she approached it.  We’ve discussed that a few times now.  She’s sporadic with it, as am I.  We’re going to simply work on it and question each other if we’ve done it.  When we haven’t, we’ll arrange to come to stopping point in the day and do it together.

Day 37 – Love agrees in prayer – Matthew 18:19

Pray together.  I love it.  I asked.  She said yes.  We did it.  I hope we continue doing it.

Day 38 – Love fulfills dreams – Psalm 37:4

Ask yourself what your mate would want if attainable.  Pray on it.  Go after it.  Wow…  What a smack in the face.  I don’t think I’ve ever really considered that fully.  Sure, I think about things like what she’d appreciate for a birthday, mother’s day, Christmas, etc.  But those are mostly gifts.  This is a tougher challenge than many I’ve experienced thus far.  To be frank, when I read that this morning I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but now that I’ve pondered, either I’m making it bigger than necessary, or I’ve got quite a bit of residual homework for Day 38.  Of course the dare included a sentence about meeting whatever level I could attain, so there’s a small asterisk that is helpful, but overall I need to really pray on this one and figure something out.  I’m wondering if this dare alone may turn into a blog post in days of future…

Day 39 – Love endures – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Pray.  Write a letter of commitment to my wife with resolve.  Extrapolate why I’m committed and will remain no matter what.  Leave it in a place they can find it.  Done.

Day 40 – Love is a covenant – Ruth 1:16

Write out a renewal of your wedding vows.  Act on them.  Make it a living testament to the priceless value of marriage in God’s eyes.  Wow…  I attempted to do that.  I wrote a new vow.  I erased it and began anew.  Same thing again.  I’m on my fourth revision of the my vows.  Short version?  I may not have these ready for my blog’s publishing date.  I’m not sure I’m supposed to as long as I finish them and act on them.  I’ve got a plan for these, actually.  But I’m not going to share it with you just yet.  😉

My conclusions???

40 dares.  40 days.  Man…  I’m glad I can get back to the way things used to be, huh?  Aren’t you tired of this?  Am I?  Nope.  #LOL  You might think with a Lent-style vow that you’d be tired of it, or the sacrifice or change would be long since welcome.  Not the case with The Love Dare.  I have changed in subtle, but crucial ways.  This is something that really needs visited with a frequency.  To say I read a tidbit of scripture is one thing.  Should I plan to never revisit it, what would that say about my commitment to Him?  Since this is a commitment to your spouse, before Him, it bears some residual emphasis, does it not?  I think a marriage training and devotional such as this is really important.  And most of all, you know the reason I know it works?  Not only did I change for the better, my change was noted and reciprocated by others.  Most of all, my wife.  She’s come along side me in attitude and approach through osmosis rather than lecture or discussion.  …And the most significant of these changes I noticed came prior to her knowing I was doing this.  That’s huge and undeniable folks.

Mark 10:9 – What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.

Be salt friends.  Seek light my brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

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