Thursday, February 28, 2013

Love Dare Continued...

I must admit, posting these love dares is getting a lot bit old.  But trying to do these dares--or even thinking about the dares--has been very helpful to me so far.  Plus, I said I would do it to the end, so it's now a matter of my word.

So here are the next few:

Day 27:  Love Encourages

Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home.  Think of one area where your spouse has told you you're expecting too much , and tell him you're sorry for being so hard on him about it.  Promise him you'll seek to understand, and assure him of your unconditional love.

Day 28:  Love Makes Sacrifices

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now?  Is there a need you could lift from his/her shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part?  Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

Day 29 (March 1):  Love's Motivation

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.  Wheter it comes easy for you or not, say "I love you," then express love to them in some tangible way.  God to God in prayer again, thanking him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person--unconditionally, the way hi loves both of you.

Day 30 (March 2):  Love Brings Unity

Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it.  Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse.  Pray that He would do the same for him/her.  And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

Day 31 (March 3): Love and Marriage

Is there a "leaving" issue you haven't been brave enough to conquer yet?  Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right.  The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it.  Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

(The "leaving" issue refers to the counsel in Genesis 2:24 that a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.  So the dare is to adequately cut off the dependance on parents that we may still be clinging to that may be damaging to our marriages.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Love Dare Catch-Up: Days 23-26

Dare 23:  Love Always Protects

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship--any addiction or influence that is stealing your heart away from your spouse.

Dare 24:  Love Vs. Lust

End it now.  Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it.  Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it.  Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom.  It must be killed and destroyed--today--and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

Day 25 (Monday):  Love Forgives

Whatever you haven't forgiven in your mate, forgive it today.  Let it go.  Just as we ask Jesus to "forgive us our debts" each day, we must ask Him to help us "forgive our debtors" each day as well.   Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long.  Say from your heart, "I choose to forgive.

Day 26 (Tuesday):  Love is Responsible

Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing.  Ask for God's forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse.  Do it sincerely and truthfully.  Ask your spouse for forgivenss as well.  No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love.  Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Love Dare, Day 22: Love is Faithful

(I think this one is especially good)


Love is a choice, not a feeling.  It is an initiated action, not a knee jerk reaction.  Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of his (her) interest in receiving it.  Say to him (her) today in words similar to these, "I love you.  Period.  I choose to love you even if you don't [seem to] love me in return."

I especially like this one because it is so different than what the world tells us.  Real love is not something we fall into.  It's something we choose.  It's an action.  I've always felt distinctly that nothing will make more of a difference in my marriage than the effort I choose to put into it.  Even though this requires more of me, it also gives me a continual sense of empowerment.  I can make a difference.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love Dare, Day 21: Love is Satisfied in God

I'm gonna start paraphrasing a few of these dares, if you don't mind.


Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your scriptures.  As you do, immerse yourself in the promises God has for you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love Dare, Day 20: Love is Jesus Christ


Dare to take God at his word.  Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation.  Dare to pray, "Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner.  But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and you have proven your power to save me from death my your resurrection.   Lord, change my heart and save me by your grace." 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Love Dare, Day 19: Love is Impossible

Look back over the dares from previous days.  Were the
re some that seemed impossible to you?  Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love?  Ask him to show you where you stand with Him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Love Dare, Day 18: Love Seeks to Understand

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you.  The dinner can be as nice as your prefer.  Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you've rarely talked about.  Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love Dare: Dray 16 and 17

Day 16 Dare:  Love Intercedes

Begin praying today for your spouse's heart.  Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse's life and in your marriage.

Day 17 Dare:  Love promotes Intimacy

Determine to guard your mate's secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them.  Talk with your spouse, and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues.  Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you.  Make them feel safe.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love Dare: Day 14 & 15

Day 14 dare (sorry it's late, but don't worry--it will still be worth while):

Love Takes Delight

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse.  Do something he or she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on.  Just be together.

Day 15 dare:

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.  It may be holding the door for her.  It might be putting his clothes away for him.  It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication.  Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love Dare, Day 13: Love Fights Fair

I'm feeling a bit lonely with this dare.  I feel responsible to keep posting the dares, though, to keep myself on track, if for nothing else.  This is hard.  Each dare seems so simple, but often ends up being quite difficult to realize--at least for me.  But like I said.  I'm not giving up.  Lonely or not, I'm sticking to this.  Maybe tomorrow I'll show you my new-to-me eBay shams or my new polka dot rug.  Maybe I'll have something interesting to write about.  I'm not making any promises though,  because I think tomorrow will be a hard day.

Here's today's dare:

Talk with your spouse (I'll refrain from inserting any negative expectations:) about establishing healthy rules of engagement (i.e.  how to fight nicely).  If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by.  Resolve to abide by hem when the next disagreement occurs.

Here are some  "we" rules the book suggests:

1.)  We will never mention divorce
2.)  We will not bring up old, unrelated items from the past.
3.)  We will never fight in public or in front of our children
4.)  We will call a "time out"  if conflict escalates to a damaging level
5.) We will never touch one another in a harmful way.
6.) We will never go to bed angry with one another.  (The temple worker who sealed Brian and me told us that is is bad advice, and I have come to totally agree--at least for Brian and me.  Sometimes the best thing for us to do in order to restore peace and let the little things go is just to go to bed and awake to a new day)
7.) Failure is not an option.  Whatever it takes, we will work it out.

And here are some "me" rules the book suggests:

1.)  I will listen first before speaking.
2.)  I will deal with my own issues up-front.
3.)  I will speak gently and keep my voice down.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love Dare, Day 12: Love Let's the Other Win


Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse.  Tell him (her) you are putting his preference first.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Dare, Day 11: Love Cherishes

What need does your spouse have that you cold meet today?  Can you run an errand?  Give a back rub or foot massage?  Is there housework you could help with ?  Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Dare, Day 10: Love is Unconditional

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse--something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else.  Wash her car.  Clean the kitchen.  Buy his favorite dessert.  Fold the laundry.  Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Love Dare, Day 9: Love Makes Good Impressions


Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today.  Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your regular greetings to reflect your love for him (her).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Love Dare, Day 8: Love is Not Jealous


Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy.  To help you set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it.  Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Favorite Thing About Brian

By the way, at the end of this dare (the dare with making the lists), the book asks Which list was easier to make?  What does this reveal about your thoughts?   Oh, man.  Good question.

But let me share with you a couple of the many things on my positive qualities list for Brian.    (Cause you know it's been killing me to not be able to talk through all of these dares with you.  I'm doing my best to be appropriately private. )

Brian makes me feel safe.  Physically safe, mainly.    Do you know what I mean?  He is very strong, and very brave, and he just kinda knows how to survive and protect his family.  He thinks quickly, and figures things out, and finds solutions, and uses available resources, and is always prepared.  So weather I have a flat tire, or something is burning, or I am in danger, I know he will protect and take care of me, and I love that.

Secondly, I love and am so grateful for Brian's always having been so patient with my "getting ready" stuff.  I'm afraid I've never been the get-out-of-the-shower-and-go kinda girl--as much as I wish I were--and Brian has always just been so patient with me.  I don't think he has ever--in our almost-twelve years of marriage--complained that I have taken too long to get ready to go somewhere.  I'm even irritated at myself, but he has never said a word.    Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm realizing that he has probably never said a word because he recognizes I am doing the world a favor by getting out the flat iron and some mascara.  Yeah, that's it, I'm sure.  But still.  I really appreciate it.

What were some of the things on your good lists?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Love Dare, Day 7: Love Believes the Best


Get two sheets of paper.  On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse.  Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet.  Place both sheets in a secret place for another day.  There is a different purpose and plan for each.  At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

 I could really use some group therapy right now.

I'll share with you some of the things on my positive things list later.

Love Dare, Day 6: Love is Not Irritable

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. ---Proverbs 16:32


Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.

A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control.  She chooses to e a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations.  (Pg. 26, The Love Dare)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love Dare, Day 4: Love is Thoughtful

Dare 4:

Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day.  Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Love Dare, Day 4: Love is Not Selfish


Whatever you put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you.  It's hard to care for something you are on investing in.  Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Love Dare, Day 3 (For Sunday) : Love is Not Rude

(I have skipped to day 5's dare for Sunday because dares 3 & 4 are better suited for regular work days.  We will go back to them on Monday and Tuesday). 

I'm going to quote a little from the book here to help guide our handling of today's dare:

Ask yourself these questions:

How deos your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around them?

How does your behavior affect your mates's sense of worth and self-esteem?

Would your husband or wife say you're a blessing, or that you're condescending and embarrassing?

If you're thingking that your spouse--notyou--is the one who needs work in this area, you're likely suffering from a bad case of ignorance, with a secondary condition of selfishness...Do you wish your spouse would quit doing the things that bother you?  Then it's time to stop doing the things that bother them. 

Here are three guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:

1) Guard the Golden Rule.  Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
2)  No double standards.  Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
3) Honor requests.  Consider what your husband of wife already asked you to do or not do.  If in doubt, then ask.

(page 22 and 23 of book)


Day 3 Dare:

Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you.  You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior.  This is from their perspective only.

I don't know if any of you have husbands like mine, but mine is very unlikely to answer this question.  In fact, if he does answer the question honestly, he'll probably say, "It really irritates me and makes me uncomfortable when you ask me these questions."  I suggest that for those of us in this situation, it may be beneficial to just leave a little note asking these questions--then our husbands can choose not to answer the questions if they prefer not to, and there is a lesser chance of us becoming defensive.  Do any of you have any other suggestions with this dare?   

Love Dare, Day 2: Love is Kind

In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Love Dare, Day One: Love is Patient

OK.  Here goes.  Let the Love Dare begin.  Ahem.

Day 1:  Love is patient

Today, resolve to demonstrate patience (I could really use this right now) and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all.  If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything.  It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

God help us all.