The Prince and I were in the Christian book store the other day (when we actually had some time out alone) and we found a copy of 'The Love Dare' from the 'Fireproof' movie. We own the movie, love it, and think it's a great story that shows the mercy and grace and power that God can have in a marriage.
So we were thumbing through the book, and decided it was something we wanted to do together. Is there a marriage anywhere that can't benefit from a closer relationship? Especially when there is material available that will draw you closer to God in the process? I think not.
The book is written as a forty day challenge. Each day has a scripture portion, commentary, and a challenge. There is also a notes section where you can record changes you see in your spouse, prayer requests, or struggles. I think the whole concept is brilliant.
We started this morning. The first lesson (and I am assuming many following lessons) quotes from I Corinthians 13, which is widely known as the "love chapter".
Many of the things in the book's commentary are common sense, and well stated. It's easy to read, and just getting the time alone together for us was a victory. I must admit that, while we discuss things we've read on our own, we rarely sit down and read the Bible together. We have family devotions, but not really a time set aside for just the two of us. Do many of you do that? Should we be striving toward that? Hmmm...
Anyway, today was about patience. It was great! I don't want to share the whole devotion here because I am sure they would rather you read the book. The dare for today was that you say nothing negative to your spouse at all. When you feel angry, or upset, or have disapproving thoughts, you choose to say nothing. Because once words are out, you can't get them back.
It was great to talk about our relationship. It was great to know that we are both interested in making our marriage the best it can be, rather than just floating along with 'good enough'. We are both very busy with ministry things, and we don't always have as much time alone as we would like. The Prince stays up late studying a lot, so many times I'm in bed before him. Date night has been put on the back burner as well.
So this morning was very refreshing. I liked being proactive on my end of our relationship, and I think this daily dialogue focusing solely on our marriage will strengthen and deepen our already close bond. I was reminded that God and His Word must be at the center of all my thoughts regarding my husband, and that if I truly love him, I will give him my best. This includes being patient and giving him the benefit of the doubt when something happens that I don't like.
I will probably be sharing about the things I'm learning, although it may not be weekly. I highly recommend this book. If you are struggling in your marriage and could never convince your spouse to do it with you, then read and apply it on your own. Let God work in your heart, and see how showing true and unconditional love can transform your marriage.
Anyone else up for the challenge? I double dog dare you!!