Why ‘The Love Dare’ Isn’t Going as Planned

Patience. Kindness. Selfishness. Thoughtfulness. Rudeness. Irritability.

These are the first six topics in the book The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, a 40-day marriage challenge, and each one of those is definitely a challenge.

For the last four years, I have been meaning to buy The Love Dare. I’m a firm believer in the idea that God places things or people in your life at just the right time, so the timing of my procrastination in finally getting a copy of this book is actually impeccable – way to be positive, right? Mike and I have been on a tiny rollercoaster the past few months after having a baby. Some highs, some lows, but none SO high or SO low. Just kind of blah, but not SO blah…

Anyway, I thought I’d get it and read through it, and figured I could motivate my husband a little to make things better between us. The first chapter was of course on Patience, and so I read it and read it again to make sure it all sank in. I kept telling myself all day long that Mike needed to learn some patience with me. He needed to understand me and just chill out.

As the first day went on, I spent my time daydreaming of ways and areas in which he could show more patience.

Yes…daydreaming.

Let me just tell you that sometime before dinner that night, I snapped. Every little thing, sometimes things that weren’t even really anything, bugged me to death. And I nit-picked, and I griped, and I got IM…wait for it…PATIENT. All the while thinking about how my husband needed to learn some patience.

Oh. My. Goodness.

When I really got nasty and snarky, he just sat there and listened. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t get angry with me. He just listened. Then he said (because he was on his way out the door), “ok. Well, I have to go back to work, but I love you. I’ll call you later.”

I was so ticked off. “How dare he?!”

About an hour later that annoying little Holy Spirit voice said, “he’s not the one that needs to learn some patience, it’s you.”

Ouch.

Here I am thinking I’m going to be the savior of our relationship and show my husband how awesome I am at this love thing, but in reality God is using the book to point out the weaknesses in me.

My favorite motto is “you can’t change anyone but yourself” and I obviously remember it always {insert sarcasm}.

It’s about me. In fact, it’s always been about me. Its never been about my husband because I can’t do a thing to change him. It has always and will always be about me. My only responsibility in marriage is to constantly be in a state of growth, never allowing myself to think of me as better or more holy, no matter what, because we are both broken.

The times that I actually put it into action, when I genuinely apologize for my faults, and work on my flaws, without pointing out my husbands problems, are the times that things work out. The times we don’t argue and we talk, are the times I am humble and ask God to work on me. The times we are at the high points in our relationship, are the times that I have allowed myself to let go of insecurities and of selfishness. Not that I have a perfect husband, or that he can do whatever he wants and I have to put up with it, but when I exemplify loving, patient, kind actions toward him even when he hasn’t “earned” it, he is motivated toward love for me and vice-versa. When he loves me and shows me that even when I’m nasty and snarky, I am quicker to see my wrongs and own up to them.

Later that night I told Mike what I just shared with you, and we laughed at my logic. Then I thanked him for being so patient with me, and told him that he taught me a really great lesson. It sparked some great conversations about our marriage and things we want to see happen over the next few weeks. His chest might have puffed up a little bit too 😉

Signature

Read along with me! I’m now on day #10 of The Love Dare. At the end of 40, I’ll let you know how it went and what I’ve learned. Purchase YOUR copy of The Love Dare by clicking the links below:

The Love Dare In Print

The Love Dare Ebook

Photo Credit: Hannah Bader

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