The movie kind of centers around this 40-day "Love Dare" that is a real book.
Even though we are not exactly on the verge of divorce (like the characters in the movie), we have come close. Or at least, I have. I am not exactly proud to admit that. I am also not proud to admit that I have been less than desirable as a wife. It's okay, at least I can see that and I'm doing something about it. My first step was quitting a job that was tearing me apart.
That was a month ago, and I think I imagined that everything would just automatically be better. It really doesn't work that way. We've done a lot of damage that needs to be repaired. I need to repair the damage that I've done to our marriage. (I'm not saying that it is all one sided, but I am trying to take responsibility for my own actions)
So, I picked up The Love Dare at Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon. Every night I am going to read the next day's challenge. Then I will post at the end of each day (or the next morning) to update on my progress. So, here goes!
Day 1- Love is Patient
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. --Ephesians 4:2 NIV
The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience 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.
Did anything happen today to cause anger toward your mate? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them come out in words?
I was never angry, but I did become irritated two different times. I was amazed at how quickly I reacted to my irritation and squashed it. The first time was almost immediately after I woke up. Havie asked me a question and my immediate response was irritation. And then almost as immediately, I remembered the dare. I remembered that the chapter said patience is a choice. And then I felt ashamed. I couldn't believe how quickly that emotion came to me and how unfair it was to Havie. I wondered just how often I had reacted in that manner. And unfortunately I knew it had been too many times. Fortunately, I never said a word to him in that moment, so he had no idea.
The second instance was just a few minutes ago. We were flipping our matress and putting on clean sheets. We were struggling with the fitted sheet. I became irritated again and started to snap- Let me do it. I caught myself quickly, took my breath and then patiently explained what the problem was in a positive manner. The irritation didn't take me by surprise that time because we run into situations like this all the time. What did surprise me is that I remembered so quickly and was able to keep from saying something negative to him. He could tell that I was irritated, but he saw me recover and move on. That would have turned into a blow out in the past.
Is it really this simple? I'm sure that it is and it isn't. He has told me he loves me at least 10 times today. And as I realize this, I am now crying with a strange mixture of gratitude and regret. I'm going to let that negative feeling come and go. In it's place is hope.