Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Dare- Day 14!!

Yesterday's Followup: If your spouse participated with you (in establishing healthy rules of engagement) what was their response? What rules did you write for yourself?

Love Takes Delight

Enjoy life with the life you love all the days of your fleeting life. Ecclesiastes 9.9

One of the most important things we should learn on this Love Dare Journey is that you don't just follow your heart. You LEAD it. In your marriage relationship, you won't always feel like loving. Nobody can maintain a burning desire for togetherness just on feelings alone. But it is also difficult to love someone only out of obligation.

Newlyweds experience a fresh and new love with the hopes of a romantic future lingering in their hearts. However, something equally powerful as that fresh new love is found in the decision to delight in and love your spouse no matter how long you've been married. Love that chooses to love is just as powerful as love that feels like loving. In many ways, it's truer love because it has its eyes wide open.

Left to ourselves, we'll always lean toward being disapproving of one another. She'll get on your nerves. He'll aggravate you. Instead of wasting your days bickering, it's time to lead your heart to once again delight in your mate. Enjoy your spouse. Desire his conversation. Accept this person- quirks and all- and welcome him back into your heart.

You get to choose what you treasure. If you're irritable, it's because you choose to be. If you can't function without a clean house it's because you've decided no other way will do. If you pick at your mate more than you praise them, it's because you've allowed your heart to be selfish. You've led yourself into criticism.

CHOOSE TO LEAD YOUR HEART BACK OUT! Learn to delight in your spouse once again, then watch your heart actually start enjoying who they are.

The Bible contains many romantic love stories but none more blatant than the eight chapters found in the Song of Solomon.

The woman, "Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He has brought me to his banquet hall and his banner over me is love." Song of Solomon 2.3-4

The man, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your form is lovely." Song of Solomon 2.13-14

Too sappy? Too mushy? Not for those who lead their hearts to delight in their beloved- even when the new wears off... it's time to remember why you once fell in love. To laugh again. To flirt again. To dream again. Delightfully.

Today's dare may be directing you to a real and radical change of heart. For some the move toward delight may be only a small step away. For others, it may require a giant leap from ongoing disgust.

But if you've been delighted before- which you were when you got married- you can be delighted again. The responsibility is yours to relearn what you love about this one to whom you've promised yourself forever.

Today's Dare

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.


Michele said...

I have been really working on this one lately. Since David is a fireman he is home during the week. I am only home one day a week so I find myself not wanting to give up "my list" in order to do something with him. I ralized I would really regret that later! Since I'm not reading The Love Dare, this post was just for me to confirm what I have been feeling. I have said it already but I think it's so great you're doing this Chelle!

Denise said...

Lovebug and I had a very nice conversation about this today. We never want to fight, but if we should, we are choosing to fight fair. I promised him that my words would be softly spoken, not harshly. I promised that I would always remember there are two sides, not just my side. We both promised to never bring up the words divorce, or quit. Our marriage is worth fighting for, we will never give up on each other. We promised never to go to bed angry. We promised never to slam doors, throw things, or touch each other in anger. We promised to work on our marriage always, together. Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for this partnership I have with my husband, it will forever be a work in progress. Please help us, as we work to make our marriage better, and stronger everyday. Thanks for being our Cornerstone, we love You. Amen

Chelle' said...

Paul and I both discussed the We-boundaries. We were painfully surprised to realize we really only had 1 that we practiced religiously.

We have committed to abide by and remain accountable to one another as we "fight fair" from now on.

God is working friends. I could give you a host of examples just in the past 13 days. He is working in our hearts and in our marriage.

BLOG BUSINESS- this weekend I'll post a special "update post". Instead of posting days 17 and 18 I'm going to give everyone an opportunity to share a little about what God has done in and through their hearts and marriage so far in the Love Dare.

Hopefully everyone will stop in the update. Your praises are an encouragement to us all and give glory to the one enabling us to love as He loves.

I'm praying for you all daily. Can't wait to hear the praise reports. GOD'S IN THE BUSINESS OF TRANSFORMATION!!!

Chelle' said...

Oops... I mean, stop in TO update... and let me know your thoughts regarding pushing days 17 and 18 back...

The Patterson 5 said...

We are finally going to see the movie! We have a babysitter (this is huge! We've not been on a date -with out kids in almost 6 months) We are going Sat night. Your Song of Soloman verses make me giggle. We went to a marriage seminar once where this married couple taught us lots of helpful things! They shared their story and he would quote scripture to her when they were dating....she saw our eyebrows raise and assured us yes this could be a turn on ---he quoted verse from Song of Soloman. It is a racy, hot book.

Anyway we are excited about the dares and about seeing the movie. One of the men in my husband's small group said it made him cry of course all the guys gave him a hard time but I think b/c a couple we all love are having some problems we all feel a strong desire to work on things.

sailorcross said...

I just finished posting Day 13 on "The Power of Your Love".

Since my children haven't been available to make "fair fight" lists, I made my own boundary list.

I truly feel that if I follow these rules, they will see the change in the way I am disagreeing with them and change the way they are disagreeing with me.

That's the way this dare has worked so far, so why wouldn't it work for this, too?

I'm hoping that sometime soon I'll be able to sit down with at least the two oldest and make "fair fight" lists. My youngest won't be here until December for Christmas, so this will be a little difficult.