Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Love Dare- Day 23!!

Yesterday's Followup: Why is this kind of love impossible without the love of Christ beating in your heart? How does His presence within you enable you to love, even when it's primarily one-sided?

Love Always Protects

(Love) always protects - I Corinthians 13:7

Marriage is made up of many things, including joys, sorrows, successes, and failures. Many of us wouldn't include the word battleground but there are some battles we should be more than willing to fight. These are battles that pertain to protecting our spouses.

Our mates and our marriages need constant protection from things like:

Harmful influences. Are we allowing certain habits to poison our homes? Internet and television can be production and enjoyable additions to our lives but they can also bring in destructive content and drain precious hours from our families. The same can be said for work schedules.

Unhealthy relationships. Not everyone has the material to be a good friend. Not every man you hunt and or fish with speaks wisely when it comes to matters of marriage and not every woman in your lunch group has a good perspective on commitment and priorities. In fact- anyone who will undermine your marriage does not deserve to be given the title of "friend".

Shame. Everyone deals with some level of inferiority and weakness. And because marriage has a way of exposing it all to you an your mate, you need to protect your spouse's vulnerability by never speaking negatively about them in public. Generally speaking, love hides the fault of others. It covers their shame.

Parasites. A parasite is anything that latches on to you and your spouse and sucks the life out of your marriage. They're usually in the form of addictions, like gambling, drugs, or pornography. They promise pleasure but grow like a disease and consume more and more of your thoughts, time and money.

The Bible speaks plainly about this protective role, often using the analogy of a shepherd. God warned, "My flock has become a prey... food for all the beasts of the field." How so? "For lack of a shepherd." Not because these men were too weak to perform their duties but because they didn't pay attention. Instead of watching to make sure that the sheep weren't being picked off by predators, "The shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock" (Ezekiel 34.8) They took extra good care of their own needs and appetites but gave little thought to the safety of those under their supervision.

WIVES- You have a role as protector in your marriage. You must guard your heart from being led away through novels, magazines, and other forms of entertainment that blur your perception of reality and put unfair expectations on your husband. Instead you must do your part in helping him feel strong, while also avoiding talk-show thinking that can lure your attention away from your family. "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14.1

Today's Dare

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that's stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.


Megan said...

Oooh, I just stopped by for the first time in forever & I really really liked what I saw! this love dare thing is way cool and I'm coming back after kids bedtime tonight so I can actually spend a moment to read it more closely.

Nancy said...

This is so good, I find I spend alot of time blogging & I may just have to cut down on that, it can be very addicting...

The Patterson 5 said...

This is so true. Years ago I really had to think about what I was reading. You know sappy romance novels. I thought they were so harmless until I noticed I was wanting Mr P to be as thoughtful, charming and sweet as the characters in the book. I was holding him to an unrealistic expectation. I stopped reading those type books as they were robbing me of the real joy that I have in a dear husband. Also garding my groups of girlfriends. Some groups of women get together and try to top each other in husband bashing stories. I stay completely away from those--- and when I do talk of Mr P with others I make every effort to say only uplifting things- things that will build him up.