Day 1 - Love is patient.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." - Eph 4:2
Love works. It is life's most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize. We are born with a lifelong thirst for love. Love changes our motivation for living. Relationships become meaningful with it. No marriage is successful without it.
Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Patience and kindness. Love will inspire you to become a patient person. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.
Impatience causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways. Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.
If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.
Patience makes us wise. It doesn't rush to judgement but listens to what the other person is saying. The Bible says. "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29)
Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it.
Can your spouse count on having a patient wife or husband to deal with? Can she know that locking her keys in the car will be met by your understanding rather than a demeaning lecture that makes her feel like a child? Can he know that cheering during the last seconds of a football game won't invite a loud mouthed laundry list of ways he should be spending his time?
What would the tone and volume of your home be like if you tried this biblical approach: "See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another" (Thes 5:15).
Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationships. This Love Dare journey is a process, and the first thing you must resolve to possess is patience. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it's a race worth running.
Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next week, resolve to demonstrate patience and 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.
After completing this dare, please answer the following questions in your own notebook but also please share with us your answers too!!
Did anything happen this week to cause anger toward your mate? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and let them come out in words?
-Taken from The Love Dare by Stephen & Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough