Day 11 Dare:
What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I Cherish You" and do it with a smile.Day 12 Dare:
Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.
The book, The Love Dare, starts off by
telling us a story about a man having trouble with his car. After finding out that the cost for repair is too expensive for the age of the car, he gets rid of the car to spend his funds on a new model. Another man crushes his hand while working with equipment. The hospital finds through x-rays that all of his bones are broken. Although, he has to use up all of his savings, he willingly pays to reconstruct his hand back to normal. Both stories are reasonable however our culture treats marriage like the first man with the trade
off for a new model. When you truly understand the deep bond that you have with your partner you realize that it's like the second man that uses his life savings to repair what is broken.
As we enter
marriage with a partner we begin meshing all of our worldly goods together, even taking on the same last name. Our identities are no longer as one individual but rather a unity joined as one. As time passes, the unity seems to spread apart and leaves us feeling disappointed in the other partner. "Husbands ought also
to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it." Ephesian 5:28-29
In the book, the author talks about the flip side to this verse. "When
you mistreat your mate, you are also mistreating yourself. Your spouse cannot experience joy or pain, blessing or cursing, without it also
This statement is very true and I know I've felt this, have you? This reminds me of The Shadow Effect by Debbie Ford. We project ourselves onto others without realizing it. It's when you can take a step back to view your own story or actions and how it affects everyone else around you. If you want to live in a happy marriage, then be happy with your partner, it will eventually reflect back to you.
Make a list of things that you and your
partner disagree on. You may even make a long list within a few minutes. While you could continue to live in the moment of acting out your disagreements every day, this would not resolve any of your issues. Someone has to give in at some point in order to see any changes in a relationship. Lift the barriers of stubbornness to find willingness knocking at your door. A willingness to pull up the parking break brings cooperation into your conversations. The book gives this example, "It's like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest winds because it knows how to gracefully bend."
Pride and discomfort will
be your two new best friends and if you want to have a loving, lasting relationship with your partner, you will love your new best friends.
You may think that by giving in others will view you as foolish, loosing a fight, or loosing control of your partner but the fact that the argument is more important than your marriage is foolishness. This doesn't mean your partner is always right but when you give them the consideration of their views then you are giving them value. "Instead of treating your partner like an enemy or someone to be guarded against, start by treating them as your closest, most honored friend."
and I have learned how to keep pride and discomfort in our back pocket. We visit them just about every week and sometimes on a daily basis. It's not easy giving in to something when you honestly feel you
are right but when you step into the other persons reflection you see things in a different perspective. This was hard for me in the beginning days of our relationship. I had come out of a bitter divorce, raising two children, and trying to create a life on my own. Now here was another person I had to let into my life and give space too. It wasn't until I saw how David was always there to support me in whatever decision was made that I realized that he was giving in more than I was. I truly appreciate Pride and Discomfort for teaching me how to listen to his view point. We are usually saying the same thing but in a misunderstanding way. It's when you step into your partners light and take on what they are seeing that you truly appreciate their
story. You can read more of my blogs through The Love Dare here.