Love Dare is another 40 day journey to improving and healing relationships. Written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, it is another tool I am using in self discovery, after my primary relationship is with God, then myself so that I can give to my husband and children and all others.
Day 1: Love is Patient.
Be completely humble and gently; be patient, bearing with one another in love.-Ephesians 4:2. :: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.-James 1:19 :: Put your heart and soul into this, and you will see the change soon.-Elna
Love is built on two pillars: patience and kindness, all other characteristics of love are extensions of these two. Patience allows positive response to negative situations, having a long fuse rather than being quick to anger. Rather than being restless and demanding, one can settle down and extend mercy to others. Patience prevents angry, foolish, regrettable action; it is controlling your emotions so they do not control you. Patience makes us wise, we can fully listen to others and learn to understand. Love allows our spouse to be human, to fail without shame and to give them time to correct themselves without us intervening. This journey starts with learning to demonstrate patience on a daily basis. THE DARE: For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to my spouse at all. If the temptation arises, say nothing. It is better to hold my tongue that to say something I will regret.
Did anything happen today to cause anger toward my spouse? Was I tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let the come out in words? How did I handle this?
:: My husband went off today to see a friend for a few hours and here it is many hours later, I do not know where he is or when he will be home, he has not checked in. I am a bit upset. I know if I bring it up there will be strife: “I don’t need to check in with you. Don’t you trust me?” It is a matter of courtesy, especially since we have a party later and still have to shop for it. I also have trust issues, having been married once before to a very emotionally abusive untrustworthy man. I wish he could help with my desire to feel secure. I am realizing I need to handle my own feelings, and perhaps God is testing me. In my heart I know he is fine and not sinning. I am the one sinning by not relaxing and allowing God to work in me. I asked for healing and then I turn around and block God from working in me by letting my emotions flair and – for this exercise – not being fully patient. I want so badly to call with some excuse to remind he I am home, for him to come home. What is funny is I also am enjoying time to me, I have much to read that I cannot do with him home. I met him at the door with a smile and telling his how much I missed him today. We quickly put together a gag gift for the party and made a dish to pass and, although I wanted to ask where he had been, I held off. I did have one in: he came home with 2 small Christmas gifts and I did ask who gave them to us. All went well, even though inside I felt like asking him about all he did. OK, now here it is 24 hours later, I bit my tongue a few times and I stopped words of disrespect from flowing out. I did a sideways anger release, which I realize is a sin as well. We got into talking boy/girlfriends of family members, those whom he doesn’t fully appreciate, and I said things in agreement that as a Christian I should not have agreed with or said. I find a knot in my stomach just admitting this. I did something that irked him and I know I was in the right, but I apologized to him anyhow and felt angry, but held my tongue. It averted bad feelings, so here it is evening and all in all today was good. I will need to be attentive with patience and biting my tongue, for me this will be definite character building, and a change.
Dear God, please give me patience and help me stop bitter words from pouring from my mouth. Help me to learn to remain patient and calm at all times. Help me to be a pillar, a power of example and strength and wisdom, Dear Lord. Help me to guide others and not hinder their viewing You as the loving Father you are. Dear God, please forgive me for all my transgressions and help me to not judge others and not sin against You. Amen!