You should read this book if you…
Have a troubled marriage or just want to renew the love in your marriage.
“In a nut shell”…
The Love Dare is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to help them understand and practice unconditional love. It contains the keys to finding true intimacy and developing a strong and lasting marriage.
The Love Dare journey is not a process of trying to change your spouse to be the person you want him or her to be. It’s a journey of exploring and demonstrating genuine love, especially when you don’t feel like it. Forty unique aspects of love are explained, and then you are challenged to a “dare” to care for or show love to your spouse in some specific and tangible way. Some dares are easy and some are challenging. You are encouraged to record in a journal entry what you did, how your spouse reacted to it, and what is happening to you and your attitude toward your spouse along the way.
Some dares are fairly simple. Say nothing negative to your spouse. Do an unexpected act of kindness. Buy your spouse a little something. Contact your spouse during the day just to ask how he or she is doing and if you can do anything special. Ask your spouse for three things that irritate him or her about you. Make a list of positive things about your spouse and then pick one and thank your spouse for having that characteristic. Greet your spouse warmly.
Some dares are more challenging. React in a loving way to a tough circumstance in your marriage. Rejoice with your spouse about an achievement. Give in on an area of disagreement. Give up doing something you like to do and instead spend time with your spouse. Eliminate any unrealistic expectations of your spouse. Decide if your parents are too involved in your marriage, and if so, do something to create distance and balance in your relationship. Remove any addictions or other influences that turn your heart away from your spouse. Prepare a special dinner and spend time talking to each other. Tell your spouse you will love him or her and remain married no matter what. Choose to forgive your spouse.
Some dares are specifically spiritually related. Pray for your spouse. Pray for strength and grace for yourself. Trust Jesus to forgive your sin and to change your heart so you can make Jesus the Lord of your life. Pray and read the Bible daily. Pray for your spouse and pray together with your spouse.
“Here are three guiding principles when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage:
- Guard the Golden Rule. Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated (see Luke 6:31).
- No double standards. Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
- Honor requests. Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not to do. If in doubt, then ask.” Pg 23
“Don’t wait until you feel like doing the right thing. Don’t wait until you feel in love with your spouse to invest in your relationship. Start pouring into your marriage and investing where your heart is supposed to be. Spend time with your spouse. Buy gifts. Write letters. Go on dates. The more you invest, the more your heart will value your relationship. This is what The Love Dare is all about—40 days of leading your heart back to loving your spouse.” Pg 213
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do I truly want what is best for my husband or wife?
- Do I want him or her to feel loved by me?
- Does he or she believe I have his or her best interests in mind?
- Does he or she see me as looking out for myself first?
- When was the last time you spent a few minutes thinking about how you could better understand and demonstrate love to your spouse?
- What immediate need can you meet?
- What’s the next event (anniversary, birthday, holiday) you could be preparing for?
- How does your spouse feel about the way you speak and act around him or her?
- How does your behavior affect your mate’s sense of worth and self-esteem?
- Would your husband or wife say you’re a blessing, or that you’re condescending and embarrassing?
- Do you wish your spouse would quit doing the things that bother you? Then it’s time to stop doing the things that bother him or her.
- Will you be thoughtful and loving enough to discover and avoid the behavior that causes life to be unpleasant for your mate? Will you dare to be delightful?
- Think about how you treat your spouse’s physical body. Do you cherish it as your own? Do you treat it with respect and tenderness? Do you take pleasure in who he or she is? Or do you make your spouse feel foolish or embarrassed?
- Are you willing to bend to demonstrate love to your spouse? Or are you refusing to give in because of pride?
- Do you feel like giving up on your marriage? Jesus said to pray instead of quitting (Luke 18:1). Are you stressed out and worried? Prayer can bring peace to your storms (Philippians 4:6-7). Do you need a major breakthrough? Prayer can make the difference (Acts 12:1-17).
- Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse’s hidden faults? Do you really think it’s for endless nagging? No, it is for effective kneeling. No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you.
- Do you know his or her greatest hopes and dreams? Do you fully understand how he or she prefers to give and receive love?
- Do you know what your spouse’s greatest fears are and why he or she struggles with them?
How this book has changed my marriage…
This book is a great reminder that loving my husband well is a daily effort. When you’ve been married for a while, it’s easy to take your spouse for granted. I tend to overlook his great qualities and focus on his faults or things that irritate me. This book has encouraged me to look for the positives, and to focus on what I can do to improve the relationship instead of wondering why he is not trying harder. The fairly easy Action Steps will help you to get started and not feel overwhelmed with thinking you have to change too much all at once. This is very difficult to do on my own, so I have discovered I need God’s strength to choose to love my husband unconditionally and to stop focusing on myself and my needs. Love needs to be a choice, not just a nice feeling. I find that when I choose to love my husband well by using the Action Steps suggested, he responds much more lovingly to me and we have a much happier marriage.
Book Title | The Love Dare
Author | Stephen and Alex Kendrick
Year of Publication | 2008
Publisher | B & H Publishing Group
Pages | 213
Author’s Website | www.thelovedarebook.com
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