Friday, February 27, 2009

Love Dare - Day 6


(Photo courtesy of Single Malt Poetry)
Proverbs 16:32 "He who is slow to anger is better that the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city."

Chapter Highlights...

Love is hard to offend and easy to forgive.

There are at least two key reasons why people become irritable:
  1. Stress ~ which weighs you down, drains your energy, weakens your health and invites you to be cranky. Stress can be brought on by: relational causes, such as arguing, division & bitterness. Then there are excessive causes, such as overworking, overplaying and overspending. Finally there are deficiencies, like not getting enough rest, nutrition or exercise.
  2. Selfishness ~ when your irritable, the heart of the problem is primarily a problem of the heart. Matthew 12:34 "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Being easily angered is and indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule. Selfishness also wears many other masks such as: Lust, which is the result of being ungrateful for what you have & choosing to covet or burn with passion for something that is forbidden. Bitterness, which takes root when you respond in a judgmental way & refuse to work through your anger. Greed for more money & possessions will frustrate you with unfulfilled desires. These strong cravings coupled with dissatisfaction lead you to lash out at anyone who stands in your way. And of course there's Pride, which leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego & reputation.
These motivations can never be satisfied. But when love enters your heart, it calms you down & inspires you to quit focusing on yourself. it loosens your grasp and helps you let go of unnecessary things.

Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge. It sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.

Today's dare: Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

Did I really like today's dare? Honestly, NO! This so far is an uncomfortable one I will admit. But with my marriage and my Husband as the center of my focus I pressed in and made my list. It took a little longer to write out than it probably should have, but I think this was because I was trying to justify things in my mind. But eventually the pen and paper won out and my list began.

Do I like what I see on this list? NO! Knowing something and seeing it written down are two totally different things. So seeing these areas that need improvement in front of me helps to open myself to the changes that need to be made. Do I know exactly how to curtail and remedy some of them? Not really. But I do know that I can go the FATHER and ask HIM to help me and HE will. So at least I know I have my support system (the FATHER, SON & HOLY SPIRIT) and that is all I need to forge through these difficult steps that I am about to embark on.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Hi!

You are doing so well and I know you are growing already through this experience...I think seeing things written down on paper is so much more convicting (and frightening!) than just thinking through it in your head. I think it is ineresting to look back at my journaling (I did it in a separate book) and see that I actually have made progress, rather than just feeling stuck at time.

We're going to be attending a Focus on Marriage seminar tomorrow sponsored by Focus on the Family. Gary Thomas, Gary Smalley, Beth Moore, Del Tackett will all be speaking. I expect to be fired up and renewed after that!

Keep up the great work - may God bless you and your marriage!

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Sarah,

Hubby & I went to an "I Still Do" conference shortly after we married and we loved it! I know this will be a huge blessing to both you and your spouse. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get time. Thanks for your wonderful thoughts and blessings over our marriage. That is so very sweet and thoughtful of you.

intostillwaters.com said...

This would be really hard for me, too. How is it going with your husband? Does he know you're doing the love dare? Is it affecting him?

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Intostillwaters,

Hubby knows that I bought the book but doesn't really know what it's about. So yes & no I guess you could say. I kind of don't want to tell him what the book is about as I want to "see" him notice changes on his own. He hasn't seen the movie so he doesn't know anything about the "dares" which I think for now is probably better, just so he doesn't expect to look for something different each day, if you know what I mean.

As far as how things are going with him up to this point...that's kind of hard to tell. He has been working so much overtime and we have both been so stretched since the holidays with tending to his ill mother that we honestly haven't had time to really sit and talk or relax with each other. I think he is seeing some of the subtle changes but because there is just so much heaped on our plate that it's hard to really see anything other than that. It would be nice if other family members would take responsibility and help, after all it is their mother too but that is obviously asking too much of them. It's easier for them to pick and choose when they want to associate with their family than to be held accountable for anything. I guess that's what happens when when your too self absorbed.