You are on page 1of 179

















less gift. He uses marriage multiply

SAY that

God designed pricelcneliness,

and created marriage as a good thing. It is a beautiful, to help us eliminate

our effectiveness,

establish families, raise children, intimacy. But beyond through the help of a love. This It

enjoy life, and bless us with relational this, marriage our own issues and self-centeredness

also shows us our need to grow and deal with

lifelong partner. If we ate teacha ble, we will learn to do the
one thing rhat is most Important in marriage-to powerful another union provides imperfect person unconditionally. the path for you to learn how to love It is wonderful.

is difficult. It is life changing. This book is about love. It's about learning live a life filled with loving relationships. and daring to And this journey

begins with the person who is closest to YOll: your spouse. May God bless you as you begin this adventure. But be sure of this: it will take courage. If you accept this dare, yo u must take the view tha t instea d of fo!1.owing your heart, you are choosing heart, but to lea.d it. The world says to follow your

if you are not leading it, rhen someone or some179), will always pursue that iDStead to

thing else is. The Bible says that "the heart is more deceitful than all else" (Jeremiah which feels right at the moment. We dare you to think differently-choosing is a key to lasting, fulfilling The Love Dare journey relationships. is not a process of trying to

lead you'r heal'!" toward that which is best in the long run. This

change your spouse to be the person You've no doubt already discovered your husband genuine Rather, this is a journey of exploring

want them to be.

that efforts to change and demonstrating

or wife have ended in failure and frustration_

love, even when your desire is dry and your motives

INTROD ucr lClN are low. Last. Don't be discouraged if outside situations prevent you from accomplishing a specific dare. and be creative and courageous enough to attempt it. Some will be easy and some very challenging. Each day of this journey will contain three very important elements: First. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE . But take each dare seriously. These notes will record your progress and should become priceless [0 of you in the future. Read each of these carefully and be open to a new understanding what it means to genuinely love someone. you will be given journal space to log what you are learning and doing and how your spouse is responding. NOWTHESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH. you have the responsibility to protect and guide your heart. AND LOVE. Second. HOPE.(3=13 . Don't give up and don't get discouraged. a unique aspect of love will be discussed.(Corinthians . and transformational. sacrificial. It is selfless. Just pick back up as soon as you can and proceed with the journey. your relationship is more likely to change for the better. Learning to truly love is one of the most important things you Will ever do. The truth is. you will be given a specific dare to do for your spouse. love is a decision and not just a feeling. And when love is truly demonstrated as it was intended. Resolve to lead your heart and to make it through to the end. It is important that you take advantage of this space to capture what is happening to both you and your mate along the way. Remember.


foolish.'r~ j- . Relationships become meaningful with it. Patience brings calm during an external storm. Rather than being restless and demanding. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. No marriage is successful without it. We are born with a lifelong thirst for love. It is life's most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize. Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is.:J. -Ephesians Love works. usually generates additional problems. you respond in a positive way to a to negative situation.-! all internal ::. With patience. It always does what is best for others and can empower us to face the greatest of problems. 4:2 NI v bearing with one anot. All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes.ttely DAY 1 humble and gentle. Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need 0"-7gen. No one likes to he around an impatient person. But patience . More than biting your _<. When YOLL choose to be patient.. be pat'lent.~~~ Be wmp/.->'~:oI. And that's where your dare will begin. love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you.. It causes you to overreact in angry.her in love. You are slow anger. and regrettable woys. Love will inspire you to become a patient person. Love changes our motivation for living.The irony of anger toward a wrongful action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own.Those pillars are patience and Idndness. '~ib _stopsproblems in their tracks. Anger alm ost never makes things better.

"A hot-ternpered man stirs up strife. Patience. It gives you the:ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship ratherthan bailing out under the pressure. but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgment. foolishness. or evil motives. It clears the air. it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it. do you quickly retaliate. you are spreading poison rather than medicine.E lip. but the slow to anger calms a dispute" (Proverbs 15:18). It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail ail over the room.And every marriage needs that combination to stay healthy. Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. however. It doesn't rush to judgment but listens to what the other person is saying. Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief You don't get what you want and you start heating up inside. and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil. but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29). "He who is slow to anger has great understanding.THE LOVII DAR. The Bible says. 2 . 1t understands that everyone fails!When a mistake is made. Patience is where love meets wisdom . more than clapping a hand over your mouth. If your spouse offends you. patience is a deep breath. Patience stands in the doorway where anger is clawing to hurst in. the practice of patience will foster peace and quiet. It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness. makes us wise. Statements like these from the Bible book of Proverbs are clear principles with timeless relevance. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than ailowingyour emotions to control you.. Assure as a lack of patience will turn your home into a war zone. or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so.

not a sprint.DAy 1: Leva Is PATl ENT But can your spouse count on having a patient wife or husband to deal 'With? Can she know that locking her keys inthe car will be met by your understanding rather than a demean- ing 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 impatient person. This Love Dare journey isa process. Few of us do patience very well. and none of us do it naturally But wise men and women essential ingredient good starting point to demonstrate must resolve will pursue true love. Think of it as a marathon. and the first thing you to possess is patience. but always seek after that which is good for oneanother" (1 Thessalonians 5:15). . But it's a race worth running. laundry list of ways he should be spendinghis time? It turns out that few people are as hard to live with as an 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. it as an That's a to their marriage relationships.


write them on the tablet of your heart. The Bible keys in on the importance and truth leave you. you're careful how you treat your spouse.. When you're operating from kindness. the other proactive. • 6 . down into four But "kindness" can feci a little generic when you tty defining it. These two sides of love are the cornerstones which many of the other attributes we will discuss are built Love makes you kind. Patience avoids on a problem.g' things. You speak the truth in love. find favor wherever they go. One is preventive.I. So you Kind people simply will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man" (Proverbs 3:3-4).n C hrirt also has foygiven you. much less living it. jHst as God i. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance. Tender. 10 be \Vhen you're kind. Even if you need to say hard ". Even at home. So let's break kindness basic core ingredients: Gentleness. tender-hearted.other. you'll bend over backwards [0 make your rebuke or chal- lenge as easy to hear as possible. kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. -Ephesians In 2 Kindness is love in action. kindness creates a blessing. people want as being good to them and good let kindness around you. And kindness makes you likeable. They see you of kindness: "Do not for them. forgiving each. never being unnecessarily harsh. You're sensitive.~~~ DAY 2 Be kind to one another. bind them around your neck.

Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her about her rights. When acting from kindness. you cooperate. Kindness husband curious to discover what his wife needs. and forgives first. tant. Kindness thinks ahead.ness to listen first rather than demand his way. you A kind Rather than complaining of potential and making excuses. Too busy. Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. then takes the first step. arguments you look for reasonsto compromise husband ends thousands by his willing" . or stubborn. reluctant.DAY 1.ess. smiles first. Initiative. parable of the Good Samaritan. 10. then. then make your move. Willingness. respected people. or coerced before or wife will be the one It doesn't sit around waiting to be prompted getting off the couch. LOVE Is KlI'm IIelpfu!n. stayflexible. But a common whose dislike for the Jews was this stranger in need and both bitter and mutual-sees 7 . husband without worrying you get busy. Jesus creatively described chapter the kindness oflove in His you see the need. Alisrening ear? You makes a give it. They don't require the other to get his or her act together before showing love. Too imporman of another on a remote road. If it's housework. Too. Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. and accommodate. The kind husband who greets first.fond of clean hands. Two religious leaders. found in the Bible-a-Luke. serves first. Instead of being obstinate.motiYates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met-even ifhis are pur on hold. A Jewish man attacked by rob bets is left for dead among their to stop. First. walk by without choosing race-the hated Samaritans.

learn you learn to demonstrate . he stops to help the man. It is difficult to demonstrate motivation . But love there seems ill its love when you feel little to no truest sense is not based on feelings. bless and praise her. Willingly. and the teaching of kindness your husband or wife describe you on the kindness meter? on her tongue" (Proverbs 31:26). he carries him to all his medical expenses out of his own pocket. Where years of racism had caused strife and division. Taking the initiative. your in marriage is still linked to rhe daily level of kind- ness expressed. love determines to to show thoughtful actions even when kindness. wounds and putting safety ahd pays act of kindness true kindness Crossing all cultural boundaries his and risking ridicule. brought two enemies to gether. be no reward. in every way. Bow about you? How would How harsh are you? How gentle and helpful? Do you wait to be asked. Among her noble attributes are these: "She is operis her mouth in Wisdom.. YOu will never. moved with compassion. weren't you expecting Even though enjoyment to enjoy his or her kindness for the rest of your life? Didn't your mate feel the same way about you? the years can take the edge off that desire. Bandaging him on his own donkey. this man demonstrated Wasn't kindness one of the key things that drew you and your spouse together in the first place? When you married. Help" fully. The Bible describes a woman whose husband and children. one. or do you take the initiative to help? Don't wait for your spouse to be kind first. to love until Rather.

D" y 2: Lov. _ Check here when you've completed today's dare" What discoveries about love did you rna ke today? What specifically did you do in this dare? How did you show kindness? .s ls K) NIl IN ADDITION TO SAYING NOTHING GESTURE NEGATIVE TO YOUR SPOUSE AGAIN TODAY) DO AT LEAST ONE UNEXPECTED AS AN ACT OF KINDNESS.

it is selfishness. You can see it in the act. it seems. give preference to one anothe~· in honor. Yet you cannot point out the many ways your spouse is selfish without admitting that you can be selfi. and personal desires as the top priority. That would be hypocritical. Unfortunately way young children it is something that is ingrained into every person from birth. once inside a marriage relationship. I3:S). It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. meeting the needs of her husband.Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. becomes painfully bf love."The culture around us teaches us to focus on our too. that's a sign of selfishness. The danger from apparent however. is to chase the highest level of happiness this kind of thinking. about the time and energy she spends that's a sign of selfishness. When a husband puts his interests. The goal.' We are· aU . feelings. and priorities When a wife in ttbnt of his wife.e!fid1. constantly complains desires. If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite possible. and often in the way adults mistreat can one another. couples-e-the ones who are enjoying the full purpose 11 t: i . Loving But love "does not seek its own" (I Corinthians :. Why do we have such low standards for ourselves but high expectations for our mate? The answer is a painful pill to swal- low. Almost every sinful action ever committed be-traced back to a selfish motive. -Rom We live in a world that is enamored am 12:10 with "self.

This is a benefit that God created and reserves for those who genuinely love. then YOll demonstrate your right. to love your mate will cause you to say "nd'to what of your partner above your own. but you don't negate the you want so you can say "yes" to what they need. Nobody knows you as well as your spouse. The truth is. If you find it hard to sacrifice your own desires to benefit your spouse. That's putting the happiness happilless you can never experience of your spouse so you cal")enjoy it yourself Love also leads to inner joy. It doesn't mean happiness. 'That's because [rue love ways to say "yes. you get a chance to lose yourself to rhegreater his may have a deeper problem with selfish- ness than you want to admit.s for the sake of your mate." One ironic aspect of selfishness is that even generous actions can be selfish if the motive is to gain bragging rights or receive a reward.of marriage-are looks fat bent on taking good care of the other flawed human they get to share life with. Love is never satisfied except in the welfare of others. when. You cant be acting out of real love and selfishness Choosing at the same time. you relinquish purpose of marriage. And that means no one will be quicker to recognize a change when you deliberately starr sacrificing your wants and wishes to make sure or her needs are mer. The bottom line is that you either make decisions out of love for others Or love for yourself. there is a resulting f ulfillment th at cannot be d uplicated by selfish actions. If you do even a good thing ro deceitfully manipulate your husband or wife! you are still being selfish. When you prioritize the wellbeing of your mate. .

but with 2:3). "Do nothing in the or wife? eyes of those around you. you have a reputation But is it a loving reputation? also has-the challenge to be the first to demonstrate fulfilled.ourselves" (Philippians . So determine wide open. you'll both be more hom selfishness or empty conceit. your marriage partn er real Jove to them.DAY 3: LOVll Is NOT SllLF.lSB Ask yourself these questions: • Do I truly want what's best for my husband • Po I want [hem to feel loved by me? • Do they believe 1 have their best interests in mind? • Do they see me as looking out for myself first? Whethe:r you like it or not. And when all is said and done. with your eyes of loving a selfish person. especially in the eyes of your spouse. Rem em bel'. humility of mind regard one another as more irnportantthan y.


The hunt is over and the pursuing done. your personal desires. The wife finilly has her man: tile husband has his trophy..It's knowing not a mindless feeling that rides on waves of emotion and falls asleep mentally.~!dcmmt them.i~-i:Y~~ DAY 4 How preci. mate. You spent hours dreaming looked like. When you first fell in love. "I can't stop But for most couples. then enjoyi ng sweet memories about you. your friends. being thoughtful came quite naturally. and the motivation for thought011 fulness cools. It keeps busy in thought. After a while. you unintentionally your job..lSalso are Your j:houghts to me . rehearsing things to say. You drift into focusing your problems. Sparks of romance slowly bum into grey embers. you rather than being rhoughtful. Therefore. You honestly confessed. things begin to change afterruarriage.o1. that lovtng thoughts precede loving actions. yourself.. wondering impressive thinldng of what your loved one of the what he or she was doing. catch yourself being surprised "Today's our anniversary?" if your thinking doesn't mature enough to constantly include this person.. How vast is the "frn of them! If I Sh01. begin to ignore the needs of yOUT But the [act that marriage has added another person to your universe does not change. '" "Why didn't you include me in that decision?" "Don't you ever think about anyone but vourselfi" 16 ." lime you spent together. tJ1eywoultl outnumber the suml-Psalm 139:17-18 Love thinks.

She's Irustrated 3)Ud dering wlry she speaks in riddles and doesn't just come out and wondering why he's so inconsiderate and just figure it out. Adding to this. a wise 17 .maintain an amazing awareness of many factors at once. doesn't add two and two together ---- ~ woman deeply longs for her husband to be thoughtful. \\7hereas this can benefit him in that one arena. tend to think in headlines and say ·exattlywhat they mea 11. "When she works 011 something. she is cognizant of all the people who are somehow connected to it. missed opportunities to demonstrate you end up regretting love. A man call focus like a laser on one thing and forget the rest of the world. it can-make him overlook other things that need his attention. say things.IITF1Il If you don't learn to be thoughtful. Both of these tendencies -de"signedwomen to complete are examples of how God their men.DM 4: LOVE Is TfJ 0 U(. Let's be honest. libie-to. know where the kids are in the house.. alone. fallout can result in endless disagreements. It Is-a Key to helping her feel loved.. Awoman.. and wonder why her husband isn't helping . e:tflation. all simultaneously. "It is not good for the man I will make lliin a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18). Not rn uch is needed to understand them'essage. Men struggle with thoughtfulness more than Women. the He's frustrated wone.. As God said at 10 be.. If a couple doesn't understand . Men. She can talk on the phone. But women think and speak between the lines. A man often has to Iisten for what is implied if he this about one another. But these differenees also create opportunities for misunderstanding. a Woman also thinks relation- ally. is more multi-conscious. Thoughtlessness isa sjlelit enemy to a loving relationship. cook.(I' Wants to get the full meaning. 111ey tend to hint.on the other hand. When she spea ks. for example. His words are more literal and shouldn't be over- analyzed.

if you sho~have said' nature oflove reaches you to engage you!' mind before engaging your lips.. to respect and appreciate how your spouse erate of her unspoken nicate truthfully messages. But the thoughtful speak harshly now and determine 'tl VI ." At the same time.roan will listen like a detective td discover the unspoken ---. uniquely thinks.- . Love requires thoughtfulness-on that builds bridges through patience. pattern of"ready. holiday) you could be for? Great marriages come from great thinking. kindness. If. he's grieved because he can't read her mind and wo nders why he's being punished for a crime he didn't know both sides-the combination he committed.. In her mind she's thinking. A wife should learn to commuinstead.1 • and not say one thing while meaning another ." You later But too often you become angry and frustrated following the destructive it. . preparing need ca n thinking love and demonstrate you meet? What's birthday.. for him their This also explains why women husbands without telling them will get upset with why. it steals the opportunity demonstrate that he loves her. When was the last time you spent a few minutes about how you could better understand to your spouse? What immediate tile next event (anniversary. aim. Love th inks before speaking. Ue and leam to be considv kind of the constructive and selflessness. - ( needs to and desires her words imply. shoot.. He should be able to look at the situation and see what's going on here. A husband should listen to his . ... "1 shouldn't have to spell it out for him. however. Love teaches you how to meet in the middle. It filters words through a grid of truth and kindness. she always has to pu~ the pieces together for him.

DAY 4: Lovn Is THQUGHTFUL CONTACT XOUR SPOUSE SOMETIME OTHER THAN ASKING HOWHE IS'DOING DURING rEE J3USINESS OF THE DAY. and genuinely helpful part of your lifes ry le? . _ Check here when you've completed today's dare. routine. HAVE NO' AGENDA OR SHE AND IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU COULD DO' FO'R THEM. What did you learn about yourself or your spouse by doing this today? How could this become a more na rural.

The-bottom line is that genuine YGULlIIarriage. In marriage. around you.'Of/e.-oC-~ He DAY 5 who blesses his friend wi.' . or a habit of making sarcastic quif!s. love has something merepleasant for his wife to to say about this. i:v -n. much different than the kind you employ with friends! ." \Vhen you in the smallest of of honor to your relation" around them. embarrassing.oming. or irritating. To he rude is to act' unbecom- ing. Bmbracing this one concept could add some fresh air to express to your wife or husband.m. As always. Rudeness for -is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant 3'l"1'!'Jtherperson to be around. but it's unpleasant to th ose on the recei ving end. the etiquette you use at home is • OJ!) -. slre purposefully avoids things thatfrustrate him . However you look at it.d voice ea"rly In the 1r/.:4. If she desires to love him or cause him.ship: People who practice good etiquette tend to raise the l"or the..y". no one enjoys being around a rude person. I. it w'ill be reckoned.>.mouth. »:s: . a cuy.%tf". When a man Is driven by love. "I value you enough to exercise some self-control be a person who's a pleasure to be with.disccmfort.. Good manners I want to love minds its manners. allow love to change your behavior-even ways-you restore an atmosphere respect level of the environment .. this could be 11 fbul. . Rude behavior may seem insignificant to the per- sall ®ingjt.most part.c to hi. -Proverbs Nothing irritates others :1S '2T14- quickly as being rude. poor table manners.. he intentionally behaves in a way that's be a lou. j ~ A~<\lTI% .

Neither. Yet if you dare to love. "Better to live a house with a quarrelsome men especially need man of discretion There are fO 011 a comer of the roof than share NIV).or even with total strangers. Test yourself with these questions: • How does your spouse feel about the way you speak act around them? • How does your behavior affect your mate's sense of W0l1:h and self-esteem? • Would your husband or wife say you're a blessing. but unpleasant thing. but lithe front door chimes. "It is well with the man who is gracious" (Psalm li2:SJ. Ityou don't let love motivate you to make needed changes in your behavior. you open it all smiling and kind.n adler ways. A chilc1 is. his behavior accordingly 1:\\'0 main reasons why people are rude:ignoranl:B it good and sd:(islmess. display their ignorance YOll You can be blind to how you break them to care. wife" (Proverbs 25:24 But learn this important lesson. at another level. or that you're condescending and embarrassing? and . Adults. You may be barking or poutmg around the house. you'll also want to give your best to your own .A will find out what is appropriate. of course. King Solomon said. needing lots of help and training. is born ignorant of etiquette. the quality of YOlllJ marriage relationship will suffer for it. though they can be tude i. Women tend to be much better at certain types ofrnanners than men. The Bible then adjust says. In fact" you may not realize h0W or be too self-centered you can be to live with. know the rules. however.

Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers. z. Consider what your hus band or wife already asked you to do or not do. 3.DAY S: LOVE Is NOT Ru DB the one wha needs work in this area. No double standat·ds. love is not rude but lifts you to a higher standard. Will you be thoughtful and loving enough to discover ani!avoid the behavior that causes life to be unpleasant for your mare? Will you dare to be deligh tfLll? Here are three guiding principles when it comes to _PElacticing etiquette 1. Remember. with secondary condition of selfishness. Do. then ask . If in doubt. Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated (see Luke 6:31). Guard in y01U marriage: wish your spouse would quit doing the things that bother you? Then it's lime to stop doing the things that bother them. Honor requests. you're likely suffering from a bad If you're thinking that your spo LIse-not you -is a easeof ignorance.he Golden Rule.

W11atthings did your spouse point out about you that need your attention? How did you handle hearing it? What do you plan to do to improve these areas? . You MUST DO SO WITHOUT OR JUSTIFYING Tr-ns IS FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE ONLY. ATTACKING THEM YOUR BEHAVIOR. _ Check here when you've completed today's dare.Two Love DARE ASK YOUR SPOtJSE UNCOMFORTABLE TO TELL YOU THREE THINGS THAT CAUSE HIM OR HER TO BE OR IRRITATED WITH yOU.

" Not far [rom being poked. If you are walking un~er the influence of love. "Am I a calming breeze. love doesn't turn sour. he who captures a city. People who are irritable are locked. than.. they quickly rake full advantage how hurt or frustrated the opposite reaction of love./. The truth is. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond p'leasal1tly during ~ situations.DAY 6 . and ready to overreact.ick to forgive. tfJ. To be irritable means "to be near the point of a knife. Millar problems don't yield major reactions. How easuy:ci:Q you get irritated and offended? Some people have the motto. you will be a joy. '\"'~ ~I) e:. When under pressure. A loving husband will remain calm and patient) his temper . Jove does notget angry or hurt unless there is a legitimate and just reason showing mercy and restraining are out of the question. -FYovcybs 16:3Z love is hard to offend and qu. or a' storm waiting to happen?" Why do people become irritable? There are at least two key reasons that contribute to it: .. not a jerk.CVf/ ~ 'YI/OC-~ He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. and he who rules his spirit. But thisis goes wrong. Rage and violence wife is not overly sensitive self-control. A loving or cranky but exercises emotional ill the sight of God. loaded. "Never pass up an opportunity When something of it by expressing to get upset with your spouse:" they are. Ask yourself.~~~ .

Stress. Stress weighs you down, drains your energ~
weakens your health, and invites you to be cranky. It can be brbugh:tO:Xl. by relational causes: arguing, division, and bittern~ss,There·,areexcessiveauses: overworking, overplaying, and c o'il:~rsp:endirlg. there are deficiencies: not getting enough And rest,nutririon, or exercise. Ottenttmes we inflict these daggers on ourselves.and this sets us up


to be


Life"is'amarathon, not a splint. This means you must balp11i0).1tize, and pace yourself Too oftell we throw caution and "rU11 full steam ahead, doing what feels right at for air, wound up in knots,
tiii the wintl

the tir6ment. Soon we are gasping
our patience and our relationship.

and Jieadyto snap. Tbe increasing pressure can wear away at

:tBe Bible can help you avoid unhealthy

stress. It teaches

to let love guide your relationships so you aren't caught

:up~ unnecessary arguments (Colossians 3:12~14).To pray

throtlgh youranxieries instead of tackling them on your own
(Philippians 4:6--7). To delegate when you are overworked (Exodus 1"8:17-23). To avoid overindulgence (Proverbs 25:16). Italsoexhorrs you to take a "Sabbath" vacation day every
week fot worship and rest. This sn-aregically allows you time

tiD.re0ila'rge, refocus, and add breathing room or margin to your

weekly schedule. Establishing these kinds of extra spaces will
placecushions between you and the pressures around you, redu.cingthe stress that keeps you on edge around your mate. Butthere is'a deeper reason why you can become irritablesefjfshnes5. When you're irritable, the heart of the problem is prmahJY'il.problem of the heart. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance'bfthe heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew
12:34 NKJV).

:Somepeople are like lemons: when life squeezes them, they pour out a sour response. Some are more like peaches: when the·pr~ssure is on, the result is still sweet.

Being easily angered is an Indicator selfishness rule. But selfishness

that a hidden area of

or insec urity is present where love is supposed to also wears many other masks: to covet or burn with passion fot When your heart is lustful, it will

t1.l.l _1y.rt, for example, is the result of being ungrateful for
what you have and choosing something that is forbidden. become easily frustrated ~ to work through

and angered (James 4:1-3).


takes root when you respond in a judgmental .".. leaks ou r when he is provoked money and possessions

way and refuse

your anger. A bitter person's unresolved anger (Ephesians 4: 3 I). will frustrate you with


Greed[or mote

desires (1 Timothy 6:9- 10). These strong cravings coupled wita v:.t...dissatisfaction lead you to lash out at anyone who stands in your way. Pride leads you to acthaTshly in order to protect your

ego and reputation. These motivations can never be satisfied. Hut when lov~ enters your heart, i.t calms you down and inspires you to quit focusing on yourself. It loosens your grasp and helps you-let ge of unnecessary things. I '" CoJ.M ~\ ;.~ge.




love will lead you to forgive iJ1stea~~~~1~

To be grateful instead of greedy; To be content rather than }::LJshing into mote debt. Love encourages envy. Love says "share the inheritance" than sacrifice them for a promotion love ultimately



to be happy when

someone else succeeds rather than lying awake at night in. rather than "fight wi1lh your family rather release the your relatives." It reminds you to prioritize lowers your stress and helps

at work. In each decision,

venom that can build up inside. It then sets IIp your heartto respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.

DAY 6: LOVli










here when you've completed roday's dare.

Where do you need to add margin
What decisions have

your life? When have you

recentlyoverreacted? What was your real motivation behind it"

you made raday?

-_ -~~.-.--~.

tlle more time you spend meditating on these positive attributes..'t0. DAY 7 hopes all things.e rh. Most'tMngs ill the Appreciation Room were likely written in the ihitfal stil:g~s oEyour relationship. -1 COl'inthians 137 In the deep and private corridors of your heart." They char:acte. and good.. i.che. Oll the walls are written kind worels and phrases describingthegoodattdhutes of your mate. In Faet. .. rhem as things yeu liked and respected You could summarize about your loved one. the more grateful you are for your mate.J." "wonderful ar. It's caUcel the Appreciation thoughts go whe'n you encounter Room.isti"CS·like "honest" and " discovered about your husband or wife that h. These may include or phrases like cook." "diligent Wq.we embeddedthelilselves in your Depreciati0:ll Room.t00ID. honorable. before you were marde." or "beautiful eyes.~:. spent a great deal of time dwelling on them in this room . When you think about these thingSiyour appreciation for yo lIr spouse begins to increase. ArId you. That's because there is anoiliereompetiRg. And every so often. you enjoy visiting thisspedal place.true.F.~~~td. It's where your positive and encouraging thi~g~ahoutyour spouse. there is a .S tifterLas yon once did. of your heart lies the you visit there as unfortunately j)0wn another darker corridor well.[LDVe]bi>1ievesaILthings. They were.d.and nearby.< But you may have found that you don't visit this spepiahoom41.

If you stay in this room long enough. adding more scathing remlll?&5 is kept for the next b1g is allowed to spread. Their bad habits. It's where ammunition fight and bitterness fall out oflove here. q." or "My husband }' the walls nOlI)." Or maybe.tl1ei and failures of your husband or wife. This room is lined with the weaknesses ant of of Ul1. Everyone has unresolved all sinned._"Ithink ~ Imarried the wrong person. Love knows about the: Room and does not live in denial that it exists. ·we l1aVe tendency while putting our partner's Let's get down to the real issue here.~rt to the walls. The more time you spend in this more your heart devalues your spouse. hurt feelings.TI-IE Lovn DARE On its walls are written the things that bother 311d irritate yo U 3bout your spouse. and the disappointment expectations. But know this. These things were placed there frustration. where tell-offstaternents Emotional injuries fester here..tatgumllllt. but so are the things in the Appreciation personal baggage.i. hurts. "My can be such a jerk. "But these things are Lme'" Yes. This is a sad aspect of being human. you things like. It begins the you walk in the door. .H0 one end to the other. wiie." _ Some people write very hateful things in this room. and your care for them lessens second that ticks place> -tpe moment wlth evsI& by Room . Spending - --- Ee0pte Room time in the Depreciation kills marriages.antl todowllJ?lay. ~ . aHd _poor decisions are written in large letters that cover get depressed and start expressing selfish. failures You may say. like a disease.~ r are rehearsed for the nQ:.. that need growth. Divorces are plotted in this room and violept plans are schemed.. Everyone fails and has a-reap_ issues. But we have this unfortunate our own negative attributes under a magnifying Depreciation glass. hurtful words.

It's time to let love - llla.]'l"J. across these walls. (}.therea'fter every frustrating event in your relationship. Dreams and hopes h.or nor. all the positive.sand focusingon the positive attributes this is a crucial step as you Learn to lead your heart to truly lov:eYDur spouse. whether they --- in your negative of your mate. As you choose to meditate on the·positives. 'de$enie it.ayo. . Itis a decision that you make.UllVES THE REST But love chooses not to live there. to settle charac- glance in the door of the Depreciation pray for yeUL" spouse.DAY 7: LOVE BJj. fill in the unknowns with negativ:eassumptions. -\_\-"\J You must develop the habit of reining thougJit.en treasure. You must decide to stop running to this room and lingerIt l:ng. And the e111y reason you should ever go inthisroo:rn is to write "COVERED a. And when our worst hopes are proven to. It gives them the beoe:fit of the doubt. As'm:uch as possible! love focuses Itls time to start thinking differently. It refuses to.t to be realized.1. dQesY:€l1. It'sJUl1e to move into the Appreciation down and make it your hom e. love makes every effort to deal with them and move f{)twar:8.O good and drains the joy out of your marriage. But the choice to explore them starts with a d:etision by YOlL.. ~<J'\(_ """\.be true. Talents and abilities may be discover7d Jilte hltld.G~QSS th~walls. Your spouse is endless book to be read. you will learn that many morewonderful ter gualities could be written a living) breathing.urthoughts and your focus. The only reason you should Room is to know how to ill LOVE" in huge letters Room. Love'ch6oses to believe the best about people.a#I'!'ye.


and an iUegitim.ike blazing our first love. It's that He deeply long.P jeaLousy 'unyielding as thegnlJ. turns his or her heart away and replaces you with someone else. but who can stand before jealousy? (Proverbs 27:4)." the one that is rooted in selfishness. to love:_ we will shift our focus to the' With this established.s1o you. Wish" ing He had what we have (since He already owns everythiilg). for us." The Scripture It comes from the toot word for zeal and means "to burn with pointedly says.ev& ~ Love i5 as strong as death.Z~. There are actually two forms: a {. This is to be jealous df . jealous anger because ofhi.d upon love.i. The Bible warns worship anything consuming fire. -Song Jealousy is one of the strongest an intense fire. He doesn't want us to let anything cedence over Him in our hearts. He is longing to have back what is rightfully his. desiring for us to keep Hira. Illegirirnate kU1d of jealousy that is in opposition someone.. to be "moved with envy.cgitimatc jealousy base.ll love for her. a jealous God" (Deuteronomy take pre11S norto but Him because "the Lord your God is a 4:24). who belong. its It buyns !. "Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood. her h usband may have a justified. as having this kind of righteous jealousy for His people.pJe jealousy based upon envy. It's not that He is envious of us. DAY 8 ~?~1A/. If a wife has an affair and gives herself to another p~rapn. of Solomon 8:6 NIV drives known to mah. The Bible describes God. Le~i'ti~ mate jealousy sparks when someone you Jove.

. jealousy slithers like a viper into your and relationships.'to fighting. He may have done nQrhi~wtong. if you are:nltcareful.mliving the life of love God intended.'yp:a:jj.nlllt careful.jfaldepellding upon how selfish you arc. The Bible says and every evil thi1lg that In'J. This can be vel.more than theirs. Yo ur coworker . Joseph'S brothers saw he was their father's favorite. cil€ You d0~Q'tusually get jealous of disconnected strangers.'enhe:c<tuse Hagar could bear children while Sarah could not. and popular than the chiefpriesrs. play in your lea_g)-1e. run in your circles . They work in your office. jealousy is 'l! common struggle.vith being jealous of others? Your friend is_mote p'op. ~oiS(!l-ll £n". but you became bitter because of his SLlC· cesa It has been.ula. (James 3~:t:6. just asiong as it is net. It can rf you're.. Sarah sent away her handm:aiCl. you rau may eventua1ly If y01+dtint i1iff1l5eyour anger by learning to love others. begin plotting against them. It is sparked when some- one'eiseupst!1ges you and gets something you want.gfrtsthe Pl<Q:in@tiQn. There is a string or violent j ealousy seen rh rough a ur ScriFtme. quarreling. l'Iim_and plotted His betrayal and crucifixion.11e-ads.hitil:rgthem.ewhim in a pitand envled 50 they sold him as a slave. you fume in angel· and think heart and strikes your motivations ill of them.DQ you caused the first murder when Cain despised God's accept<111Ce ofhis brother's offering. Whe. Yes. the ones yo_u're tempted to be jealous of He primarily in samearlimawith YOlt. Instead of coJigtitu:.n you were married. you were given the tole of beCillmlngyollr spouse's biggest cheerleader and the captain of .t. jealousy can also infect your marriage. Jesus was more 50 they lovillglPowerful. so you feel hatred towards her.iSQYoU cati'! sleep that night.said that people are fine with your succeeding.2). or live in your house.4:1-. thr.

Both of you became one and wereto:share in the enjoyment th ing happening of the other. A loving husband d6eSllt having mcitefnll.good only one of yo u can be a catalyst fon et). to his strengths. them. Because love is not selfish and puts others first. A loving her weaknesses a pity party It is time to Jet love.11tl. It's time to let YOl1'F and give YOlfgtearet .10/ rather than congratulations. he publicly thanks her way that may cause her to resent him. humility. It leads you to celebrate the successes 6f)f01!r spouse rather than resenting or getting more applause. He may be enjoying golf on the weekend while she 'stays home cleaning the house. and gratefulness mate's successes draw you closer together opportunities to show genuine love.any.s10-0ti)1g'll great score and she feels like shooting Or perh aps she is constantly resent her popularity.. He boasts to her about.THE .t her as completing mind his wife being better at something. He refuses to brag in such wife Will bdheo first to cheer for her man when he wins. invited to go out with friends while he is left home with the dog. him. forh~r a support in aiding his own success. not destroy any jealousy that springs up in your heart. Ifhe's not careful. -it refu~e$ to let jealousy in. he can He sees W hen he receives praise.LOVE DARE his or her fan club. She does not conwate She throws a celebraticn. competing with him. him. But if selfishness to rules!.

when you've completed today's dare.To HELP YOU SET YOUR HEART LIST ON ¥QUR SPOUSE AND FOCUS ON THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS._periencesthat you can celebrate in the life of your mate? HoW'\anypq encourage themtoward -~----- .PAY 8: LOVE Is No r JEALOUS DETER1vUNB TO BECOME YOUR SPOUSE'S J3IGGE~J' FAN AND TO REJECT ANY THOUGHTS OE JE1\:LOUSY. TAJ{E YESTERDAY'S 0F NEGAtIVE ATTRIBUTES AND DISCREET.x. ~Chetk here. Hew hard-was it to destroy the list? '\i:'hat are some positive future successes? e.LY l{E BUR!N IT. THEN SHARE WITH YOUR SPOUSE HOW GLAD YOU ARE ABOUT A SUCCESS OR SHE RECENTLY ENJOYED.

He even took time te list each one by name. they greet one another. importance should yon give a greeting? 'The Bible has more to say about greetings than you might e~ect.and countenance.I . and neighbors? How about acquaintances . But He took ita step further and said that being godly included being humble and gtacious enough to address even your enemies with kindness.Mount that even pagans speak kindly to people thty like.Greet'one-another with a kiss of love.le carriessurprising significance.notjust about your friends.ds. That's. YQu~antell a lot about the state of a couple's relationship Erolli the way. cowcrkers. The apostle Paul took time to encourage his readers to greet g(eet ene arioJhet warmly when they met.ofhisJet:ter to the Romans. It is even more obvious by their physical contact. You can see it in their e:. as well as how they speak to each ether.. So dealing with the way you greet y{)ursp-ou~e each day may seem inconsequential. But howmllc1). easy for anyone to do.. near the end .ssioJll. Thi~'raisesan interesting question. It'$. but this smilllss). How do you greet your me1"l. and encouragement 50 far in this journey le:U:ningto demonstrate aspects of lave like patience. and those you meet in public? oj . Jesus noted in His Sermpa on the. In fact. however. kindare not always easy but are certainly cruciITl to a healthy relationship. he askedfellow believers twenty-seven to oErus friends and loved ones for him. -1 Peter 5: 14 You!ye covered some serious ground ness.pre..

"While he was still a long way off. Think back to the story Jesus told of the prodigal son. But soon his bad thoie€s man demanded his inheritance caught up with him. When someone communicates important that they are gladfii! see increases. this was likely the last one he expected. But here's something djfference else you probably don't Stop to consid.LOVE DARE You may even encounter like yet still acknowledge nice and.This young) rebellious moperal1d then wasted it on a foolish lifestyle .polite samei'Times the first thing ten? someone you donrneceSs3r-ily them out of courtesy. So i1yoJ1fe this to other people.ts you. and ran and embraced him and hissed his him" (Luke 15:20). about you expressed the fact that you were really. his father saw hinnindJe1t for him. But howdoyett and hear tone? He no doubt felt loved and treasuredorite . and he found himself.and he was expecting was not the one he reteiveil.eating scraps ill a pigpen. the look on your face when you get in the catl the energy in your voice when you speak on the telephone. You feel more Like love. doesn't your spouse deserve the you don't think about very Oft61l- It's pro babl y something YOLl say to him or to her when you wakel!p in the morning. your personal sense of self-worth and valued.Q to it would make in your spouse's day see them. What do you think it did in their relationship? mind.Ttlll . Of all the scenarios this young man had played our'in think it made him feel to receive his father's embrace his thankful again. really gb. wind in your sails. it P\J.\l·~Th~ if everything. tried to think of the best way to go home and face his f~tlier. That's because a good greeting sets thtl stage for positive and healthy interaction. Humbled But the greeting compassion and ashamed. he practiced his apologjes.

tJ~y.9: loy Ii MAKllS GOOD 1M FnllSSIONS

What kihd of greetings would make your mate feel like
that? Hew c(yuld,;,);Oll excite his or her various senses with a sil1l.pleword, a.toucli, a tone of voice? A loving greeting can

bless yOHl' spqllse,through

what they see, hear, and feel,

Think oNhe opportunities you have to greet each other a regula!" 15a'815. When coming through the door. When meet-

ingfOr lunch. Wlnen saying good-night. When talking on the
It aot[s:nit have to be

bold and drama tic every tim e. But

~qdi11gw.annth and enthusiasm gives you the chance to touch Y0ur mases Ifeait in subtle, unspoken ways.
Thinkabout yo lit greeting. Do you use it well? Does yo nr spouse fed valued and appreciated? sion.alld g~yelhem value ]iellle'tnber,
greeting. Choose Do they feel loved? Even

when y;ou'renot getting along too well, you can lessen the ten-

by the

way you greet them. So choose to change your

love is a choice.

to love.








Check here when you've completed todars,date.

When and where did you choose to do your specialg~eeti~g~ How

will you change your greeting from this point on?

.i.'(J1/'& iJ,.

DAY 10

God demonstratcs His own. love toward us, tn that while wl wue rit
sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:$'

If someone were to ask you, "Why do you love younowi£el!
or "Why do you love your husband?"-what Most men would mention would y.o.11 sa¥f

their wife's beauty; het$
or what a good \

of humor, her kindness, her inner strength. They migflt [alit about her cooking, her- knack fat decorating, mother she is. Women would probably say something aboutth~j.rhllS·

band's good looks or his personality. They'd commend hUrtlar
his steadiness helpful But what if over the course of years, your wifeor h1.j:spand stopped everyone of these things. Would you 'lti1l1eve them? Based on your answers above, the only logical respou$e

and consistent

character. Theyd.say


him because he's always there for them. He's generous. He~s

would be "no." If yo ur reasons for loving your spouse all have' something to do with his or her qualities-and
love is over. The on Iy way love can last a lifetime is if it's un€(jndlt1on~L The truth is this: love is not determined then those bas~s;fut

same qualities suddenly or gradually disappear-s-your

by the one bdng Lb\l~d

but rather by the one to love.

The Bible refers to this kind oflove by usingthe Greek
word agape (pronounced



TH ~_


that'S' because this is God's kind of love. w:rongfeasons cannot be restored In fact. ag. It is the only kind of l love that itS ttud6ve. That's 110t Unconditional love. That's the result of building a marrlage on ph-ileo·or eros Love.·:.1d sent His Soil to be the propitiation ~lJoh. Aga-pe lo. So unless this kind of love forms the foundati1¥1 ofivoUI marriage. house you build together as husband but that He loved us ill. not that we loved God. then the foundation te:lati.<iIn this is love." His love was based on feelings or circumstances rather tnUl1. If He insisted that we prove ourselves worthy we receive bfHi.and then: share with others.j.ship:is unstable. because He fu:stlov:ed us" (1 John '+:19)· Ifa man says to his wife. that love which began for the and redeemed. "for richer or p'GY8ter'l 0vei ~l1orbetter or worse" love. is selflesS" and unconditional. commitment.vill not be swayed by time or circumstance.g a healthy sex life.:~~s. "I have fallen out oflove with ybu. Ph11eo-and eros are more responsive in nature and Can Hucruate "hasetd. with. to say.PAY fa: LovzIs UNCQNDHIONA L ItdiffersfrQll1the other types oflove. the wear and tear of time will desrroyit. which areand and of and are philcn (&i~:ndship'al1deros (sexual love). defitlitelypartofthe of C01. .actually saying.'.apdote. It's something trom Him.b. The for our sins" Bible S!IY'S. "I never loved you unconditionally t6 begUn. But God's love is acheice He"po).sloV"e1we would fail miserably. though. B Ltt if YQur·J.There must be a stronger foundation than lnere friendship or sexual attraction. "\"Velove.upon feelings. He doesn't love us hecause we are lovable but because He is so loving. Agape love. Both friendship sex have an irepertact place in marriage.v:eis "in sickness and health" love.Iiarriagetotally depends on having common interests yOUt OI eo:joyin.makes Gompletely on His own. on the other hand.

tlTIng. wi[ be able to separate us from the love of God. (1 Corinthians IT 7) does not come from within. This is God's kil1d of love. . peTtod.' .fQlJ.t kind of H~g jesus bur Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). and romantic with agape as its. But first you must receive it and share it. And don't be surprised. nor depth.tbJUe. . When your enjoym:.~d~tilinl aspects of your l@Ye b~CQme' than ever before. You you than you remem will no 10n~ersa)" "I love you because. nor powers. ililr. endures all things" The Scriptures not principalities.h0pes all But you will struggle and things. can become yDt. say that "neither love. which And thankfully-by your choice-it is in db-li. ifhe or to she doesn't becEurie'eile)1 bet. "I love you. life) nor a:ngel~.THE LOVE DARE when you rebuild your marriage then the friendship more endearing commitment.lllJot be achieved any other way. Love that "bears all things. nor height. when your spouse begins confidently more lovable under its shade. It can only come from God. 11 or-things present." You will now say. not any other created . fail to attain this kind 'ofmil1:· riage unless you allow God to begin growing His loveWi~hin you. believes all thihg~.eliit"Q£ each other as best friends and lovers is based on ul'l:wfiv(lrln~ you will experience all intimacy that "Ca. nor things to.

FOLD THE LAUNDRY.. or. CLEAN THE KITCHEN. JOY DE :BEING THEIR \' _ Cheek here when you've completed Has. LOVE TO THEM FOR THE SHEER PARTNER IN MARRIAGE. (ro Yt'>ti'AND TO THAT YOUR LOVE IS AND NOTHING BASED O:WYOUR CHOICE WASH HER C:A:R.n:NY 10: LOVE Is UNCONilI-rrONAL Do ftOl')1. ros YOUR OUT OF THE ORDINARY THEM) TODAY Sl'OUS. today's dare. DEMONS'nMTE Buy HIS FAVORITE UESSERT.JJnnNG.E-' -SOMETHING THAT PROVES ELSE.en yout commitment? to show How can you continue l'Qv-ewhen it's not returned in a way you hoped for? .-y0ut love Inthe past been based on your spouse's attributes and be-haYLor.

That's because your hand is price- ieSS'lo you.rnatriage is more like the second scenario. -Ephesians {f. Ending that numerous ITUstt"tteqandi11 pain. Beea'Us~0I the expensive repairs. he determines to get rid of theca! and spend: his funds on anew vehicle. It is part of who you are. accidentally crushes his hand He rushes to the hospital and has it bones are broken. he is told it will neerla co. ng{lt? Another man.<Older begins Iiaving serious trouble. You are a part sf 0:l'le another. This. probably seems The problem within our culture is that marriage is more often treated like the first scenario. Although >Hayed. In a pi~ceofequipIIlent. then gingerly nurses it back to .ds ought aLso 'to love theil' own wwes 5:28 'Q~their own bodies." But those who have this view do not underJitilllll1 the Significant bond between a husband and wife.reas6nable:to you.. Am. so he takes car it to a mecnanic. When your relationship elfPe:gences difficulty. "c . You would never CLLt off your hand if it was injmeu b. months. After an-assessment is's.ollsid:er these two scenarios.IllJ. too.rCtQFi':d and placed in a cast. Tbe truth fs.:i'()VIP~ DAY 11 Husb}l1t. your are urged to dump your spouse for a&wwer model. an engineer.1Iete over 111:e following . he wjllil1giy uses his savings to have it d(. Seems reasona:bk. which would tax his limited budget.:ttwould pay whatever you could afford for the best medical treatment possible.

. you experience disappointmengend cli~ sobering reality that you married an imperfect person sets.THE Lovs DARE And so is your mate. you should think of yourself as an instrument that helps bring healing to his life. BUUJ0roewhere along the way. He wlieloves wife loves himself. without it also affecting yotl. both of you feel it. When you find success at your job. You must treat them with the same nurture and care ithaf ym1 his own treat yourself When you show love to your spouse. both of you rejoice. or your heart. the stl.and cherished. You the same house.ner oply ~t~tl happens physically but spiritually and emotionally.l'Y ereared by God. It's tinre fOl.')'0~ to realize that your spouse is as much a part of you as Y0ul' hand. Whenyou mist~IWYQUl' mate. blessing or cursing. And if she has issues causing pain orfnistti!tiOJi4} then you should care forthese with the same love artcften&etness as you would a bodily injury. does not change the fact that your~pouse is still a part of you. for no one ever hated his 01"Il~eS\. too. goes through a tragedy.irrsome way. however.8-29 says. the same bed.luelast name. "Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. Your spouse cannot c}. Marriage is a beautiftrlnzyste. but nourishes and cherishes it:' This verse speaks to husbands. yell are showing love to yourself as well. Yam: Iive~ are now interwoven together. joining two lives together as one. but notice how €act )litHl' ber is viewed. When Your identity as individuals has been joined into one. needs to he loved . But there. This. If he is wounded. . it is like attacking your own biOlay It's time to let love change your a flip sideto this coin. She. 8"0 when you attack your off sharing yourspouse Thrs. you are also mistreating yourself Think about it. your eye. They are both considered to be the same flesh. Ephesians 5:2.:perieme joy or pain.

k-e amputating a limb. That to love each yout .'l'o compare it with something that can be te. it should be a picture of10ve betWeel1two imperfect Qrnel" liegitCdless. think about how you trea r your spouse's phYSical body.ake them feel foohsh or embarrassed? Just as' Or y. and feet. Nourish and cherish rhe .Speak jQ'VeQf 10ut life.): eyes.ou t.)AY 11: LOVE CH snrsuus 111 li~h:t QhliHs.J.placed is to dishonor w0l~ldbeli. you're looking at a part of you.e yO'U. hands. highly of him. he shQuld remember that "he who loves his wife loves himself" And II wife should remember that when she Loves him. she is 111sogiylllg love and honor to herself.? do yQll m. Instead.$'l?0!l~e'2Sa'}1lti<::eiess gift. you should treasure you de rermine the worth God's purpose for it.un:narriage. S0l\1'eathenvell. DOyt11 cherish it as your own? Do you treat ir wirh respect and tenderness? Do YOLL take pleasure in who they ate. Ddij:'t let the siilture-around ~Ca!dilla:"r o[yo.reaspr. people who choose Whe~'levera husband looks into the eyes of his wife. "Whenjlot11oqkat your mate.

WHAT NEED DOES YOUR SPOUSE HA:YETW1' YOU COULD MEET TODAY? CAN YOHRUN AN ERRAND? GIVE A BACK RUB OR FOO1'MAScSAGE HOUSEWORK CHOOSE YOU COULDHEJP A GESTUKE THAT S. Is THERE WITH? "I CHERISH _ yOU" A:N"DDO IT Wl.mate~ What did you learn from this-experience? .AYS. What did you choose to show that you cherish your. • Check here when you've completed foday"'stlare.TH A SMILE.

. of course. stubbornness opinions is a foundational It's detrimental. and obedience to God should be guarded with great eAf'art. [hough.. worth standing up fat and protecting. you'd likely be able to do it without thiJ:lkirrg very hard.can also cause gr~at frus· is not always bad . inside a marriage relationshiprand ii comes as a standard steals away time and productivity. unless someone at Zom house starts doing some giving in. Other times. these same issues aregofng to keep popping up between you and your mate. wants to vacation With your extended One of you prefers home-schooling one-of you family. Em too often we debate over piddling things. rhe'othcfdl!>eSl./~ td$tIw O~ Do not merely took out for your own persona[t'hteresls. like the color of \\'all paint or the choice of restaurants. Defending your :tights and Unfortunately. part of your nature andmake'-'up. You migh t even be able to producea given a few more minutes. but also for the interests of others. the other doesn't. One of you thinks it's rime for marriage c01.ure on both husband arid wife models. -PhiHppiain. while the other dbesrit.l' your kids.DAY 12 .~'24 If you were asked to name three areas where you and YtlUI spouse disagree. teat. the stakes are much higher. Que ofyou would like more children. worals.lnseli!li&or to get more involved in a church. llitif And sadly.Some tllings ate Our priorities. the other doesn't. tration for hath of you. being stubborn It. Granted. tEJPte_1lj.

esctibed in Philippians 2. 57 . And though the follow· you have through m~ycost you some pride and discomfort. the Bible applies to usa ohe-sel1teflC{'s. The heels just keep diggino ill.stubborn- wqrd ~e first met back while discussing It'S rhaqyofQjs resolution or compromise..d and did-because He was willing. In lightQf this amazing testimony. It's like Jri'l'ing with the parking brake on. He nnd" every right to refuse becoming a man but yieTde. He loved.m't really go away: You never seem to get any cleser to ll. kindness. l.).summary statement: 2:$)~theattittide of a word that's the opposite of. they keep resutfaciFlg and dl.Sion His selfless love .."It's an. made a lO1li. There's-only one way to get beyond stalemates I!~)s-!t like these.oment'oneof you says.He was even willing to endure the grueling and was willing to cross. endures the greatest winds because it knows how te gracefully bend. But the V€ry1J:J. And the one best example of it ls Jestls ChriSt.ll that sJibt1:1C1.all mankind but came to serve us instead. ~r.will instead of His own. do HiS' Fa~b:. "I'm willing to go your way on will be over. torhlr-t. permeate out conversations.O'£ the . He had rhe tight i"01ivein peace and safety but willingly laid down His life for ous siRS. or 4s'Gou.e ocean that..lasting investment in your marriage. He had the right to 'be ~~d 'h¥.for your present arguments to continue is for both of you to stay entrenched this onei' the argument and unbending. Itliieal1s laying down. Follow the c ptagte-§. "Have this attitude subyou inyoufselv€s which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians flexibility. and humble m\s~~oj.artitude and spirit of cooperatiO.g. cooperated.Though thtseissues may not crop up every day. like a palm ~D€I that's by~ai.for the good of otherswhat havethE:tight to'claim fot yourself All i-trtakes.. as.

lriost:h6not(!d friend. That's 110t to say your mate is Hec.issue more important fight-by :g1flkirrg th~ yoUt $p. Insreadof'treatiagyenr wife or husband like an enemy or someone-to be g\lard~d against. flavo~ Rather. start by treating them as your closest. willing to yield" (James 3:17 Nlqv).relationship. ":[he wisdom that is from above is first pure. Love's best advice comes from the Bible. You've already lost the .(ilfe!ot love to your eternity-then listening to and learning from.¢ssatily Df right being wise about a matter.q:.0U$e~ than your marriage and and hurt your sense of worth. one of you would be unnecessary Two people who always Sha1'6 th€. Are you willing to bend to demonstrate doesn't matter in the long run-especiallyin spouse? Or are you refusing to give in beca use-of prIde? If'll give up your righ ts and choose to honor the one yotllove. you won't always see eye-to-eye.iJ.gentle.~~me won't have any balance (5V opinions and perspectives to enhance the.proachil1g With a willingness to not :alwaysiilsJsron your own way. 1'1110setheJi-ght. You may have already lost emofional Eontfoi~' saying things tha t got personal your disagreements man. but then I'll look foolish.l'll lose will be both good for you and good for your marbiage. . You're not sltPEosed to be carbon copies of each other. whiehsays. but you ate choosing tegive sH'on&: consideration to their preference as a way of va1u±n'g them. your differe. The wise and loving thing to do is to start ap." You've already looked foolish by beipgbullhearledlM refusing to listen. No. If you were. Give their words full weight.TllJ] Lovr DARE "Yes. thenpeaceab16.

.lov.E LIlTS Hill OrHEl<..... What isst\e:did you choose? What did giving in cost you? How will this help you in the future? ~~--. \ 'TODAY'S DARE DE..RE..- .. TELL THEM :FU')7(£i[JN'G YOU AND YOU ARE FIRST..EMENT BETWEEN YOUR SPQUSE.'.DAY 1.~ . ~.LINGLY CHOOSING TO GIVE IN TO AN AREA OF DISAG. THEIR PREFERENCE _ Check here when you've completed today's dare. WIN .MONSTRATE LOVE BY WII.

unpleasantly discovering how sinful andseHisb each of you could be . .~F rjll.vay your public fa~ad es. Instead. the storms of life began testing and reveaLI1\g~what you're really made o£ Work demands. -Mark .conflict 0nlyyo~0pesand 3:25 in marriage is simply habits.of you.and motional e l)lip:r4eilftom your honeymoon. But not every couple survives it. nnd y01. hOlJ'fe is~tJiviaedagainst itselt that house wil. You argued and fought. llve.LQ£f 0£ theirs. But you are not alone. .ry couple goes through itIt's par for the course. you began the real process of l:l1lRadung one another. So~aol!'tthink living out rodays dare will drive all conflict {romyour marriage. you joined not dreams but also your hurts. Together. in-law arguments.l not be able to stand. Afrne. When you tied the knot as bride and groom. Welcome to fallen humanity.Like It. You hurt.Pretty S0011 your mate started to Slip off your lofty pedestal. and financial needs flared up in v. fears. imbaggage. health ISsues. exposing yo ur pri vatepro b- lem§ and sect. this is about dealing with conflict in stIch a way that you come out healthier on the other side. Both.s3me time. You experienced can:fl:ict. adding pressure and heat to the relationship. From the moment you perfee1!i011~. Thi(sets the.or not.aryil1g degrees. stage for disagreements to break out between the tWo~fy0ti. The forced closeness of marriage began S'!PppillgW.DAY 13 /_eye.

A great marriage on MOi1da:y "eanstartdriv.hser..' nection afterwards. But how? The wisest way is to learn to fight olean by establishing healthy rules of engagement. We will never mention divorce . And ea:ch of you has the right to gently but directly enforce fhem):£' these rules are violated. ifyou guidelines for howyou'll bounds when the action heats up.The deepest.lP old. Your words contain the most venom.reminds·y0u that your marriage is too valuable to allow ina seJI-. 2.won1stayin for~ealmg with and "me" boundaries. more intimate. Itrem1nds you that conflict can actually be turned around for good. Basically there are two types of'boundaries conflict: "we" boundaries d0D~ have approach hot topics. We will never fight in public or in front of om thildt:ell . you. YOJ. Your anger is hottest.ost selfish a. But love steps in lind changes things..tnuGf\ and that your love for your spouse is more imporraat than whatever you're fighting about. and enjoy a much deeper (:00. These could include: 1.tlfoS. more trusting. «We" boundaries are rules you both agree on beforehand. We will not bring l. ing off the cliff on Tuesday if unbridled confliCt takes oyerana neither of you has your foot on the brakes. You're the judgmental. Married who learn to work through conflict tend to hee.ncl in the thick of conflict.llnake the worst decisions. most heartbreaking (or ever have done) to your marriage damage yotl'U ever do will most likely oc~ur m. unrelated items ffom the past 3. That's because this is when YQtJrprida is strongest. rules that apply during any fight or altercation. Love helps you install:afrba~ and to set up guardrails couples in your relationship. Love.

that is in your brother's "Why do you eye. Disagree- ing with aigniry. the most effective examples: I will Tl~t'eniiJ. but it is always w:otih fighting for. IMe". slow to speak and slow to anger" (Ja1tl:esu 9)..DAY 13: LUVE FIGHTS FALR + We will caMa "time damaging level.JaiWre is not an option. all your Here arc some of 1. . but do not at :the speck Do:tl:ee the logthat is in your own eye?" (Matthew win sp. but a harsh word stirs up ang~r'I'(Ptoverbs 15:1).We will Qlwtr go to bed angry with one another.1win deal with look lI my own issues up-front.b01JJ'!datii:s·arerules you personally practice OW11. out" if conflict escalates to a before speaking. 7. Ffgh!in'gfaif means changing your weapons. Remember. Whatever it takes. We-wi111~ever touch one another in a harmful way 6. we will work th~ our.eak gently T3) and keep my voice down. love is not a fight. "A gentle answer tunis away wrath. It should result in building a bridge instead ofbutntn:g 011e down. 7.. "Everyone must be quick to hear.

what was tl~@ir reSP9riS~! Wbat rules did you write for yourself? . _. RESOLVE THE NE'X:T TO ABIDE BY THEM WHEN DISAGREEMENT OCCUJ. If your spouse participated with you._ Check here when you've completed today'sd~te. THEN WRITE RULES TO "FIGHT" BY. PERSONAL HEALTHY RU1.TKo Lovz DARE TALK WITH YOUR SPOUSE AIH~lUT ESTABLISHING ENGAGEMENT. IF YOUR MATE IS ~OTREADY OUT YCnj'R OWN FOR THIS.tS.:ES.o):.

Left to ourselves. You should 9:9 HCSB things you should learn on your Love Dare journey is that you should not justf. Life is too fleeting for that.tJg.p~o'f' ing of one another. She'll get on your. You put them in the back seataird tell them where you're going. In other words) lave thaI a burning it's also you won't always fe~llke for your heart to constantly every moment desire for togetherness thmU at.O!!9WY·I/Ul lead it. loving.feelc 0i)ly ings alone. It is unrealistic thought of spending can maintain obligation.. we'll always lean toward being di. -: ~L . But difficult to love someone Qtu~f chooses to love is just as powerful as love tharjseis like lovi. the days of'yourfieefing Ilie. and the 110peslhH future linger in their hearts . No~ody jt¥S(!!lII.Ecclesiastes One of the most important heart. But our days are too short to was re in bickering Qvet petty .solne· thing just as powerful as that fresh. In your marriage relationship.he with your spouse. It :come·s·[rQm the decision to delight in your spouse and to love him 0r hetno matter how long you've been married. it's a truer love because it has its eyes wide open. new love. In many ways.~~~ DAY 14 Enjoy life with the wife you love all..~ap. Their love is fresh and young.t.However.nerves..... things.. -. A newlywed romantic takes delight in the one they now crall heir t spouse. there is. You don't let your feeJilfgs ana I!mo" tions do the driving.~ He'llaggravate you.

see your form. Enfw your spouse. If you pick at your mate mote than. I t's time to learn to delight in y. why YOll fell in love with. You've led yourself into criticism. and come along!Q my dove. Take her hand and seek her Remember companiGn~hip.het personality. In his shade I r&ok-great deli~ht and sat down.e~ no other way will do. let me hear your toi your voice is sweet. it'S because you've allowed p heaEtto besel'6.gwho they are. "Arise.. in the secret place of rhe ~teep pathway. you get to choose what you treasure. let me "alee.. It's not like you're borh :with certain pre-sets and preferences tined to operate froffi. me 1S love" (Song of Solomon 2:3-4).ll1gmen. Sonow it's time to lead your heart back out.DEIlGHT ]llst{!..our spouse again. from the Song of Solomon.3dlrtsili:!1e0 lead your heart to once again delight 1 in your mate.these tw0 lovers>take pleasure in one another in this poetic The wemare "Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest. then to watch your heart acrually statt'el'lj9yiri. Desire his conversation. and your form is lovely" (Son:gofSdlomon 2:13-14). in the clefts of the rock.Ifyou're you're it's because your to be~ YOM cant function If without you'vedeciQ.DAY 14: LOV. Accept this person-quirks :andall-an~welcome him or her back into your heart. a clean house. . the man.r{ES .:yoti tilisethem. ltmays}J1'J?tise you to know that the Bible contains many wll'1antid<!!:v:e stories. it's ?ecause you choose. and his fruit was sweet to my tasfe'. so is'my beloved among the y01. Listen to the way . and his banner (lv. my darling. He:has brought me to his banquet hall.E1j. none more blatant and provocative than aU eight''i::napter-s book . my beautiful one.

To dream again.1tghtf~ly.Ere1i intis been a long time. the move toward from ongoing disgust. Today's dare may be directing you to a rea} atl"~ radi(:U change of heart. For others. even when his. . :Oe. it may require a. For some. To flirtagain. d.giant lear Bu r if you've been delighted before-which when you got married-you can be delighted you were: agam..e!rgh:tmay be only a small step away.hili To laugh again. why you onGe£e1lmlQv~ even when she's wearing rollers in her hair.. It's time to remember leat! 'tl1eireart h when the new wears oK.Too sappy? Too mushy? Not for those who to delight in their beloved-even is falling out. EVen if a whole lot has happeli~at@ ~hanga your perceptions. The responsibility is yours to relearn what yeu IGlveabout this one to whom you've promised yourself forever.

DAY 14: lovE1'AI<ES DELlG}-1T PUBiPOSEFULLY NEGLECT AN ACTIVITY YOU WOULD NOR1v.[ALLY DO SO YOU CAN SPEND Ql!ALITY TIME WITH YOUR SPOUSE. JUST BE TOGETHER. SO~tETHiNG DO OX A PROJECT Do HE OR SHE WOULD LOVE TO THEy'D REALLY LIKE }lOW-ORK ON. What dt~'jrijludedde to give up? What did you do together? HoW'did kgolWhat new thing did you learn (or relearn) abotttyour spouse? . ~ Check here when you've completed today's dare.

. givin.. Honoring mea.llS"gtving him or her your fuil. There are. they s"h. They lriatter-and because of the way you treat them.ll hehind a newspaper or with one eye on the teleare being made that affect both of you or yent! wh@ie family. The !Bib\e-tells us to "honor" our father and mother.~ PeteY3:7 tLve w~tft¥ouT wiVes in an understanding way . class.certain words in out language -1 that have pow- erfulmeanin..attention. One of these will be our focus fot totlar.J. These words never lose their tl:melts:s qnahty.Gt i"sa~Sodated with them. You honor what they have to say. not ta lking to 1"~is. you speak YOij.decisions them fw. When they ask you to do something. When.fluence in your mind.. It is the word moii:a:tetbem :if at all possible. and dignity.g their words weight and sigu(Sccanee..~ authority. tQth¢ID. It is a call to acknowledge vail:l€))fsomeoi1e else . Yell arecourteous y@u take them seriously.0uldknow it. and show he)' rwndhl5 a:. YOlL keep When your language clean and underand especially true in marriage. heir of the grace ofHfe.t~ DAY 15 14r It-o. an air of respe. as well as thos~i. To lroncr someone means to give them respect and high J:8teell1J t@ treatthem as being special and of great worth. whenever these words are used. simply out of respect for who they are. yon give your mate's voice and opinion equal iiiJ. When they speak to accom- standable. ' . ~ . Honor is a the position or your mate noble word.

praised. and defended. tl:i:oH. Yo u won't . each spouse becb. f1£tellwearJ. ~ person to be honored. A person who has become holy to yeu has a place no one can rival in your heart.n~lt 011 her special day.§:t apart good reason.he levelDr disrespect you get from your wife or husband=-somesnewhc . it is hOJy411d When two people many. the yard or going out on the rewn. your life itself is to be wrapped up in the uncommon with this one individual. A bride treats her wedding dress this 'way. To say your mate should be "holy" to you qdesht mea!1 he or she is ilml· evance cannot be understated.holy. That word is.Citt€h her ill it from everything w hen she's working in. Is that the way iris in your marriage? Would:yolllHltatesay bond YOta share you honor and respect them? Do you consider them and highly valued? Holy? Perhaps you don't feel this way.U. sacred to her. DAnE But there's another word that calls us to a hi~het pliiGe. Holiness means they ate set apartfor longer common or eveI. You establish a home with this person. farms very reason why we givet:!i$peet and or wife. Your relationsbiF is like no other. Yoube"ar"Y€iut child ten with this person. and maybe for $. In this way. Perhaps you wish some outsider could seet." This. she covers and protects it. then sets it ap~rt else in her closet.means no other person in the whole world is supposed to enjoy this levelof commitment and endearment from you.yday. He or she is sacred to YQ.lrut ~pe(jal a higher purpose-no and unique. llilr wedding dress has a value all its own.THE LoY}. You share physical intimacy witb0niY"her) 0111)' him. your possessions. a word that 1S1-1t often equated with marriage. the basis for honor-the high regard to our husband that It's a word that<aGtually.m-es"holy' to each other by way of "holy matrimony. Your heart.

and fauhs-pasfand present-I still choose to love and honor YOu.. With all your failures. iutthat'S. you are to give honor just the same. when they're following the biblical command to b~ "devoted to one another" in love. It'smarvelous. And that's the beauty of honor. when they're giving'·:anliflgtateful attitude is all you get in return.DAY 15: LOVcE Is HONORAllL.Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even w. Of all the things I'm willing to sacrifice.nQnhe issue with love.s:i:3:4 Butwhen NIV). sins. of course..sayr"'O~alhhe relationships I have. . .:That's how you lead your heart to truly love your mate again. and the marriage bed kept pure" (Hebtev.E would make your mate feel embarrassed to be exposed for who they really are behind closed doors. Love honors even when it'. That's what love dares to do-to.lce to one another in honor" (Romans 12:10)." Th'1ltrshClw you create an atmosphere for love to be rekinGlIe-d. ~Mj!Irlag~houldbe honored by ali. 10ur attempts at honor go nnreciproca ted. mistakes. when a husband and wife are joined in this purpose. tejettte\l .. I will sacrifice !:heffio"'stfol"'You. I will value ours the most.

Tl. IT MIGRT HIS CLOTHES AWAY FOR HIM.rA)EB. How did you choose to show honor? What. TO YOUR SPOUSE THAT IS ABOVEY(JU-R NORMAL IT MAY BE HOT. ITJ:.CHOOSE A WAY TO SHOW HONOR AND iR1i:SPECI ROUTINE.'l").ssnor coming days? in !he . OR SHE IS HIGHLY SHOW YOUR MATE tHiATHE ESTEEMED IN YDUR EYES.E THE WAY YOU LISTEN AND SPEAE.waS"~hv6Sult? What are SOnIe other ways you could demonsrrate. _ Check here when you've completed today)~dare.O'U.'R COMMUNICATION.DING BJ3 ~UTtING THE DOOR FOR HER.

But he A farmer cannot make a seed grow into afruiiful emp. At some point you have toaocept thaLits not something can become you can do." or demand it to bear fiuit. from the inside out.e~so\1erthe centuries.lI'Qsller a:tt4 be in. But here's whatY01. there is a high likelihood that you will be persop. and then turn it over to Gpd.prt)€. Iv:. -3 Jru:tt! ~ You cannot change your spouse.. much. that anything in this Rwt mest will grow when planted in proper soil and given whattheyn'eed. you cannot play God and reach iiJitolthe:tt.hean and mold them into what you want them to be. There is no guarantee about you daring to love. protect it from weeds. But that's not what this book is about. But isn't that what happens when. you try to change your mate? It's frustration at the highest level. good health. can plant the seed into fertile soil.CI/ft/~ DAY 16 Beloved. I pray that'~ If you take the Love DarNel'iuusly. They know that not every seed sprout.i /" . He cannot argue! manipulate. Insanity has been described as doing the aa- sali1e thlligover and over and expecting different results. just as your soul prospers.You a "wise farmer.Milliom of fanners have made a livelihood from this .J.aHychang~-cl .::is Y. give it waferandmutrienlS.btj mil}' want to. But that'swh. b0i3Iii will change your spouse.lcCflHIQ.n aU respects you 'may J..Qt most couples spend a large part of their time t(yil~g liO change their spouse.

You will need something mal is J::Il@repQwerful than anything that 15..He does things His way. You . you are to plan for success.alfe weeks ..d a major: bteakthrough? Prayer can make lhe difference i112 (Acts 12.iNste:ad of quittingfl. by an Ltl!llim. Have. e'ffe. But He does love with you.And if you carry out-each dare. The Bible says. 16). He's not a genie lamp:rhat submits to your every wish.marriage will begin to bloom in front of your eyes.17).uty:ouwent be. else you have.niv:e 'PJiay~t. "Confess your SUlS to. And created Prayer rtia:Uydoes work.Jr-may t. ptayeHlf a righteous man can accomplish much" (James 5. And it yields amazing results. ptiiyetTo be effective. may even take years. for endless nagging? No.uke wlin:iedy Pta~'r carl bring peace to your storms (Philippians 4. best wnetJ..Qne-another..:1. @bdis'S0"lTereign.7)D0YO\ln'ef:. But regardless df tbe'soil you're workingwith.<lipartfIOlll prayer.yo~eye:t wondered jngi:l~sigl1t into your spouse's hidden faults? Do you really think it'!. You are to nurture the soil ofyol1tmilte's heart and then depend on God for the results. No one-knows better how to pray for your mate than you.n:e to gettheweeds out of your marriage. Th:et~are some key elements that must be in place for But suffice it to say that prayer works coming from a humble heart that is in a righ t relaand pray for one ana rher .ite~ p@wetful Do you feel hkegiving It's a spiritual phenomenon God. up on yom marriage? Jesus said to 18:1} Are you stressed out and p:my. able to do this alone. it is [or effective kneeling. . your spouse willlikel y be a£fec::ted andyeur. The effective why God gives you overwhelm- tiensh~p with God and others.t}-. This doesn't you and desires an intimate relationship happ(/'n .

will find that God can "fix" his wife a'lot bener than he can. So tum your complaints into prayers arid wiltcli th'e:Maiter whnt YDU work w hue you keep your hands dean. also a muth A husband more pleasant way to live. If yOU! 'Spouse doesut have any type of relationship with God. what y:Qur!fi~!e' needs. Fi::ay fo~ a gen uine breakthrough in your marriage. knock) and it will be openen to you" . It i§. then it's clear need to start praying for. seek.he'answ~r is no. spouse is to pray for them.It is-timetotry Has your scolding talking to God in your prayer closet instead.THE Lovs DARIl or nagging been wo:!king?'f. and it willbe-given. and you will find.d. hay for her attitude: Pra. And: then pray forBeyond this.yfQJ.¥our spouse's responsibilities before God. (Matthew 77). Pray for truth toreplaoo lies. A wife will accomplish more through s~nt1!git: prayer than from all her persuasive efforts. Pray for his heart. because that's not what changes a'hearr. "Ask.Q fot yaur you. Pray fat romance and intimacy to go to adeepe1"1evtl [€I the most loving things you canever. Pray that forgiveness would replace bittemess. begin to pray for exactly your heart's desires-vfor Oneof love and honor to become the nerm.

Have Y0l1 experienced the power of prayer in the past? What did yeu cheese to pray about? Was it easy for you. or did it feel foreign to you? . PRAY FOR THREE WHERE YOU DESIRE YOUR HOUSE'S LIFE AND IN YOUR MARRIAGE. _Check here-when you've completed today's dare.DAY 16: Lovn INl':E:RCEDE1. BEG-INPRAYING TODAY FOR YOUR SPOUSE'S SPECIFIC AREAS FOR GOD TO WORK IN HEART.

Perhaps you might look . Wt'tltis great blessing is also the site of its greatest dan- &er:. but whoever mpeats th:ti tI'laUersep!lmtes dose friends. to recognize us when they see to us) and to vah~ewho we are. Wb4.He whoc.answer this same question.dose to a good friend you've known since chilclh00d or-oollegedays. or aeonsin who's about your same age. The prospect of sharing our home with another person who knows us down to the most intimate aetIDl Is pa . ¥auiage..oser? If your spouse were to. Tliatlswb:fwe need it so much.: 'is not considered a place of'seek it somewhere else. or can wound us in ways we may ne'lel fully recover from. You can be close to a sibling. Each of us comes into life witlian iiibt:n:n_hungetto be known. or reasons for drawing you cl.!C!.is the most intimate of.f the deep pleasure of marriage. We want J?eople know our name.essthat's experienced between a husband and wife. you will both be tempt(. loved. would they say you make them feel safe. your parents.d . But nothing rivalstbe·dosen. and accepted. or scared? rf hOIDE. It's both the fire and the fear of matri~e. Someone who knows us this intimately can either lave nsat depths we never imagined.t.all human relationships.tlvers:{')veran offense promotes love. -Proverbs 17:9 NJV You (fan be'.'h iDf these are you experiencing the most in your htJlne nght nowf Are the secrets your spouse knows about you reas0ils£6r :shame.

THE LOVE DAR). Marriage has unloaded another person's baggage into your life. The Bible says. Some of these secrets may need conecting. initiating in work or in outside hobbies.e-tfhysiclllly and Both of you have reason to feel embarrassed that'fuis:nmctl ba. n"xfWs'is your aPGl\!lt all. a gentle touch. be the otic who can best help him or her deal with your closeness should only :intellsifY'YwrintilllBJij\ Being "naked" and "not ashamed" (Genesis.2:2$). emotionally. they wi. They should not walk:on eggshellsia rnest Go1))f0nnb~ the very place where they ought to feel-the in their bare feet. and promise-to. be Tlwrefate~y. and yo:ttt. but by listening in love and offermg support.Sn0lUd exi~I in the same sentence.AGa. this is tender tenitory.~lV1il)l:s':re. respect and accept you. They-are par~ of this person's make-up and history. may not be very pleasant to deal with.iD.y.m:. to another person. ''There is no fear inlovei but aBO Evein perfect love casts out fear" (I John 4:18). been revealed about you to another hving opportunity the protective to wrap soul. 11 relationship something thateifhedlirts with adultery or actually enters In. The at'rnQ~pher~in your marriage should be one of freedom.quire In either case.this private information> warts and all.shte\d~ you from intimacy but also keeps you around.I:1p.ll.nOt by criticizing. You may 100k for cemftltt thatparti. And though these issues Some of these secrets just need to be accepted.u can an agent of healing and repair-not by lectu1ing.iher to reject your spouse because of this or to welcome.pe0!'l e\vnQ Your mate should not feel pressured to be:petfeGtill orDer to receive your approval. you and you alone wield ther-ower ei.iJj embrace of your love.p the garden. right in your maniag. Admittedly. They will ei the! know they're i11 a place -: $~ty of .

Loving them wdl sh0lild be Y0Ur life's work. "If anylDn. and he with Me" (Revelation p:e).st!.'e~aflq b~ lost to you. And yet God. The writer of Psalm 139 was ttight wher.a:Bli.. H0}V)!11tlch (ij1f! more should we-as imperfect peopleaccepting mach outtn sife with us? spouse-in grace and understanding.L"WE P1). and are intimately acquainted tongue.h.enearsMy voice and opens the door.p~ciallyaft:er being compromised. You scrutinize mypacl1 and.OMOTGS INTIMACY wherethey lire free to. But your commitment anyone willing to ts . hesa.1\Qu know it all" (Psalm 139:2-4). taltli the dale.DA1Ci7:. fli:emjoFwh0 they are and assuring them that their secrets are This may be an area where you've really failed in the past If SQ! dQnLexpecr your mate to immediately give you wide- epen aceess to their heart. With fill itt¥. You must begin to rebuild trust.tnyJying down. es. knows secrets about us that we even hide from OllJ<seJves. The reahty of intimacy always rakes time to Think of itt his way. "You know when I sit down and when I rise UPjY0U uaderstand my thought from afar. No one knows you better than God does.EVen before there is a word 0.11 my behold. rheGlue who.fathi)1). make mistakes. Q 1ord. who.shing tan happen today-for it .oves us at a depth we cannot begin to l .Wa¥s. lhem. I will come in to him and will dme with him. perhaps forever. or they will recoil into. made you. JesusHim:s-elfis described as One who doesn't barge into peeples Jives hut who stands at the door and·est.

DETERMINE (UNLESS TO GUARD YOUR).T"A:l.EC:JU.IAT. How much of an effort is it fot you to hold baddJGlJl sAyil'lg something. simply from listening? . WITH YOu. MAKE _ Check here when you've compl~fed'fQClay's.TS THEY ARE DANGEROlfs'tJO'EHEMOR AND RESOLVE TO PEMD1\l"STRATE ISSUBS~ RE:A:IL-Y ANDST~UGGLBS TO YOU) AND TO PRAY FOR THEM. LISTEN LOVE IN SPITE OF THESE PERSONAL THOUGHTS TO THEM WHEN THR¥ SHlUE THEM FEEL SAFE. critical or otherwise? What have YOllJearmed aoom your spouse today.daw.KWlIH YOUR SPOUSE.E'~ S.

l}boutyol. In rat!. we'll take notice any time it COl1:le. to have outside interests 'ifud to be love knowledgea ble about certain things..DAY 18 ~~~to~ How blessed is the man who finds wisdom. he ofteJ1.tJ. He learns her likes. habits.$·up. it's often like an area of personal study:.s is also true in many cases for women. we'll tune to those channels that share 01" dessert recipes. if there's:·asubjeenliar it's cooking. ofklnoVlting But after he wins her heart and marries her. It's fine. But after marriage. Wh0 admiring and building respect for the man they desire to be with. dislikes.steps and he finds his interests drifu. The mystery and challenge her seems less intriguing. But this is whete mate?" would ask the question. Didn't you study the one your heart was yearning for? When a man is trying to Will the heart of awomat:j. other areas. "How much do you knOw. ana the man who gains understanding. <l. If it's our favorite football any article that helps us grilling techniques tC:aJn/ we'll tl!ad the'gest keep up with how they're doing. those feelings begin to fade as reality reveals that her "prince" is a flawed and imperfect mMl.dhoPoies. . If appeals to us. .lc Think back to the days when you werecourting. learning about her. of course. he: studies her.Prllve)'Ds~~3 J We enjoy discovering as much as we can llb0Ut thetllings we truly care about.ngto sliart eff Thi.

1rpouse before marriage were equal to a high s schooldlplorna then you should continue to learn about your mateuntil you gairra "college degree." Think of it as a lifelong journey a that Ih!!ws'f. That's because.0m:heattever closer to your mate.It can even give you favor in the eyes of your mate. _EachIJlfiil. the ones that are relatively be the cause of many fights and conflicts to Thesedi£fereilces-even insignificant-can l'i. "Good Ufi. togethe{. And thi~understanding will help draw you closer favor" (Proverbs 13:15). don't understand (Jude 10).to the person who holds them. how he thinks." a "master's degree. Ihe:te are reasons for his or her tastes and preferences. They probably than YOLL do. we tend we.detst<llidingproduces Considerihe following perspective: if the amount YOli srudied Y0l.'icein yOUTspouse's character has a back story.eout why. But it's worth the time:i. and you very differently to certain situations Ga11~ figt!1. .nvill take to study why they are the way they are.ceivelove? • Db Y01:1 know what your spouse's greatest fears ate and whytJrey struggle with them? Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are." and j lll'tih'iiltely "doctorate degree."tb:Qsehings t in your marriage.silnply be<!:anseyou don't understand r~Ct them. sense only. and what he's like is w hieh often makes couched in a set of guiding principles. as the Bible says.DAY 18: Love SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND Yetthere are still hidden things to discover about your speuse.evile. Each element of who he is. ·1iJo you know his or her greatest hopes and dreams? • 1)oyo11-£u11ynderstand how they prefer to give and u ~e.

:J. Thete is a depth of beauty and meaning with expectation inside your wife 91'HuS:band that Desire to 1{:now'thisperso!) will amaze you as you discover more of it. and by knowledge the roornsarefilled \\Q'tl. know that your desire for understanding them is real and genuine. and ~ar· can cloud your ability to kMW'ybUI mate's heart and motivations.ll-ot v:er:ytalk· ative. "Wise men store np knowledge) putw:ith the. But God isagiver of W1S(i:(. Things like gender differences. . one of the best ways to unloek their heart asain is by making a commitment to know them. of. Lovetakesthei111~ative conversations.. even better than you do now. and precious and pleasant riches" (Proverbs 24:3-4). al! "By Wisdom a house is built.. your ch:Q~en field. Ask God for discernment. Enrer the mystery' and enthusiasm. 'Swiily theJ11. Ask questions.LOVE D.shmd with your spouse.E If you miss the level of intimacy you onee.ll. your spouse teU if your spouse is. Make him or her. The Bible says.~s. and you will fill your home with the b:nd of riches only love can provide. mou th of the foolish. Listen. "The eat ofths wisGse.AlJ. to robegln ili'll'i:neeo In order to get your mate toopen up. "The lord gives Wisdom' from His mouth come knowledge ied life experiences and understanding" family (Ptove:t'ks H). Re~ them li1{e a book you're trying to understand. Even 1(\~I4)'The your mate is to hear them"l} baCkgi:'Olu.1l The Lord will show you what you need in order to kllC)'w'hbw to love by undetstilnqing it is established. love calls you to dra w ou t the "deep water" ~hat dweDs within them (Proverbs 20:5).eks knowledge" (Proverbs 18:15). ruin is at hand" (Proverbs goal of understanding them what you think.

at other times? What were some of the moments dlaf.PS IN AREAS YOU'VE RARELY .Ys. DETERMINE EVENING TO MAKE IT AN ENJOYABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR MATE.eJHow could you continue this process of discovery in etbenv<J. THE AS mICE-.AS YOU PREFER. PER:HA.dtd.ABOUT.yoltlearn about your spouse that you didn't' know pefoJ.NG TO KNOW YOUR SPOUSE BETTER. AT HOME. _Gheckhere when you've completed roday's dare. !'.ERB:PAK8 A SPECIAL DINNER FOR. Win ·.M:E TWO OF YOu. DINNER JUST CAN BE Focus THIS TIME TALKED ON GE"l'!oethis evening memorable? ..

you can muster up unconditional. for love i. Now that you're this far. And though it's been an unspt'lbn . The. and everyone w1fq lav. you've likely grown for yourself. -1 John 4:7 Tnetoye Dare starts with a secret. It's impossible. you may not believe that..s from God. You may be convinced that with enough hard work and commitment. frQm lusting.pidcive)Otlt of your own heart. 3Dhow can you do it? LLke it or nor. sacrificial love from your own's a secret you're discovering if you haven't exactly known how to put it into words.sept:et:is this: you cannot manufacture unconditional love (OT ~ga. long-term. YOll .eSJO expressHis love thyough you. It's something oHUB'g.another. agape love isn't someonly God call do. still.It's beyQnd your capabilities.ceatlove for you-and ChG!0S.But sincerely loving someone unselfishly and unconditjonally is another matter altogether. It's beyond aU our capabilities.~~~ Let w love one .want to "believe it's in is borl1 of God arid knows God.DAY 19 f_. But because His love for your spouse-!-Ie t:hJ.elemerit throughout mere mdllloresuspkious each day.e0nsiderate. from overreacting. even of it all the time. But how many dines has your love failed to keep you from lying. Y@u Ulll:y have demonstrated kindness and unselfishness in some f0xln) and you may have learned to be more thoughtful ~nd.ngY0U can do. from thinking evil of fuispetson you've vowed before God to love for the rest of j!@Qr life? .

ing within yourself you that kind of love.and all demonstrated something prJde. We've selfishness. We've all fallen How many times ha~ Y0Uj.ll~±tion. So the hard news is this: love that is able-to withs1:\!!)cl every pressure is out of your reach. siJ. but you willfai].othing But He also said." Jesus said.alld Mywerdsabide in you.teQnlylook· to find it. ask whatever you wish. You can't give what you don't have.Uup \U11er reserves and resources that aren't there to be surnm:anect. trolling your anger? argument? It's this failure that exposes mankind's. you can't tn'll-%. ~d unless is done to cleanse us of these ung.dollars than YOllOWl1. "Love is from God" (1 John 4:7). hatred.ongolng short of God's commands tfuJJTh3l'lS 3:23). YaH can't_cll.ln th~ same way that you can't give away a million. And only those who have: allowed Him into their heart through faithtn Ris 'Sondesu$only those who have received the Spirit of Christ thrOtim belief in His death and resurrection-are (John 15:5).irtypur faith so that you can "know t1W10Vt1 of cl1fist which passes knowledge.3).t (John 157). "Apartfrom me.ans 6:·'1. You need someone-whQ Giln give ablet0. "you cap ctob. that you may be filled 'With lillthe fullness of God" (Ephesians P9 NKfV)· .qdly attnbutes. love your spouse because He is the Source of that love. and it will be done fot heart through yo'U!. "If you abide in Me.Tl-LE [oVE·DARE How many times has your love prOVel1il1Clipabteofccn. we will stand before God gUilty as charged (Rom. 35 long as yout. lli\ve:motival1:~ you to forgive or brought about a peaceabie end to an. n1at~ why if you're not right with God.lfuLep. God has promised through christ to dwell.t~p intoTol'e's ll real power. rf'j!Ou donl have it to start with. you cannot payout love-in greater mealnre You can try.

You're 110tilJ (he. maybe you're not even i. His powercan W0rk IhtotJ. but you would admit that you. Perbaps you're already a believer. But there is your marriage 110 telling what He could do in if you put your trust in Him. Thei:ruth is.DAY 19: LOVE Is IMl'ossl B LE Wherrybu surrender yourself to Christ. according to the power that works withih us" (Ephesians 3:20). you sense Ej. . not to enslave you to Q6d.Qd'~·standards. But Scripture that i£y"ni repent by turning away from your sin and turning you. every time we choose .U can share it with the one you've been called most specifrcally·to love. have broken God's commands. too. so you call receive His love and forgiveness.n c:hW'{)h-ally1:nore. You may be realizing for the and that says yout gUilt'will keep you from knowing Him.Word. rhe. He is pursuing bjlt to free you.:m drawing-you today. Even at your very best.Thelove you used to feel coursing through fOtU'yeins has dWindled into you. you are not able to liVeup to e.the cross. you can't live without Him and you can't love without Him. So this unsettling secret-as as it may feel- has a happy ending for those who will stop resisting and will ret:rtive the love God has fox them. But He "is able to do far more abundantlybey. He is willing to forgive you because of the sacrifice His $onmacieol1. P~ihapsy:ou've never given your heart to Christ. You simply won't be able to do it without' submit to it. have walked away from fellowship with God. That's how you love defeating yaur spouse.D)~0. but fll~t ~funethat Y0U. you're not in prayer. This means that the love He has '~trurea 0Ut within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was giveli to us" (Romans 5: 5) is always available.ondaJ1 that we ask or think.

NEED HIM AND TO GIVE THERE SOME THAT SJlllMED ¥e. What do you believe God is saying to you? Is there a stirring in your heart? What decision have you made in response-to this? . lliM..)'iTE1 ASK STRBNGTIi AND GRACI! TO SHOW YOU WHBRE YOU STAliD WITH AND ASK FOR THE DEST~N:ATION.rUR }:lEARf TO YOU? HAVE YOU K6ALIZ"B"D FOR GOD TO CHANGE vou THE AB ILlTY 'to 1.'(. WERE IMPOSSIBLE YOUR.THE Lovs DAU LOOK BACK OVER THE DARES FROM PREVIOUS DAYS. TO SETTLE YOUR ETERNAL _ Check here when you've completed tQ'Oaisdare.

behold.' like one who is unclean.. .m your spiritual roots..DAY 20 j_~~~.~ While we were still helpless.nss:G The previous day and dare lead to no. Maybe you've never done this.). "Behold.<). Then today-is your day. Jesus has come "to seek and to save" you (L1. It's not as though. from thememj. so that yo ur gins may be wiped away. thefonoWin~. tomorrow. at the righl1ime Christ cUedfor the ungodly. I was brought forth in inLq~tity)al1ciUlsin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). in order that times of refres~il!lgm&y come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). -Rbma. but you've wandered lllrft.l:l$~:10)1 ] Everything you've failed at and haven't been able to OQevery J minute you've wasted trying to fix things your own way-aU at it can be forgiven and made right by puttingtyour JjJeinto the hands ofrhe One who first gave it to you. and forever.$hti. Maybe you did if years ago. and all our righteous \leeds'lIte 1ike~ filthy garment" (Isaiah 64:6).. EvenJfyoutve already made Christ your way ofhle 311dhavene'vel'stoJ. it's a conclusion you can live withtoday.l1. God sends .orhereeadusien than this. "Now is the acceptable time. The Bible says we are sinful from birth. "All of its hme beGOtnl.t we arrive. innocent people to hell.ptute~\\rill be a grateful reminder of all He's done for you.rped walking in fellowship with Him. Thankfully. now is the day ot salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2. Then "repent and return.

ai$s(>:23).ulddare even to lOve toward U$1 in that while we were yet sinners.s be earned.].. and with the mouth he 10:9-10). 110t as a fesult of works... Not caN lave like thi.ftii::m. "He Himselfbore our sins in His body Sill on the cross.. to:tlf-esses.0f a bond-servant . He p<'oved His love for you there.8). be received. "The wages of sin is death.!gttHe existed in the form of God. We lieseI've How:el1et. He humbled Himselfby betoming. for with the heart a person pelieve. We simply can't be good enough to live with a pure and hely' God... even death on a cross" (Fhilippians 2:6. rakihgthe.0'bedienr to the point of death.. By His deJlth. you're not looking at the cross. Christ died fotus" (Romans 57-8). ~AlthQ1.f~d~y His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). you are free to love in ways you've never been capable before. resulting in righteousness. it is the gift of Cod.lfY0U ever feel that way. . but emptied Himself. so that we might die to and live to righteous- ness. you will be saved. [He] did not regard eqllahry'WithrCoda thing to be grasped. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as lord" and believe in your heart that God raised Him foomthe dead. But God demonstrates His own forn righte:eus man.DAY 20: Lovn Is JESU s eRR! ST it.resulting in salvation" (Romans And when you have received this new life and love as YGlir own. Rutif'must so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). hut the £ree.. "One will hardl y die die. "Goa has sent His only begotten Son into the w0dd 5q that we migh t live through Him" (1 John 4:9).gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rqrn.le made invalid the very idea that you are unloved and dev1l1ued. "For by grace yOll have been saved through faithj<itt-ld thar not-of yourselves. Low nk~this ~annot be fully understood. though perhaps for the good man someone\\'Q.

you can become His instrument to meet the needs ofyotrr spouse. You can love even when you're not loved i:a.rv).His Jove made the greatest sacrifice to meet your grearestH. Now and forever. fox God is love" (r John 4:8).zeed... Now and rill death. youa. Jesus Christ. "The one who does ndtj-0ve doeSllQ! know God. As result. he or she can walk ill the fu1lness ahdbJes~· ing of your love. Asa result.he'commanded us" (1 John p6. This means you now share this same love WithYS:lUt spouse..Jinaily ready to live the dare. you are able (by His grace) to walk-in the full11es8 and blessing of His love. 23 N.THE LOVE DARE "This is how we know what love is: Jesus. He was Willing to love you even though Y0U ruddtdest!fVt it.forgiveness for your received His gift of new life by accepting His 1:leathin yoUr place and His. and to love one another as. even when you didnt love back.And though you can't meet their needs the call. This is his command: to believe in the Mtlle "fb' Son.uhr.n:mum. way God You can see all their flaws and imperfections-and still ~boose to love . . And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers . He was able to se~allyow flaws and imperfections and still choose to loyeyo~l. And after d9wD his life for us. True love is found ill Christ alone.

1J. You LORD. BUT You LOVE FOR ME BY DYING TO FORGIVE MY SINS.cSLI'S CHRI~T DARE TO tAKE GOD AT HIS 'l'R." _ Check here when you've completed today's dare. Even if you are:Q)lllyrenewing your commitment to receive and express His love.AND YOUR RESURRECTION. "LORD JESUS. what has He shown you today? . AND SAVE ME BY YOUR GRACE. HAVE PROVEN CHANGE MY TO SAVE ME FROM DEATH BY HEAR. DARE TO SALVATION. Write ablDtJtwhat this experience has been like fox you. HAVE SROWN YOURl'OWER YOUR FOR WORD. DARE I'M A SINNER.Sl' JESUS CHRIST rOPRAY'.T.DAY 20: LOVE 15 J.

.ti:nual!y guide you. you became aware-othow personal this need really is. But never will they be ableto. Including. not the least.'Qf Jesus for quite a while. You may have reslzed that nothing in your toolbox of talents and resources could 'l. He alone can satisfy. E"'ery.epa~rhe.e:rhis is new territory for you or t if you've been a£0ll:o.. ThisiSJlot:a part-time proposition.Q a vitally important day in the Love Darewas ~)ldi1l YQurlife. But God can always let be tru~teti tQ"deIivet on His promises.w€Jl.wiltw11. But God Mil always b.the Lord. Again. J3i1twhetn. g·tace. 58:11 Day·jI.tisfy YOU1' deshc.and power can now be released into everythingyou do. If you've received Him by. -Isaiah. Your 11Usband may be late coming home. even when all else fails you.aith and have turned your life over to Him to m3'l1age and leaclithen His Holy Spirit is renewing your heart. His wisno:ih.f. and that Jesus is the t onlrO:ne who can supply what you've been missing.tC'l'tal:1y satisfy all the demands you ask of them- . damage that sin leaves..e right on time. Your wife Il}cay you down. now is the time for you to fitIDUp. your marriage.Sometimes they don't. Yo_-q cameface-to-face with the glaring need of eve1¥ hnman heart. and sa. And perhaps for the very hrsrrime. Someday times th:ey meet them . pne>thillgin your mind: you need God every S1ngle day. Again.. you place expectations on your spouse.

Can your spouse give you an inner peace? No. however. ar~y F because your mare is human... But God can. I cando all things through Him who strengthens me" (philippians'P'2-13). . The needs of love. Only God can do that as you learn to depend on Him. Though your husband or wife is able to complete least now and then~onJ. peace. whish slJ!.G0d is able (0 do something J3l. It's time to stop expecting somebcdvor keep you functioning and ful£J1ed on a nOll-Stop basis. but in everythingbypray~(and su pplication with thanksgiving prehension. "Be anxious fo. He"!)heeonly One t in your hie chat can never change.partly because some of your demands ate ullreasOl1llble. Your need for love.made be known to God.ans +:19). Thllfs why you need to seek Him every day. Yom need fol' acceptance. His trtlih. ap_proa'ch Him ill utter dependence each day for the real needs in their LIeare the ones who find out just how depei1dableB:~ is. and adequacy are Ieal No ene is saying you shouldn't have them. Can your spouse enable you to be content life throws at you? No. "My God will supply all your ne~ds a~cordi!lg to His riches ill glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippi.1t Jesus" (Philippians 4=6--7). your money.y some of [h'eSe Your need to requ irements-at . God. . But God can. And those who. for joy. is nor. "In any and eve£)! ircum· c stance Ihave learned the secret ofbeing. But rather than:piuggillginto things that are unstable at best and-are subjeet tions of your mate-plug 1'0 0hlln. and His promises to His children will always tem ain.P8sse&ill wm· will guard your hearts and your mifi~s111 Christ n0 matter wh.r your health. His faithfulhess. let your r~ql~es~s . He wants to do it His way. And the peace of God. There are needs in your life only God em fully it all.. even the affections and best inteninto God instead.fi11ed .

''Belighqz0urselfin the 0fyout heart" (Psalm 3J:4). no matter who whatthe:y'\le done to you.sJ. -whad come to this place broken and hardened yet s still4esl/~l'atelyin need.ty. and He will give you the desiJ. And that is whafs_'a:vailable at' sunrise spouse is or and e?d. making our relationship with Him top pri0rlty.Qnc:e. actuaU~~1s all it really takes to satisfy us. When we are seeking Him tll"Sr. What He offered her was a drink to you each morning YOUl: of soul .DAY 1. Of everything you need. i ]estts. a a who had tried getting her needs met through string affailed relationships.satisfaGtiOl1 that never quits givi ng and refreshing. .e prIDmis'es._night before bed. lQ. not doing this is because we really for don't trust Go.dis }lour-everyday supply. But in Christ she found what He callea"living water" (John 4:1O)-a supply that wasn't just for qucl'ltcbfug temporary thirst. And yet the Bible says.B.1bke to a woman at a Samaritan womtfh well. to supply us with what we really needwhich.dto supply what we need. With both her life and water bucket el1lp.ving)libl first.1: LOVE Is SATISFIED IN GOD QUi\:0111ft~asQl1. Go.

t0daisdal'e. MARK.BE INTENTIONAL TODAY ABOUT MAKING A TIME TO PRAY AND READ YOUR TRY READING MONTH'S JOHN). IMMERSE LOVE AND PROMISES GOD HAS l'OR 'tou. AND YOURSELF IN THE As YOU DO. LUKE.]" OUT 01" PRQVBRllS A CHAPTERlN ARE THIRTY~ON'E-AFUU OR READING THE COS PELS (MATTHEW. reu _ Check here when you've completed. THIS A CHAPTER EACH DAY (THERE SUPPLY).M WALKWITH HIM. Jnn. How do you think spending time daily with G0d will t.]:\allge your sltuation and perspective? How canyon make Hima bigger part of your day? . WILL ADD TO YOUR GROWTH.

Hosea's union with Comerprodueed children but.<Ne.always getting better at it. but have.ptingth!!ioV'e you're called to give? The account of the prophet Hosea is oneof thernosr remarkable in the Bible. this woman. . yoU! lnind .. love is the basis of o. "You shall love thel. your soul. ~Huselt.. So if love is what we were created to share.2tl As Christians. DAY 22 14-~ I will betroth you to Me in faithj¥!ngss.ltj~ a quality that we are to "abound" in mote and-1TIOl'C'(l Thess:alo· nians 3:12). Jesus answered. and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 1'0:2. as expected. your strength" .ofd ¥uut God with all your heart..QQd instructed him to marry a prostitute.whe three- .lecks like towards us.:1:'e. It is the root and ground of our existence (Ephesians 3:r1!1meant to be expressed with passion and fervency ex Peter 4:S).l1~ingl~ defined by it. He wanted H!. .Our spiritual rebirth came about because "God so loved th~ w~rld) that He gave His only begotten Son. .urwholeidl>lnriry. Then you wi!! know the Lord. that whoever believes in Him shall not perish. eternal life» (Jpf111 ~:lG). Against alllogicandprqpl. beCothinglW.7). Our love for each other is supposed to be hQWF1cople distinguish us as Christ's disciples (John InS). When asked to clarify what the greatest eOU1n:iandmems of all were.i. .whl}tdo.isea's marriage to show w ha t Heaven's unconditional do when your love is rejected? How do you hanGle it when the one to whom you've pledged your life stops lltce./.

according 11). us. His love doesn't keep Him from calling us 8ctollnt fOJ: out mistreatment '[0 of Him. do good to those who hate you. for those who . really want. though In rilUil'tl we. So Hosea was left to deal with a broken hearearrd the shame of abandonment.a new low and had rb he qqug. He said to "love your enemies.nd God spoke to Hosea again.a. rejecting him f?.Even S@.blood.q. bless those who curse you.than we often realize.hadIon? mad:e her living in immorality was not content to stay ia[drflllto ORd man. H"E!.T the lust of total strangers. . Yes. but it was used as a picture of God's love roH!.hl·off the slave block.qghHis. Time ptlss-etl.S' called us to this kind oflove in the passage known as th'e Semon on-theMount. She had dealt treacherously uncondgiGnallove.. "In Him we have redemption ml.Sll. but Hosea paid the price for het redemption and brought her home.ves He still remains faithful. she had treated with his his love' with eontempt.n.S. but now she had been disloyal and adulterous. At times we have acted shamefully and deemed His love an intrusion. It stays faithful. We have rejected Him in many wa¥s-even after receiving His gift of eternal salvation-and yat He stil11o. They had growl\ dGst. But he welcomed her back into his life. God told hiJIl torgo awl reaffirm his love for this woman who had been re'Peateillyu]llfaitllful. but she had spurned his love. expressing an Ibis &S l} true story.ftt:n don't pay usfrom what attention. lreart.we. the forgiveness totb'emGhes:o£His grace" (Ephesians of our trespasses.sn0wersHis favor on us without measure. We pay more of a price for our t:ejeetio.p. He liaA loved her. as if it's keeping . pray mistreat Y011" (Luke 6:27-28). Yet He still chooses to rC$pond with grace and mercy.111 Him we have the mad'e14\w"at rejected love does. Je. This time she had reached.

But they ha\1@llo:iIltenti0\1. You can give undeserved gave undeserved often expressed love to you-repeatedly. to unfaithfuln. vide. sadly. If love is to be like His.0tl~Fot and len~ e~eQtihg and your reward will be ~eat. then purpose to give it to your mate U1 a way your gratefulness redeeming to God for loving you.treed.: tbebeaury of ."If you love those who love you. what credit iS1hal tOY.lWeJs the most to those who deserve it the feilSt. and evil men" (Luke 6:35). what credit is chat to you! For even sinners love those who love them. fbUo~et 0fchrUt. of liking it-much less ofloving each other agahh This is not the model. Ask Himto fin you with the kind of love on:iy1\Ie tan pro. for the returned unwanted. this is the beginning protective of the end.alld you \1rill for He Himself as an act of almost total sacrifice.ess." one you w0uld. fhar reflects. it milS! love to your spouse. That's love.. 80tne'respotld by rapidly moving toward a tragic divorce. and do good. And yet fin: too riage. because God be His love to begin with. "Love your enemies. the relationship does indeed dwindle often in marto tha~level dawn Even to the point of betrayal or. Others) :mere of their reputation than even their 0\ln'Jhappiness. encicuri!i\gliy. nothing in return. sinners do the same" (Luke 6:32-33). That's the power of faithfulness. it must lave even whet) its QvertUresate And for your love to belike that. decide to keep the charade going. For many.rldto ungr{lteful w€luld love never have dreamed that the person you roamed mightlater become to you a kind of "enemy. From the vantage point of the wedding altat15'QJJ If )~outic go:ur! to eVel1 those who do good to yo u. however. be sons of the Most High.

SAY TO TO THESE. TO LOV. even when.lVJ3 IS A CHOICE] NOT A FEELING.aring your Heart? How does His presence within you in enahkyou.PBRIOD.DM 22: LOVE Is ." _ Check here when you've completed taday's dare. IT IS AN INITLATED ACTION.E ~VEN IF YOUR SPOUSE TIIEW TODAY IN WORDS illLOVE ¥DU. NOT A KNEE~JERK HAS LOST MOST REACTION. INTEREST TODAY TO BE COMMITTED IN RECEIVING SIMILAR's primarily one-sided? . CHOOSE OF THEifR.oflove impossible without the love of Christ h~. I CHOOSE TO LOVE YOU EVEN IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME IN RETURN.tolove.FArn'I:fUL Lf. Why is llhis kind.

your heart away from your spouse by feeding you unhealthy comparisons. but they tan also bring in dflstr. Your mate and your martillg~i1:e:ed your constant protection.tles~cliey-will conspire to destroy your relationship you knQw how to ward them your loze and appreciation fafiUI~es and unrealistic off.)_ately your marriage has enemies out there. Maniage DAY 23 ptA'ted:j.rproteG:ringyour spouse. They unless come in di£feml1t forms and use different strategies. Others try to lure SOJne arf clever and seem attractive. .!want marriage to be like. the furthest thing from your mind is a battleground.uc't~ve content and drain away precious hours from your family. It's a battle you must W'ag~lP ~r0te"ct your marriage-v-w hen love puts on armor and piCks U-~ aswol. including joys.lrom things like: Harmfolinjluences. Corinthians 1]:7 NIV ~1 is made up of many things. but noneth. sor- roW$.successes. only to undermine for one another. there are some ba [des you should bemo). However.e than willing to fight. The same thing goes for work schedules that keep you sepamtedftolU each other for unhealthy amounts of time. and failures. But when you think a bout what yo]. You cant protect your home when you're rarely there.:h~ tttw~ [LtJve~1tlW«Y5protects. Are you allowing certain habits son your bome?The Internet and television to poi- can be productive and-enjoyable additions to your life. These are battles that pel'tain fe. Unfotttu.dJodefend its own.

but grow marriage. Parasites. church to draw you emotionally even the away from the 0ne to whom you've already given your heart. In fact. Marriages rarely survive ifpanrsites alie:pIe.maleriitl and fish willi to be a good friend. If you love your spouse. you must destroy a'1Y<ad4ictiol'l hat t has your heart. drugs.~· DAll.e:gaItl· They promise more and more of Y0tlr fhoughts. or you and your mate. keep the balance right. you need to protect your v.sp-ea:k'ing. Everyone deals with some level ofirlferio:tity and weakness. Generally.~el~r. If you don't. these involve destructive dreu. It covers their shame. ." @1' And certainl y you must be on guard atallti1n~s n0m a:U0wing opposite -sex re lati onships at work. like a disease and consume and sucks the life o)lt-ofyow. time.i.NQt every woman in your lunch group has a good hides the fault of others.Brilp-ective on commitment and priorities. Watch out for parasites. Shame. and money. O£C0J1Ia~.hea. Not every manyou-hunr speaks wisely when it comes to matters of inarriage. They're usually in the form of addittiol1srli¥. the gym. pleasure. Un. it will destroy you.E nor when you're relationall y disconnected. Their secrets ate your secrets (unless.E LQ\'. And because marriage has a way of elq)0sfng.l£e dll1sband's 0 vulnera bility by never speaking negativelyabous behaviors them in public. or themselves that are puttingyouJyqiu:rGhilin grave danger). anyonewhp \\l:lder1nines your marriage does not deserve to be given the title o£i'friend.Hhy YouJiave to fight to relationships. They steal away your loyalty and heart from those you love.I'J:·I. A parasitdSal1j"tlling that latches onto you or your partner bling. Nor everyone: has the .

They took extra good care the Q[fueiiI. Wi11C$.The BiMe speaks plainly about this protective role. "My flock has berome a :arey . food for all the beasts of the field" How so? I'fur lack'0f a'shepherd. Instead o'fwatching to make sure that the sheep weren't being fed themselves ~iGked'0ffb~ptedators.This is no small assignment. Take it seriously. "the shepherds and did to not feed My" (Ezekie134:8).away from your family. that blur your on your J. Mel"l.Pe analogy of a shepherd. 'The wise woman builds herheuse. cOllIage and a head for preemptive head Q£the house had known at what time of the night the th~fwas.bur'thefoolish tears it down with her own hands" (Proverhs 14:1). he would have been on the alert and would not have :dlowed his house to be broken into" (Matthew 24=43).'-Y(lluare the head of your home.0Wll.. Y01J are the one reS-Nti:siMe before_ for guarding God YOliI the gate and standing It requires a heart of goo:tilld against anything that would threaten your wife action._YOU have a role as protector must guaid your heart from being led away through magazines. God warned.e<ldyou must do your part" in helping him feel while also avoiding talk-show thinking that can lure your atternion. in your marriage. "If the (:ll'inllitiage. often usitlg"t." Not because these men were too weak toperfortn theft :duties but because they didn't pay attention. You novels. .iusb!f.'l1t0Ug.I!1~t. 'FhiSFdreis yours..lld. coming. Jesus said. and other forms of entertainment pep"~ption Gheality and put unfair expectations .lleeds nd appetites but gave little thought a safety of tbl?5e:undet their supervision.

INFL UENCE AFFECTIONS THAT ISH.NG ANY AP:DICT10N OR THAT'S STEALING 'YOUR YOUR E:EAR'I AND TURNING AWAY FROM YOUR SPOUSE.tb:a~ lleed te go as well? What do you hope the removal of thesetl1ings will do for you.TH E Lovs DARE REMOVE ANYTHING YOUR RELATIONSHIP.DERI.--~-- . and your relationship with God1 .N.I. your marriage. _ Check here when you've completed taclay'~qare: What did you throw out first? Are there Qthers.~~--.

" our eyes are captured by curiosity. We look) stare)"and fanta~ize. our 1 leans becotpe entangled . From eyes rq. too. command botb of them ate .r0Vided tel God's God's blessings.e try fa meet ways. We. h. So weseteur eyes and hearts on seeking worldly pleasure.celv. They had tellowship With God and intimacy with one another. t.~ The world is passing away. we could rightly say that we wailtf0r nothing.. legitima te needs in illegitimate w..1t"as oe. ing into enriching life. she saw the forbidden fruit ana. he<Vt tQ llctiol~. have been supplied with evetytb:'Ulgwe need for a full. 4. we should be 'icohtent:" children (Matthew 6:15-33). An!:! J~s'\lS promised these two things would always be"p. so we cannot take arrytliin:goat eli! either" (1 Timothy 6:7)..g the basics offood and clothing. /. andagawt God'. productive. For ma:My.evel\ -1 DAY 24 }OhI12:17 they needed in the garden of Eden.hic images designed to feel like a real person. But arret J3ve. Yet [ike Adam and Eve.itls seeking sexual fulnllmenr in another person or in p"ofno~ap. We tryto be discreet but barely rum our eyes ilway. go so far beYlimd these nmda· mental needs. sef her heart on it Before long. nd A That's the progression.. however. ..d once ' ".Then we act on 01). L-cwe.. we still want more.. "We !rave brought noth- the world.! lust. ani! a·jSGit5 !usf.. then follows shame and regret.:ed by Adam and Eve were supplied wim. the wilt of Goa [itlesf0. But the Bible goes on to say.~. everything the serpent. Adam joined in her wishes..b:atrllavitJ.. but the one who doe.

dissatisfied with your busband or wife. who ealled.d the-fights among you? Don't they come from the CI'a~ngsthat aYe at war within you? (James 4:1 HCSU). your actions will lead you to lasting jpy.\'?'fl. Lustis like a w'am1n& light on the dashboard of your heart." 1hen wemake'tb. Lust wiUmalte Y0u. "His divinepower has granted through to us everything pertain- illg t€lllfe and godliness. It means to set your heart and pa:ssi0n~ srrsomething tlJ. intnturn and destruction" I:ust is in: opposition to love. of a by His own glory and excellence.talways.!1Ie. the true know ledge of Him and magnificent promises.Can ilsQ lust after possessions or power or prideful ijIDbitipn. "I could be happy if I only had this. Irs time ro-expose lust for what it really. and a want to get rich fall into temptation and harmful desires which plunge men (1 Timothy 6:9). That's becaase every object of yom lust-whether it's a young cowo'r'ke:r afilrn.acrress. Our hearts atet'le6eive:d ~to saying. or or coveting after a half-million the beginnings longings. It breeds aqg~~.b:r:eeds more lust. alerting you to the 'fact that you are not allowing God's love to fill you. and destroys marriages..We see what others have and we want it. emptiness. For by these He has 'gtanted to us His precious SI:! that by them you may become partakers H7 of the divine . "What is the source of the Wars lUl.edecision "But tli'6sewho snareafidman:y foolish to go after it.eJirstsfep 911t And for a believer it's of fellowship with the Lord and with others. not to endless cycles of regret and condemnation. Rather than fullJl\'l. dollar house <Dr a sports car-represents This perSOB0:tthing that seems to promise sheer satisfaction is mol'e like a bottomless pit of unmet l.SS. numbs misguided thntt fer satisfaction that only God can fulfill. When your eyes and heart are on Him.

and He watches all his 'PatJis" (Proverbs 5:18-21).you fea up wi th believing that forbidden pleasures of God. . the love of the Father isnQt in hUn" (I John 2: 15). Lust is the best this world has to Qffo{i:t:.TlIE LOVllD"Rll nature.. Be exhilarated always wilh hell love. in the"wor14 by lust" (2 Peter 1:3-4). For why should you.e offers you the best life in the world. Daily receive the uneendittenal has already proven to you through grateful for everything God has ahead ygiven you:rather than choosing discontentment. having escaped the corruption that is.. be exhilarated w:ithan aduln:teSl1 and embrace the bosom of a foreigner? For the ways:of.a man are before the eyes of the Lord. Let His promises axe a1fe to keep you happy and content? Then begin setting yout'eye¥~clie'Wotd of peace and freedom work theiI lose He the cross. yQ~lW(\lnr be hungry anymore for the junk food of lust. If anyone loves the world. Are you tired of being lied TO by lust? At(!. Focus on bein'g way into your heart.. my son. butlov.. "Let your fountain be blessed"and r:ejorcein the wife of your youth . A11d while you're at it. "Do not love the world nor the things in the would. You'll find yourself so full on what He ptQvide". set your eyes and heart on ylZm! spouse again.