Sunday, May 11, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 40

Love is covenant.

I am elated as I enter my fortieth day of the Love Dare. It marks my commitment to myself and my wife. But even as I come to the end of the dare, I am nakedly aware that this is only part of a journey.

The experience and challenge of loving my wife is something that never comes to an end.

"Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God" (Ruth 1:16).

I am rededicating myself to my wife.

The rededication has no expiration date - "till death do us part".

I am taking up my role as a covenant keeper.

No matter what may arise hereafter to challenge my faithfulness to this covenant, I give myself to my wife and commit to this marriage for life.

This covenant cuts off all avenues of retreat or withdrawal.

I fasten my love afresh on the one the Lord has given me to cherish, prize, and honor.

I dare to take hold of it and never let go!  

LOVE DARe: Day 39

Love endures.
"Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:8).

Though threatened, love keeps pursuing. Though mistreated and rejected, love refuses to give up.

If love can be told to quit loving, then it's not really love. Love that is from God is unending, unstoppable.

Love is based on the will of God, the calling of God, the Word of God. When all else fails, the truth of God will still be standing.

Therefore, my love should bear the same unchanging characteristics. 

Loves never fails.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 38

Love fulfills dreams.

"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).

Dreams and desires come in all shapes and sizes. But love takes careful notice of each one.

Many are the moments when I have found myself asking what is it that my wife would really, really love.

Unfortunately, I have let "no" become too quick a response to such moments.

Yet in today's dare I am reminded that love sometimes needs to be extravagant.

I am also reminded of the many times God's love has met needs in my heart that once seemed out of the question. Yes, there have been many occasions in my life when I have thought life was over as certain setback took all the wind out of my sails. In such moments I break down and cry out to God. Though it has not always been easy getting back up and trod on, I have somehow found myself surviving the storms. God has in many of such moments met me with His promised peace "which surpasses all comprehension" (Philippians 4:7) and kept me on my feet.

I am thus reminded that God is the One my love is designed to imitate! I dare to be extravagant in loving my wife.

I dare bring forth to mind the things that are unique to our relationship, the pleasures and enjoyments that bring a smile to our faces.

I dare to daydream about the many opportunities to pour out my love so regularly that my wife's desires become mine as well.

I dare to overwhelm her with love!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 37

Love agrees in prayer.

"If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my Father" (Matthew 18:19). 

The unity that grows between a man and woman who regularly pray together forms an intense and powerful connection. 

When we were joined together as husband and wife, God gave me a perfect wedding gift - a permanent prayer partner for life. 

In prayer, two people remember that God has made them one. Praying for my wife leads my heart to care more deeply about her. 

Prayer is a privilege to be enjoyed on a consistent, daily basis. God's blessing falls on us when we agree in prayer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 36

Love is God's Word.

God has the right plan for everything. God has revealed these plans in God's Word.

"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105).

Because the Holy Spirit now lives in my heart, by way of salvation, He illuminates my path with the truth of my Maker. This I know because "these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God" (1 Cor. 2:10).

As the Scripture says about the rules of God: "More to be desired are they than gold, even fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb" (Psalm 19:10).

Today's dare remind that I have to continue establishing my marriage and home on the rock of God's unchanging Word which insures against destruction. Amen.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 35

Love is accountable.

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel" (Proverbs 12:15).

Everyone needs wise counsel throughout life.

A couple that faces problems alone is more likely to fall apart during tough times.

Couples who interlock their lives in a network of other strong marriages radically increase their chances of surviving the fiercest of storms.

Wise people constantly seek counsel and gladly receive it.

The unfortunate thing with most of us is that we waste years of life learning painful lessons when we could discover those same truths during a few hours of wise counsel.

We ought to have the courage to cross bridges others have built.

I cannot deny, I need today's dare more than anyone else. I do not know if it is pride or fear of "exposing" self that hinders me to seek other people's counsel or something else. Courage Brother do not stumble. Trust in God and do the Right!

LOVE DARe: Day 34

Love celebrates godliness.

"Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth" (1 Cor . 13:6).

 "The report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil" (Romans 16:19).

The pursuit of godliness, purity, and faithfulness is the only way for me to find joy and ultimate fulfillment.

God's Word is the ultimate expression of what real life is. Scripture is God's ideals and instructions that are the only pathways to real blessing and when we see people follow them in obedience to the Lord, it should cause us to rejoice.

Love rejoices most in the things that please God. We should be doubly thrilled and excitedly cheering our spouses on for what they're allowing God to accomplish in their lives.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 33

Love completes each other.

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11.)

Marriage origin intention was for woman and man to complete each other:
Differing Natures and temperaments were meant to provide balance;
Teamwork raise the two to health and maturity;
Where one is weak, the other is strong ;
When one needs building up, the other is equipped to enhance and encourage; 
We multiply one another's joys and divide one another's sorrows.

Our differences can frequently be the source of misunderstanding and conflict, yet they can be ongoing blessings if I respect them.

Working together on purpose honors God's design for my relationship and guards the oneness God intends.

LOVE DARe: Day 32

Love meets sexual needs.
In marriage, romance is meant to thrive and flourish.

The Song of Songs is a good example and a beautiful love story where romance is celebrated. It expresses how honesty and understanding in sexual matters lead to a life of confident love together.

In the act of romance, we join our hearts to each other in an expression of love that no other form of communication can match.

All the Dares so far - patience, kindness, selflessness, thoughtfulness, protection, honor, forgiveness - will play a role in renewing sexual intimacy.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 31

Love and marriage.
Leave. And cleave. And dare to walk as one.

Leaving = means to break from a natural tie. This, though an issue in many marriages, at least it has not affected my marriage in any significant way. 

We have successfully cut the apron strings.

The purpose of "leaving", is not to abandon all contact with the familial ties but rather to preserve the unique oneness that marriage is designed to capture.

Cleaving = carries the idea of catching someone by pursuit, clinging to her as my new rock of refuge and safety.

Of course tasked with the responsibility of loving my wife "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25).

As a result we are free to become everything God meant when God declared us "one flesh":
In decision making
In priorities 
In affections.

Leave. And cleave. And dare to walk as one.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 30

Love brings unity.

Just like love, unity is of God.
Some of the unshakable hallmarks of our God are: Unity, Togetherness, Oneness.

In this spirit of oneness, husband and wife (though two distinct individuals) are spiritually united into the mystery of "one flesh".

The mystery is so compelling that God uses the imagery of marriage to explain God's love for the church.

In today's dare, I am reminded that the preservation of oneness with my wife is worth every sacrifice and expression of love.

I ask of God's strength as I make it my mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with my wife.