Continued from here.
When I received Alex Kendrick’s and Stephen Kendrick’s book, The Love Dare, in the mail, I had no plans to actually do the “love dare.” I was interested in exploring what unconditional love looks like, but my interest was more theoretical than actually having to do anything, much less change. However, God had other plans.
I frequently lead Summer Bible studies through my church. Even when I don’t lead them, I participate in them. However, God placed heavily on my heart that I was not to participate in a Bible study during the Summer of 2014. Instead, I was to work through The Love Dare.
I did not start out with the best attitude about it because I was certain that my husband was the problem, not me. However, I was willing to do the “homework assignments” if it wasn’t too much work. So, I did take action at the beginning, such as by refraining from saying anything negative and doing something nice for him.
Then, I started seeing positive results for simple things that really didn’t take much effort, such as changing my greeting when he walked into a room. I had never thought about my demeanor when my husband enters a room before. I was generally busy doing something when he entered a room and would not stop what I was doing just because he was present. So, he noticed when that changed. To this day, when my husband walks in the room, I stop what I am doing, say hello, and smile. It’s such a simple thing to do, but what a profound difference this made in the way we relate to each other!
The readings also made some excellent points. For example, the Holy Spirit convicted me about spending too much time in the “depreciation room” of my heart. The authors say that we have both an appreciation and a depreciation room in our hearts for our spouse. When we are falling in love, we spend most of our time in the appreciation room, but then we gradually spend more time in the depreciation room, which is where we ruminate on the things we find annoying about our spouses.
Here’s the part that hit me between the eyes – The information in both rooms is equally true! Yes, it is true that my spouse does X, which annoys me. However, it is equally true that he also does Y, which is something that I should appreciate. I get to choose which room to spend my time in.
[Graphic: Cover of The Love Dare. Courtesy Amazon.com.]