The summer of 2014, God led me to do The Love Dare to my husband. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this book, it was the subject of Kirk Cameron’s movie, Fireproof, which focused on godly marriage. Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick wrote The Love Dare to teach the Body of Christ what unconditional love looks like in practical ways.
I was shocked to learn that I could choose my attitude. Because I was so broken in childhood, I was used to being flooded with powerful negative emotions, which I allowed to drive my attitude. This process was on autopilot, so I assumed I had no control over it. I thought that if only I could stop experiencing negative emotions, then I could be in a good mood. That’s like the tail wagging the dog, as I learned through The Love Dare.
The truth is that we each choose our own attitude. I’ve seen people choose to be grouchy while surrounded by blessings while others choose to be pleasant despite enormous life difficulties. Our circumstances don’t have the power to dictate our reaction to them – that’s entirely up to us. Developing awareness that you get to choose your own attitude is the first step toward choosing a good one.
For example, my husband was on a plane that experienced one delay after the next before takeoff. While many of the passengers grew irritable, one gentleman remained calm and joyful. He was in the same situation as everyone else, and yet his circumstances did not bother him. He did not allow the delay to steal his joy. If our circumstances had the final word about attitude, then everyone in the same situation should react in the same way, but they don’t. Why not? Because attitude is a choice, not an inevitability. Let’s talk about how to do this.
[Graphic: Cover of The Love Dare. Courtesy Amazon]