Two years ago, after a fight with my best friend, I set out on a mission to love people better. I was wandering around Target when I divinely stumbled upon this book, “The Love Dare.” I bought it, I blogged it (for a short while) and had a truly life-changing experience completing the 40-day Love Dare. This dare is to completely overhaul your thoughts and misconceptions about love — what it is and what it looks like in action — in order to move us towards unconditionally loving each other the way Christ loves us. As the authors say, “The world says to follow your heart, but if you are not leading it, then someone or something else is. The Bible says that ’the heart is more deceitful than all else” (Jeremiah 17:9) and it will always pursue that which feels right at the moment. We dare you to think differently – -choosing to lead your heart toward that which is best in the long run. This is a key to lasting, fulling relationships.” That blew my mind two years ago, and that was only in the prologue of the book! But how empowering it was to learn that love is not this chemical reaction to pheromones and hormones as we’re taught — godly love is a CHOICE and we can train ourselves to feel it, live it and BE it.
Granted, this is a book for married couples. But whatever. I’m a single and just as I did two years ago, I will carry out the daily dares with family members, friends, and even strangers. Though I completed the Dare two years ago, I only blogged about it for two of the forty days, though I tweeted The Love Dare every day. But because the blog posts have been such a help to so many people, I’m starting over — yet again — and blogging the Dare every day and hoping you will join in with me! I am also doing a 20-day Full Body Cleanse from Dherbs.com to get rid of the physical toxins in my body, so I am excited to get my heart, mind and body in-tuned with Christ over the next 40 days. To get “The Love Dare” Daily Emails in your Inbox, just enter your email in the top right hand corner of this page where it says “Subscribe!” Here we go, again!
The Love Dare, Day 1: Love Is Patient
Today’s scripture: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
First Corinthians 13:4 teaches us that “love is patient.” Therefore, The Love Dare authors start us off on Day 1 with a lesson on the importance of patience. We cannot have healthy, loving relationships with ANYONE without patience. When you lack patience, you react to situations short-sightedly, foolishly, and in anger and frustration. As the authors stress, nothing good comes from reacting with impatience; on the contrary, situations often become worse. But patience allows us to be the master over our emotions, instead of allowing our emotions to enslave us. As the authors explain:
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. It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives. Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn’t rush to judgment but listens to what the other person is saying. Patience stands in the doorway and waits to see the whole picture before passing judgment. … Patience is where love meets wisdom.
Wisdom through patience with others is the understanding that not only is our spouse, friend, employer, co-worker, stranger in our way on the subway A HUMAN BEING who makes mistakes, it is also the understanding that we are human beings who make mistakes, too. And more than that, it is the understanding that while “we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” just as He died for the person who is trying our patience. If Christ can provide grace for even us and love us in spite of our errors, it is our duty to extend that love and grace to one another. As the authors say, “[Patience] is a good starting point to demonstrate true love.”
TODAY’S DARE: Demonstrate patience by saying NOTHING NEGATIVE today when a person tries your patience.
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To help with today’s dare, meditate on these scriptures:
“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute.” Proverbs 15:18
“See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Today, I’m also listening to this free patience meditation from MindfulWorship.com. Download it for free here!