The Love Dare is a book written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick and copyrighted in 2008. Reference number for ordering is ISBN 978-0-8054-4865-8 B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee. A movie was made starring Kirk Cameron and the two authors of the book and screen play had parts in it. It was called “Fireproof.” The target audience is married couples who are in trouble or wish to enhance their marriage.
Seven years ago my husband suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and consequently suffered two major strokes which affected a diffuse area of his brain in both hemispheres, more prevalent in the temporal and parietal lobes on the right and his frontal lobe. Those early days of his injury in 2011 were all about praying for him to survive. The doctors had given him no hope past being in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. Hundreds of people prayed for him nationwide through prayer lists and social media. The doctors still talk about him as a miracle recovery.
About six weeks after his injury and ensuing brain surgery, he began to start emerging from his coma. Step by step, little by little, he learned to walk and talk and his personality went through drastic changes which can be described only as a miracle in the making. It took about 5 years to settle into the person he is today. If you met him you would see no physical evidence. There will always be mental challenges of slow processing and severe short term memory loss, but he perseveres to improve daily. He used to be a near virtuoso as a Classical guitarist. He practices daily. He is trying to regain the perfection he had before, yet his short term memory and slow processing at reading the music is a mountain he’s climbing and he’s climbing it well.
My part has been a guide. At times it has been difficult to put myself in his shoes and understand his plight. In other words it is taxing on me because I have become the one who is responsible for most all things related to daily living. So this book, early on, helped me to practice the kind of love that was going to sustain us until death do us part. For once I started to learn, he responded in kind. Now we live in a state of mutual harmony most of the time. Only rarely is there a cross word and even then we quickly take a break and set ourselves into the proper frame of mind….Love.
I believe this healing message by these authors can be more than marriage related. There is so much wrong with the division in this country. If we could all just practice the principles set forth in this book which are mostly biblical we could change our nation and perhaps the world. Let’s think about it. And then, hopefully, we’ll try. Below is a brief outline and a few quotes from the book which is a 40 day challenge which promises results if you practice:
EXCERPTS FROM “THE LOVE DARE”
Day 1: LOVE IS PATIENT– “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 NIV.
Quote: “Love works. It is life’s most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize.” (sentence 1 and 2, page 1)
Day 2: LOVE IS KIND–“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Quote: Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. (sentence 1 and 2, page 6)
Day 3: LOVE IS NOT SELFISH–” Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10
Quote: If there were ever a word that basically means the opposite of love, it is selfishness. (page 11, paragraph 2 sentence 1)
Day 4: LOVE IS THOUGHTFUL–“How precious also are Your thoughts to me…How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.” Psalm 139:17-18
Quote: Love thinks. It’s not a mindless feeling that rides on waves of emotion and falls asleep mentally. It keeps busy in thought knowing that loving thoughts precede loving actions. (paragraph 1)
Day 5: LOVE IS NOT RUDE–“He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him.”–Proverbs 27:14
Quote: Nothing irritates another as quickly as being rude. (Page 21, sentence 1)
Day 6: LOVE IS NOT IRRITABLE–“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit [is better] than he who captures a city.” Proverbs 16:32
Quote: Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. (sentence 1)
Day 7: LOVE BELIEVES THE BEST–“[Love] believes all things, hopes all things. Corinthians 13:7
Quote: In the deep and private corridors of your heart, there is a room. It’s called the Appreciation Room. It’s where your thoughts go when you encounter positive and encouraging things about your spouse. And every so often, you enjoy visiting this special place. (Paragraph 1)
Day 8: LOVE IS NOT JEALOUS–“Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire.” Song of Solomon 8:6
Quote: Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man. It comes from the root word for zeal and means “to burn with a intense fire.” The Scripture pointedly says, “Wrath is fierce and anger is flood, but who can stand before jealousy?”
Day 9: LOVE MAKES GOOD IMPRESSIONS–“Greet one another with a kiss of love.” 1 Peter 5:14
Quote: But He took it a step further and said that being godly included being humble and gracious enough to address even your enemies with kindness. (Paragraph 4 Sentence 3 Page 41)
Day 10: LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL–“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Quote: The truth is: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love. (Page 46 Paragraph 4, sentence 2)
Day 11: LOVE CHERISHES–“Husbands ought also to love their wives as their own bodies.” Ephesians 5:28
Quote: When you look at your mate, you’re looking at a part of you. So treat her well. Speak highly of him. Nourish and cherish the love of your life. (Last paragraph page 53)
Day 12: LOVE LETS THE OTHER WIN–“Do not look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Quote: It’s an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations. It’s like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest winds because it knows how to gracefully bend. (Page 57 Paragraph 6)
Day 13: LOVE FIGHTS FAIR–“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand). Mark 3:25
Quote: The wisest way is to learn to fight clean by establishing healthy rules of engagement. If you don’t have guidelines for how you’ll approach hot topics, you won’t stay in bounds when the action heats up. (Page 62 paragraph 3)
Day 14: LOVE TAKES DELIGHT–“Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life”. Ecclesiastes 9:9 HCSB
Quote: For some, the move toward delight may be only a small step away. For others, it may require a giant leap from ongoing disgust. (Page 68 Paragraph 2)
Day 15: LOVE IS HONORABLE–“Live with your wives in and understanding way…. and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life”. 1 Peter 3:7
Quote: To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth. (Page 71 Paragraph 2)
Day 16: LOVE INTERCEDES–“Beloved I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers”. 3 John 2
Quote: But you won’t be able to do this alone. You still need something that is more powerful than anything else you have. And that is effective prayer. (Page 77, Paragraph 2)
Day 17: LOVE PROMOTES INTIMACY–“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9 NIV
Quote: And yet God, who knows secrets about us that we even hide from ourselves, loves us at a depth we cannot begin to fathom. How much more should we–as imperfect people– reach out to our spouse in grace and understanding, accepting them for who they are and assuring them that their secrets are safe with us.
Day 18: LOVE SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND–” How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.” Proverbs 3:13
Quote: If you miss the level of intimacy you once shared with your spouse, one of the best ways to unlock their heart again is by making a commitment to know them. Study them. Read them like a book you’re trying to understand.
Day 19: LOVE IS IMPOSSIBLE–“Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God”. 1 John 4:7
Quote: The secret is this: you cannot manufacture unconditional love (or agape love) out of your own heart. It’s impossible. It’s beyond your capabilities. It’s beyond all our capabilities.
Day 20: LOVE IS JESUS CHRIST–“While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly”. Romans 5:6
Quote: And when you have received this new life and love as your own, you are free to love in ways you’ve never been capable before.
Day 21: LOVE IS SATISFIED IN GOD–“The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire.” Isaiah 58:11
Quote: But whether this is new territory for you or if you’ve been a follower of Jesus for quite a while, now is the time for you to firm up one thing in your mind: you need God every single day. This is not a part-time proposition. He alone can satisfy, even when all else fails you. (Page 101 Paragraph 2)
Day 22: LOVE IS FAITHFUL–“I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.” Hosea 2:20
Quote: If love is to be like His, it must love even when its overtures are returned or unwanted. And for your love to be like that, it must be His love to begin with. (Page 108 Paragraph 5)
Day 23: LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS–[Love] always protects. 1 Corinthians 13:7
Quote: It’s a battle you must wage to protect your marriage –when love puts on armor and picks up a sword to defend its own. Your mate and your marriage need your constant protection…(Page 111, paragraph 3, sentence 3,4)
Day 24: LOVE vs. LUST– “The world is passing way, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
Quote: That’s the progression. From eyes to heart to action. And then follows the shame and regret. (Page 116 Paragraph 2)
Day 25: LOVE FORGIVES–“What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sake in the presence of Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:10
Quote: This prison, you see, is a room in your own heart. This dark, drafty, depressing chamber exists inside you every day. But not far away, Jesus is standing there, extending to you a key that will release every inmate.
Day 26: LOVE IS RESPONSIBLE–“When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.” Romans 2:1 HCSB
Quote: More and more, people seem less likely to acknowledge their own mistakes. We see it in politics. We see it in business. We see it in celebrity headlines. (Page 126 Paragraph 2)
Day 27: LOVE ENCOURAGES–“Guard my soul and deliver me; do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.” Psalm 25:20
Quote: You must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations. (Page 131 Paragraph 3)
Day 28: LOVE MAKES SACRIFICES–He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16 HCSB
Quote: Love makes sacrifices. It keeps you so tuned in to what your spouse needs that you often respond without being asked. And when you don’t notice ahead of time and must be told what’s happening, love responds to the heart of the problem.
Day 29: LOVE’S MOTIVATION–“Render your service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men. Ephesians 6:7 HCSB
Quote: When God is your reason for loving, your ability to love is guaranteed. (Page 141 Paragraph 2)
Day 30: LOVE BRINGS UNITY– Father, keep them in Your name, the name which you have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. John 17:11
Quote: Unity. Togetherness. Oneness. These are the unshakable hallmarks of our God.
Day 31: LOVE AND MARRIAGE–“A man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.
Quote: God’s decision to make you “one flesh” in marriage can make anything possible. (Page 153, Paragraph 10)
Day 32: LOVE MEETS SEXUAL NEEDS–“The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:3
Quote: It’s [romance] all part of celebrating what God has given, becoming one with our mate while simultaneously pursuing purity and holiness. He delights in us when this happens.
Day 33: LOVE COMPLETES EACH OTHER–“If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone”? Ecclesiastes 4:11
Quote: 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.
Day 34: LOVE CELEBRATES GODLINESS–” [Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6
Quote: From the moment you close your bible in the morning, nearly everything else you’ll encounter throughout the day will be luring you away from its truths. (Page 166 Paragraph 1)
Day 35: LOVE IS ACCOUNTABLE–“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. Proverbs 15:22 NIV
Quote: Everyone needs wise counsel throughout life. Wise people constantly seek it and gladly receive it. Fools never ask for it and then ignore it when it’s given to them.
Day 36: LOVE IS GOD’S WORD–“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Quote: And because of His internal lamp, the Scriptures are now ours to read, absorb, comprehend, and live by. But first, you’ve got to commit to do it. (Page 176 Paragraph 1)
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
Quote: When you were joined together as husband and wife, God gave you a wedding gift—a permanent prayer partner for life.
Day 38: LOVE FULFILLS DREAMS–“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Quote: Well, how about putting your heart in it. How about adopting a new level of love that actually wants to fulfill every dream and desire you possibly can.
Day 39: LOVE ENDURES–“Love never fails.” Corinthians 13:8.
Quote: Of all the things love dares to do, this is the ultimate. Though threatened, it keeps pursuing. Though challenged, it keeps moving forward. Though mistreated and rejected, it refuses to give up.
Day 40: LOVE IS A COVENANT–” 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.
Quote: A covenant is for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has no expiration date. It is “till death do us part.”
I hope you’ll read this book. It may just change your life.
© Phyllis Weeks Rogers 11/15/2018
All excerpts from the “Love Dare” are copyrighted by the authors, used here only for promotion of God’s purposes to enhance the lives of others.
Header Photo Credit: http://www.frankiejohn.com