I’ve started reading the Love Dare. This is the book brought out by the movie ‘Fireproof.’ It’s a book that explains a different facet of love and then gives a specific dare to accomplish toward your mate. It lasts 40 days. While I purchased this with the intent to strengthen my bond with my husband, I can already see how the ability to truly love includes more than just the relationship I have with my husband. I do know that there are lessons regarding spousal intimacy that would certainly not apply, but beyond that, I suspect this is a good book for anyone, single or married, to read and strengthen their own ability to love.
I wrote a few days ago about obedience. How it’s a blessed thing and there is a blessing that follows. This morning, I woke up with a slightly different perspective of obedience. I can recall countless situations where I’ve gotten into arguments with my son who was in effect, ‘being obedient.’ Yes, he was doing exactly what I asked. However, there was something missing. It was frustrating for me because although he was doing what I asked, there was an attitude that accompanied his obedience that was unpleasant. I’m pretty sure that this is what Jesus was talking about when He spoke of the law not correcting the problem of the heart.
I have to admit that I’ve been, multiple times, to the place that my son has been. Obedient, but perhaps with a sour attitude. Not purposely, but perhaps due to my own lack of understanding of my circumstances, or my lack of desire to be stretched beyond my comfort zone, my joy was robbed and the result was rotten fruit. Perhaps others experienced this as unkindness, shortness, tension, or felt the sting of isolation as I reverted to climbing inside my shell instead of coming out of it. This is always something easy to recognize in others, not always easy to swallow when you realize that often, God will point out in others, the very things we can’t see in ourselves.
I suppose this is the blessing of knowing Christ, that He will often reveal the unchartered chambers of our heart.
Really, it is a blessing. It is truly an example of God’s mercy and grace. We don’t always see our trials and tribulations as such. However, being a good soldier means being pressed beyond our limit, put in situations where our normal comforts are robbed of us … all for the cause at large .. the will of Christ. The ultimate goal of Christ is to save all. To get us all to a place where we can live together in peace and harmony. To teach us how to truly love.
The other side of love that we don’t like is the time it takes to teach us that. The anguish of experiencing fall after fall, ugly emotion after ugly emotion .. pick up after each pick up. If we think we can ‘fake it, till we make it,’ God will prove that theory wrong. If we think we can accomplish love without pain, God will show how it’s not possible. If we think we can love others without including them, God will show us that we are really only isolating ourselves, not those that we discount. God will show us that, nope, that’s not love at all.
I’m really liking this Love Dare thing. It’s one thing to look at others and feel inadequate because you haven’t quite gotten it yet. It’s an entirely different perspective when God takes your hand and says, ‘Here … let me lead you. I know the way.’