Many months ago I printed out something called The Love Dare. If you have seen the movie Fireproof, you know what I am talking about. In the movie a marriage is falling apart and one spouse takes action to restore the relationship, part of the process is the Love Dare, 40 days of doing things for your spouse and your marriage. (It has been a long time since I watched the movie, so sorry I'm not being more specific; I'm bad with details, but that is the general idea.)
So, like I said, many months ago, I printed out The Love Dare, a forty-day schedule of things to do each day to love one's spouse better. Since Lent is 40 days and it is all about giving up sin, one of my main sins being thinking about myself too much and about my husband not enough, it seemed like the perfect time to smooth out those tri-folded pages I have been keeping in my Bible and take the dare!
In book club we just finished a book called Severe Mercy, a very moving and beautiful true story about a couple, their love, God's love for them, sickness, death, and newness of life. Early in their relationship they determined that nothing would come between them and destroy their love. Divorce was becoming more common and they tried hard to determine what the cause was. They concluded that the killer of love was creeping separateness. ... Taking love for granted, especially after marriage. (p. 29)
They were on to something!
Of course the initial "inloveness" fades with time, because of physiological reasons that I don't know how to explain. Once married, the honeymoon period does finally end, and life falls into routines. Then maybe some children are added to the scene. Work might pick up and there may be some moves to new places. Activities take up time, too. The details of the story of each marriage are different. What is the same, however, is that all of these changes and distractions, responsibilities and cares can either draw us together or lead to "creeping separateness."
The Love Dare is an opportunity to fight the "creeping separateness" and defend your marriage against all that would keep it from growing. Marital intimacy, next to a relationship with God, is the most deep and profound relationship we can know on this earth. The evil one will do all he can do to keep your marriage from being great. Mediocre marriages are his cup of tea. The kingdom of God doesn't advance much from those. But God-loving, kingdom-focused, strong marriages? Yeah, he hates those!
So, the Love Dare. If you would like to give it a go, to set yourself aside for the sake of your mate and your Lord, you can find it here.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
**Please let me know how I can pray for you and your marriage; I would count it a privilege.**
My friend, Sally, wrote this week about hedging in our marriages. I encourage you to read her wise words by clicking here!