Love is a many splendored thing – part 3

The last 20 days of The Love Dare:

Day 21: Love is satisfied in God

The Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire.

—Isaiah 58:11

TODAY’S DARE

Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your Bible. Try reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day (there are thirty-one—a full month’s supply), or reading a chapter in the Gospels

(Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you. This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

Day 22: Love is faithful

I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.

—Hosea 2:20

TODAY’S DARE

Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, “I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don’t love me in return.”

Day 23: Love always

protects

[Love] always protects.

—1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

TODAY’S DARE

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that’s stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.

Day 24: Love vs. Lust

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

—1 John 2:17

TODAY’S DARE

End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you’ve swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed—today—and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

Day 25: Love forgives

What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.

—2 Corinthians 2:10

TODAY’S DARE

Whatever you haven’t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “forgive us our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, “I choose to forgive.”

Day 26: Love is responsible

When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.

—Romans 2:1 HCSB

TODAY’S DARE

Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

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

TODAY’S DARE

Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you you’re expecting too much, and tell them you’re sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you’ll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.

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

TODAY’S DARE

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse’s life right now? Is there a need you could lift from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part? Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.

Day 29: Love’s motivation

Render service with a good attitude, as

to the Lord and not to men.

—Ephesians 6:7 HCSB

TODAY’S DARE

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say “I love you,” then express love to them in some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person—unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

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

TODAY’S DARE

Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same for them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

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

TODAY’S DARE

Is there a “leaving” issue you haven’t been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

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

TODAY’S DARE

If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your husband or wife today. Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

Day 33: Love completes each other

If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?

—Ecclesiastes 4:11

TODAY’S DARE

Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

Day 34: Love celebrates godliness

[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.

—1 Corinthians 13:6

TODAY’S DARE

Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this at some point today.

Day 35: Love is accountable

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

—Proverbs 15:22 NIV

TODAY’S DARE

Find a marriage mentor—someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.

Day 36: Love is God’s Word

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

—Psalm 119:105

TODAY’S DARE

Commit to reading the Bible every day. Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you.

Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the rock.

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

TODAY’S DARE

Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this, whether it’s in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank

Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.

Day 38: Love fulfills dreams

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

—Psalm 37:4

TODAY’S DARE

Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

Day 39: Love endures

Love never fails.

—1 Corinthians 13:8

TODAY’S DARE

Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death,

and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.

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 od, my God.

—Ruth 1:16

TODAY’S DARE

Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

From:

http://lovedare.bhpublishinggroup.com/lovedare/

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