I would like to hear from someone who is working The Love Dare while they are actively married or in a committed relationship.  I would like to hear how they feel when they come across all the areas they need to improve on.  I don’t think that the people who have successful marriages would use this book or would be failing in so many areas.  I for one, feel terrible that I have failed so miserably on so many levels.

I received a timely message from someone I respect a great deal.  Their life journey is familiar to me, their hardships, their beliefs and pain.  What I really want to be able to share is their victory.  I am reminded to let go completely, that my best efforts got me where I am.  God wants to carry the load; He is the source of all solution, comfort and love.  It’s hard for me to admit, “It’s over”, period!  I am to clean my house and “get out of the basement” of my dysfunctional thoughts.  This person found “True Love” and is enjoying the life God promises to His followers.  I am very happy for them; it does the heart good to hear of God’s healing and restoration!

We are by nature and maturity level, selfish and self-centered, at least I am.  The less emotionally mature we are the more we are like the kid who doesn’t get his way and let’s everyone know how unhappy he is.  We are the first to think how hard life is, how difficult we have it and usually the last to know when those closest to us are having difficulty.  When my wife complained, I knew something was wrong but I usually categorized it as “her way of seeing things”.  Whatever, how lazy is that?  I wanted her to know when I was having it tough, and when she wouldn’t respond, I’d feel sorry for myself.

Some self-help or support groups caution against being too “other” oriented.  I really think that is impossible, given the basic self-interest that is ingrained in all of us.  The most selfless person ever to walk the earth was Jesus.  His example is to be a model for our life.  We are to sacrifice our life for others, put them first, especially our spouse.  He taught us that the evidence of love is found in seeing a need in others, then doing all we can to satisfy it.

What is amazing is the following statements Jesus made to His disciples, “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me”  Matthew 25:35-36  The disciples were confused by these statements and Jesus explained that when you did these thing to the least of these, my brothers, you did them to Me.  Still applies today, The Love Dare uses these examples of needs and applies them to marriage.  See page 137 for the examples.

What amazes me about this whole process is the simplicity of it, but it requires the stripping of our pride and egos and making way for God in our hearts.  It is His love that is put in our hearts for others; it is His grace that gives us the strength to do His will.  His will is to love others as He loves us and to tell them the Good News, that God has made it possible to be right with Him and enjoy eternal life and happiness.  He paid the price; all we have to do is accept what He has provided for us.  It is all God given, God driven, God forgiven, and we just need to get out of our own way to have abundant life!

I have reviewed the notes from my two other times through this book.  What is I see is that I have gained insight into my “stuff”.  I’m embarrassed by my own notes; sometimes, they are filled with pride and false conclusions and plain BS.  I would greatly rejoice, if someday I went through this book and was able to proclaim, “Yes, I’m doing this, yes I did that and yes it is great!”