For those who are following along with your own copy of “The Love Dare”, I have a suggestion. You have room to write comments in the book, but as the authors suggest, you may want to go through these “dares” again and again. I started a separate notebook for journaling my way through this book because I filled up the available space at the end of the chapters. You may want to start your separate notebook right away, and then you can share your book with your spouse.

My journey through the Love Dare this time around is a modification of the format. I am still unable to carry out the dares due to the separation from my wife and her expressed wishes that I NOT communicate anything other than business matters. I am praying that healing take place in my wife’s heart and our marriage.

I have deeply wounded my wife with thoughtless words. Those wounds and how she perceives attempts by me to make changes, prevent her from being able to accept what I am doing to change as legitimate. Much of the wounding was unintentional, some was more painful due to wounding done by others in her past, all of it is within her capacity to forgive and grow beyond the wounding. If we do not find a way to truly forgive, as God has forgiven us and the people who have hurt us, there can be no growth, only piled up resentments.

We can build up a sensitivity in the area of our hurts by piling up our resentments. We can become callous and present ourselves as uncaring , or be easily offended, sometimes it is a mixture of the two. We can be hyper-sensitive to perceived, or actual slights and be rude in our dealings with others. God is Love and only the love of God can heal our broken hearts and soften our hardened hearts.

Hardened hearts are wounded hearts that have been “calcified”, covered with a hard crust to protect it and prevent further harm. The only problem is, God can’t heal a hardened heart without first breaking the calcified exterior, and this is very painful! There are things we can do to prevent hardening our heart. We need to become aware of resentments and unforgiveness in our hearts.

It is through understanding God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness towards us and extending that same understanding towards others that allows us to let go of resentments.

Today’s lesson is on thoughtfulness. “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”. The paragraph this quote is lifted from continues to remind us of what we were like when we first “fell” in love with our spouse. Our thoughts were taken over with imaginings about what they were doing, how they might respond to places we’d go, what I will say that will find favor from her/him. This was effortless at the beginning, then we often become complacent and the challenge begins.

“Thoughtlessness is the silent enemy to a loving relationship”. Applying the principles laid out in this book help us become thoughtful. If we take responsibility for our actions and do what we can, with God’s help, to be thoughtful, loving and forgiving, we will be better off for it, regardless of what our spouse does with it.

I hope you are reading and working your way through The Love Dare, there are so many valuable insights in that book, I cannot say enough about it. Please let me know how you are doing, what you think and are discovering.

All quotes are from “The Love Dare”k

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