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Book review: The Love Dare

the love dareIf you have an important relationship with someone (and everyone does), do this book. Don’t just read it. Do it.

While The Love Dare was designed for marriage relationships, I found it applicable to a variety of relationships (some chapters will be  exceptions). All serious relationships would benefit from applying the principles presented by Stephen and Alex Kendrick.

It’s a how-to book about loving, unconditionally, through the strength of Christ. It’s a proactive process.

And it’s a dare. If you accept the dare, you commit to 40 days (give or take—I took much longer) of reading a short devotional in the book, doing the suggested exercise, and journaling about the results.

Exercises include:

Day 4: Love is thoughtful.
Contact your spouse sometimes during the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

Day 15: Love is honorable.
Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine…Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

Day 28: Love makes sacrifices.
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.

I admit I didn’t do much journaling, and I failed on some of the exercises, but overall, I hope my husband was blessed because of the book (and it certainly stretched me!). I tried to keep it secret—but I think he eventually figured it out. And he had no objections. :-)

[If you haven’t seen the movie Fireproof that started the book, please go see it.]

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Excerpts from The Love Dare:

When you prioritize the well-being of your mate, there is a resulting fulfillment that cannot be duplicated by selfish actions. This is a benefit that God created and reserves for those who genuinely demonstrate love.
* * *
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.
* * *
Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule.
* * *
But when your attempts at honor go unreciprocated, you are to give honor just the same. That’s what love dares to do—to say, “Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most. …With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults—past and present—I still choose to love and honor you.” That’s how you create an atmosphere for love to be rekindled.
* * *
Keeping this covenant is not something you can do in your own strength. There’s good reason why God was the One who initiated covenant with His people. He alone is able to fulfill the demands of His own promises.


Unknown said...

That is soo deep. Oh if we can only learn to be like the One that has shown us perfect love. We so easily say we love God whom we have never seen but not love our sposes parents children coworkers etc whom we have seen. If God can love them imperfections and all to even die for them may we all learn to die to our own emotions and realize love is more an ACTION than emotion. By the grace of God I will love. I pray we all do.

Lisa notes... said...

I join you in that prayer, Stephen. It's easier to speak about love than to live it out.

Interestingly, John Piper included a similar thought in his sermon this past week:

"Husbands, don't contradict the gospel by how you treat your wives."And he quotes Douglas Wilson:
"How many conservative husbands are outraged if some liberal preacher says that Jesus did not rise from the dead, when their daily treatment of their wives makes the same statement? At least the liberal only states his heresy occasionally."
(Reformed Is Not Enough, p. 168)

Veggiemomof2 said...

I love the way you phrase your very 1st sentence! My husband & I watched this movie together & loved it, but he wasn't interested in doing the dare because "we're fine"

After reading this review, I've decided to follow this book & do these challenges w/my children instead to strengthen or improve our relationships. (They are both in the teen stage.)


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