The Love Dare
Just over a month ago (Sunday, September 27, 2015) I introduced the Elder’s Quorum in our student ward to a 40-day program called the Love Dare. Each day there is a challenge to do something for your spouse. The Love Dare is from the movie Fireproof (A Stephen & Alex Kendrick Production). It is about a couple that have decided that their marriage is over and about to divorce. The husband calls his dad to tell him that his marriage is over and his dad asks to come see him. When he arrives he asks his son if he has any interest in saving his marriage and his son responds that he does but he does not think his wife wants to. The father challenges his son to the 40-day Love Dare, that saved his mother and his marriage, and he reluctantly agrees. The rest of the movie takes us through the process of a young man that does not believe in God or his marriage and his transformation from a selfish person to a man that is committed to his marriage and learns what true love is and how to show it.
For the past 35 days (we have 5 more days to go) each night before going to bed I have sent the challenge for the next day and each day these husbands (without their wives knowing what they were doing) were asked to follow the challenge. Each Sunday we have asked for someone to share some of their experiences. There have been some funny stories shared and very tender moments.
Day 1 – Love is Patient
The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret
In the Love Dare book each day includes a scripture reading for the day, the challenge for the day and some background information on the topic. The following is an exert from The Love Dare Book – Day 1: Love is Patient.
I promised them that I would be part of the challenge along with them. I am normally a fairly patient person and don’t have much of a problem when it comes to letting my temper get out of control. The first day of the program was Monday, September 28th and about mid day I got a call from my daughter and she asked: “where is your car insurance papers?” I thought it was a strange question coming from her. When I asked why she said because mom had an accident. She had parked the car at our daughters work so our grandson could go in and show his mom the new shoes grandma just got him. Our grandson asked if she would come in with him so she did. She did not put the car in park and it rolled down a hill and hit another car.
After taking a few deep breaths, I remembered the challenge today to demonstrate patience and not say anything negative. I thought ok Lord, I know the only reason this happened was to see if I was committed to this Love Dare Challenge. I think I passed that first test.
Day 3 – Love is not selfish
Whatever you put your time, energy, and money into will become more important to you. It’s hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, “I was thinking of you today.”
Over the next few days my wife kept commenting that I was taking the accident and the cost of the repairs pretty good, that I did not seem upset with her. I think the Lord did bless us for my ability to show patience because we should have paid a $500 deductible but instead only had to pay $300 because of an accident forgiveness credit that had accumulated.
It was late on day three and I was coming home from an evening of interviews with some couples in our ward and I remembered that I hadn’t done anything for the challenge that day. I stopped at the store and purchased an Orchid for my wife (that is her favorite flower). While I was there another member from the ward was also buying his wife some flowers as part of the challenge. We smiled know we both were trying to fulfill the challenge - a bit late but we were trying. I took them home and my wife was already in bed so I put the flowers on the table in the kitchen with a note telling her that I loved her and was not upset with her because of the accident. By now I was thinking that I was going to be able to milk this accident for a long time. Oh, wait the challenge today says love is not selfish – oh well so much for milking the accident!
It has been interesting to do each challenge. Some days have been a struggle, but others come naturally. It has been a wonderful growing experience for us all. Today (Sunday, November 1st) we had a combined Relief Society and Priesthood lesson where I told our wives what we had been up to for the past 35 days. I asked for some comments on how their husbands were doing and it was fun to hear their comments. One commented that she did not realize her husband was doing it because most of the things he already did. She only found out about it when he asked her to look for something in his email and she saw all the messages that I had been sending and read some of them. She felt good to know that her husband was participating in the challenge but it was not much different for her.
We gave each couple a handout with the 40 days of challenges and asked them to go home and discuss them together and for the wives to start with day one and go through them as well. Hopefully in another month we will all be having fun trying to out do each other with kindness, patience and love.
I would challenge anyone readying this to check out The Love Dare and the movie Fireproof. Give it some time and honest effort and I can promise the results will be worth the effort.
Fireproof Movie - www.fireproofthemovie.com (Sherwood Pictures & Provident Films)
The Love Dare by Stephen & Alex Kendrick, B&H Publishing Group (available from Amazon, EBay and other retailers. Also available at www.fireproofthemove.com
Your comments and questions are welcome.