The Love Dare

My dear sweet mother in law gave me The Love Dare as a Christmas present this year. She actually gave one to each of her sons. This is an excerpt from her included letter to me:

“First I want to tell you how proud I am of you. It is evident that you have made it a goal to be a good husband. Like it or not, with that comes great sacrifice. You are learning that in your home, the buck stops with you. That seat can be a difficult and sometimes painful one to occupy.

“At the end of the day, the atmosphere in your home is largely your responsibility. It is because of that reality, and because of all the obstacles that daily bombard your marriage that I am giving you this little tool.”

If anyone is concerned with the way I love and lead Anna it would have to be her parents. It is in their best interest to see that I am well equipped and protected so that when the difficulties come we will have a solid marriage that cannot be shaken. I sincerely appreciate Anna’s folks taking a vested interest in our marriage. For that I am deeply thankful because it means I’m not alone and that while I’m not perfect, I get to grow.

I am thankful for this little challenge because sadly enough the person I can be most impatient with is my wife. It seems that we hurt the ones we love the most… And why is that?! Is it because we allow our true selves to come out with our family? Is it because we take our spouses for granted? It is because we don’t discipline ourselves to continue to pursue deeper levels of love after the wedding day? It may be varying degrees of all of the above. But regardless of reasons there is no excuse for me to treat strangers nicer than my wife. I have often prayed, “God help me to love Anna better; more like the way you love her.”

Having been to hundreds of weddings I would say that one of the most common texts read during wedding ceremonies is the definition of love as found in 1 Corinthians chapter 13.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

I hear it week after week after week. I have wanted for some time to explore each facet, each attribute, each characteristic of love to drive myself deeper into it’s discipline. I really believe that I need to get my heart in gear and practice true love now if I am going to keep true to my marriage vows that I made almost 2 years ago in a beautiful meadow before my friends and family on that lovely spring day.

So this book is awesome because is does just that! It breaks down love into a 40 day journey. During this journey the reader is challenged to understand a unique aspect of love and then is given a specific dare to do for the spouse. Finally there is space to journal about what the reader is learning and doing and how the spouse is responding. It’s fantastic!

I have decided to take the challenge. I have been working on the first dare for about a week now; I’m a slow learner so I think I need to take my time. ;) It’s been an amazing exercise and is really giving me the tools I need to love Anna better. I think I will randomly post what I am learning from each little dare so that hopefully you “newly marrieds“ out there can be encouraged and challenged as well. It is my heart not just to be an amazing photographer of love and marriage but to be an amazing supporter of love and marriage. I want my couples to get married and stay married! I want them to grow deeper in love during the years to come, not out of love. If you can learn the way of love with me, that’s even better. If any of my couples want a copy, I would be more than happy to give you one; just let me know.

The Love Dare actually came from a movie called Fireproof. Check out this interview with Kirk Cameron on the Today Show.