Friday, February 20, 2009
I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I saw the movie Fireproof. I was sick and it was $1 at the RedBox, OK?
Well, then the book, inspired by the movie (or vise verse), was recommended to me. So, I bought it.
I have learned a bunch. It can be cheesy at points, but for the most part, it is a pretty practical "love dare." I'll be updating this list as I read the book. It's a good reminder for me and you can speed through the book with my Cliffs Notes.
Love is Patient
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love. -Ephesians 4:2
"Anger almost never makes things better."
"Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally."
Love is Kind
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:32
"Patience is how love reacts...kindness is how love acts. One is preventive, the other is proactive."
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So, you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. -Proverbs 3:3-4
"The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first."
"Love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward."
Love is not Selfish
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." -Philippians 2:3
Love is Thoughtful
"But the thoughtful nature of love teaches you to engage your mind before your lips."
"Love requires thoughtfulness - on both sides - the kind that builds bridges through the constructive combination of patience, kindness and selflessness."
Love is NOT Rude
"Good manners express to your wife or husband 'I value you enough to exercise some self-control around you. I wan tot be a person who's a pleasure to be with.'"
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. -Proverbs 25:24
"Guard the Golden Rule. Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
No Double Standards. Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
Honor Requests. Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not do."
Love is NOT Irritable
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. -Proverbs 16:32
"A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and responds pleasantly during prickly situations."
"Pray through your anxieties...delegate when you are overworked...avoid overindulgence."
Love Believes the Best
"Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts and personal baggage."
"Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive."
"You must develop the habit of reining in your negative thoughts and focusing on the positive attributes of your mate."
Love is NOT Jealous
"When you were married, you were given the role of becoming your spouse's biggest cheerleader and the captain of his or her fan club."
"It [love] leads you to celebrate the successes of your spouse rather than resenting them."
Love Makes Good Impressions
Greet one another with a kiss of love. -1 Peter 5:14
"You can tell a lot about the state of a couples relationship from the way they greet one another."
"It doesn't have to be bold and dramatic every time. But adding warmth and enthusiasm gives you the chance to touch your mate's heart in subtle, unspoken ways.
Love is Unconditional
"The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love."
We love, because He first loved us. -I John 4:19
This kind of love "can only come from God."
"When you look at your mate, you're looking at a part of you. So treat her well. Speak Highly of him."
Love Let's the Other Win
"It means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself."
"And though the follow-through may cost you some pride and discomfort, you have made a loving, lasting investment in your marriage."
Love Completes Each Other
"It's like your two hands, which don't just coexist together but multiply the effectiveness of the other. In order to do what they do, neither is quite complete without the other."
"Love realizes that God has put you together on purpose."
Love Fights Fair
"...your love for your spouse is more important than whatever you're fighting about."
Set up "We" boundaries and "Me" boundaries such as:
"We" will never mention divorce.
"We" will call a time-out if things get too heated.
"We" will not fail...whatever it takes, we will work this out."
"I" will listen before speaking. "Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." - James 1:19
"I" will speak gently and keep my voice down. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1
Love Takes Delight
"You don't let your feelings and emotions do the driving. You put them in the back seat and tell them where you are going."
"It's time to remember why you once fell in love. To laugh again. To flirt again. To dream again. Delightfully."
"Enjoy your spouse."
"The responsibility is yours to relearn what you love about this one to whom you've promised yourself for forever."
Love is Honorable
"Of all the relationships I have, I will value ours the most. Of all the things I am willing to sacrifice, I will sacrifice the most for you. With all your failures, sins, mistakes, and faults - past and present - I still choose to love and honor you."
"Honoring your mate means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with one eye on the TV."
"No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you...So, turn your complaints into prayers and watch the Master work while you keep your hands clean."
Love Promotes Intimacy
"Your mate should not feel pressured to be perfect in order to receive your approval. They should not walk on eggshells in the very place where they ought to feel the most comfortable in their bare feet."
Love Seeks to Understand
"There are reasons for his or her tastes and preferences. Each nuance in your spouse's character has a back story."
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. - Proverbs 24:3-4
Love is Satisfied in God
"Every day you place expectations on your spouse. Sometimes they meet them. Sometimes they don't. But never will they be able to totally satisfy all the demands you ask of them."
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart... - Psalm 37:4
"God is your everyday supply of everything you need."
Love is Faithful
...love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you... - Luke 6:27-28
"For many, this is the beginning of the end. Some respond by rapidly moving toward a tragic divorce. Others, more protective of their reputation than even their own happiness, decide to keep the charade going. But they have no intention of liking it - much less of loving each other again."
"Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction."
Love always Protects
"Unfortunately your marriage has enemies out there..."
Harmful influences (unhealthy balance in anything)
Unhealthy relationships (not everyone is a good friend)
Shame (protect your spouses vulnerability)
Parasites (addictions large or small)
Love vs. Lust
"Lust is in opposition to love. It means to set your heart and passions on something forbidden."
"Lust always breeds more lust."
"[Lust is] a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dash board of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God's love to fill you."
"...what they did was really wrong, whether they admit it or not. They may not even be sorry about it. They may feel perfectly justified in their actions, even going so far as to blame you for it. But forgiveness doesn't absolve anyone of blame. It doesn't clear their record with God. It just clears you of having to worry about how to punish them. When you forgive another person, you're not turning them loose. You're just turning them over to God, who can be counted on to deal with them His way."
"How do you know when you've done it? You know when the thought of their name or the sight of their face - rather than causing your blood to boil - causes you to feel sorry for them, to pity them, to genuinely hope they get this turned around."
"But great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep 'no record of wrongs' (1 Corinthians 13:5)."
Love is Responsible
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. - 1 John 1:8
"Admitting your mistakes is your responsibility."
"You must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations."
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. - Isiah 35:3
Encourage one another and build up one another...Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. - I Thessalonians 5:11 & 14
Love makes Sacrifices
"The words 'How can I help you?' need to stay fresh on your lips."
Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men. - Ephesians 6:7
Love Meets Sexual Needs
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. - 1 Corinthians 7:5
"So 'stop depriving one another' the Bible warns, 'except by agreement for a time...and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" - 1 Corinthians 7:5