Well as I mentioned in my previous post, I have ‘accepted’ the love dare. Friday, November 8th was day one. Day one focused on patience.
As a kid, you may remember playing the game ‘Operation’. In order to play and be able to benefit from the game, a steady hand and a high level of patience needed to be put forth. You need to be quick, yet precise in your movements, or the ‘operation’ will fail.
Similarly, in a marriage you need to exact patience if you will ever have any success. You need to be careful about your reactions to a situation and be precise in the way you proceed. One small step in the wrong direction, being quick to speak or quick to act, can cause for frustrations, anger, upset, or a fight to ensue.
The scripture for Day One is “Be completely humble & gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2. In order for love to flourish and grow, it needs to have a firm foundation. The two largest pieces with which to establish that firm foundation are patience and kindness. If patience and kindness are non-existent or suffering, then everything else that gets built upon it will be rocky. You can view patience and kindness as the foundation of the marriage, similar to the foundation of a home. If you build a home without a firm and solid foundation, what is the result?
The house, no matter how beautifully created or made will collapse and cave in. So if patience is non-existent in a marriage, it is bound to fail.
The Love Dare states “When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. You choose to have a long fuse instead of a quick temper. Rather than being restless and demanding, love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you…Patience is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and it shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil. It brings an internal calm to an external storm.”
I can honestly say that patience is something that I struggle with in my marriage. I can easily become frustrated or impatient or react negatively to a situation. I can oftentimes let my emotions control me and I react without thinking ahead. I realize that I can sometimes act foolishly based on following my emotions. Yet being patient is something you need to actively choose. It doesn’t come easy. In fact, often times our reaction to things can be to act impulsively and without thinking ahead. Yet by doing so, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. It only makes a situation worse.
The book provided some questions to ask yourself…”If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly?” My honest responses to both of those questions? I do quickly act/retaliate and I often find that being offended is my default when I am treated unfairly.
The dare for the day?
At the end of the day you are to evaluate the day and answer the questions. The questions were: Did anything happen today to cause anger toward your mate? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them out in your words? How did you handle that?
My results for the day: I did have my patience tested. I had things I wanted to talk to Scott about and share with him and I was unable to do so. He was busy and I didn’t want to bother him at work. He wasn’t even aware that I had things to share with him, so getting upset or frustrated would be completely unwarranted. I needed to exercise patience, realize that he was busy at work, and accept that I couldn’t share things with him when it is convenient for ME but had to wait until such time as it was convenient for HIM.
I also had my patience tested in another way. Scott told me Thursday night that there was something he received in the mail about a problem with our insurance coverage. He told me that the next day he would call on his lunch break and try to straighten things out. When I asked him later that evening if he had called and figured out what was wrong, he indicated he forgot the papers at home and hadn’t been able to call. In the past, I could have easily been frustrated or upset with him, attributing it to his being careless or not being on top of things. Yet I realize it is okay! Mistakes and oversights happen. We are all human. Just because he may forget things doesn’t mean that he doesn’t view them as important. Also, just because he doesn’t handle things exactly in the way that I would doesn’t mean that I’m handling it right and he’s handling it wrong. We simply just handle things differently.
Day 1 down, 39 to go! I have already learned SO much. I can’t wait to see what’s in store…