Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. but I have been recovering from some recent repairs….long story! Stay tuned for May 6th post!!!
Well, we have some catching up to do! Since my last post on the Love Dare challenge, hubby and I reconciled after a PMs explosion and are on good terms until next time! 🙂
Day 21: Love is satisfied in God
The Dare: Be intentional today about making a time to pray and read your Bibleâ€¦.as you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you.Â This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.
Day 22: Love is faithful
The Dare: Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, â€œI love you.Â Period. I choose to love you even if you donâ€™t love me in return.â€
Day 23: Love always protects
The Dare: Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence thatâ€™s stealing your affections or turning your heart away from your spouse.
Day 24: Love vs. lust
The Dare: End it now. Remove every object of lust in your life â€¦ it must be killed and destroyed â€“ today â€“ and replaced with the sure promise of God and a heart filled with his perfect love.
Day 25: Love forgives
The Dare: Whatever you havenâ€™t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it goâ€¦ unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, â€œI choose to forgive.â€
Day 26: Love is responsible
The Dare: Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for Godâ€™s forgiveness, then humble yourself to admit them to your spouse.
Day 27: Love encourages
The Dare: Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you youâ€™re expecting too much, and tell them youâ€™re sorry for being so hard on them about it â€¦ promise them youâ€™ll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love.
Day 28: Love makes sacrifices
The Dare: What is one of the greatest needs in your spouseâ€™s life right now? Purpose to do what you can to meet the need.
Day 29: Loveâ€™s motivation
The Dare: Before seeing your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.Â Whether it comes easy for you, say â€œI love youâ€ then express love to them in some tangible way. Then thank God for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person unconditionally.
Day 30: Love brings unity
The Dare: Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse.Â Pray that he will do the same for them.
Day 31: Love and marriage
The Dare: If there is an issue about the biblical command to â€œleaveâ€ your parents, confess it to your spouse and resolve to make it right. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage your priority over any other human relationship.
Day 32: Love meets sexual needs
The Dare: Initiate sex with your spouse today.Â Do it in a way that honors what your spouse needs from you.Â Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you.
Day 33: Love completes each other
The Dare: Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today you desire them to be included in your upcoming decisions and that you need their perspective and counsel. If youâ€™ve ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask for forgiveness.
Day 34: Love celebrates godliness
The Dare: Find a recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way, and verbally commend them for this.
Day 35: Love is accountable
The Dare: Find a marriage mentorâ€”someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel counseling is needed, make the appointment.
Day 36: Love is Godâ€™s Word
The Dare: Commit to reading the Bible every dayâ€¦If your spouse is willing, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the rock.
Day 37: Love agrees in prayer
The Dare: Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together.
Day 38: Love fulfills dreams
The Dare: Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.
Day 39: Love endures
The Dare: Spend some time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what.
Day 40: Love is a covenant
The Dare: Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. If appropriate, you can make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in Godâ€™s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.
The last days of this challenge focused on intimacy, not only physically but spiritually as well. When you invite Jesus into your marriage, something miraculous happens…. You’ll find joy, peace and confidence in your relationship. Knowing God and His order will help you know just how much each other’s role is in the marriage. When you know your role, you can focus on your strengths and together can work out the fine details into making your Godly marriage work for you. God’s Word is the structure/foundation to a honorable marriage. Trust His Word and live it out daily and watch the Lord do the rest. God wants to use us to prove His Word when it says “what God joins together, let no man put usunder.”
Back to our regularly schedule posts! Last week was my 30th birthday and I just had to share the 30 things I’ve learned…but this week I am back to the 40 day Love Dare Challenge!
This week, I will recap Days 13 through 20. Now I have to admit, my Crimson friend arrived and she had my emotions all over the place! My husband caught the backend to it and I have been apologizing to him since Saturday!! But, let’s see what we SHOULD have learned this past week!
Day 13: Love fights fair
The Dare: Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagementâ€¦.resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
Obviously, Day 13 was a complete fail this week! I am learning to deal rationally while my Crimson friend is in town. I’ve been doing better but there is always room for improvement.
Day 14: Love takes delight
The Dare: Purposely neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project theyâ€™d really like to work on. Just be together.
This is actually funny to me because after our little spat, I’ve been trying to become more delightful and graceful to my husband. I blame Eve!!
Day 15: Love is honorable
The Dare: Choose a way to honor and respect your spouse that is above your normal routineâ€¦show your spouse that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.
A nice foot rub can put a smile on anyone’s face and doing so without your spouse asking is both surprising and honorable (especially after a fight!) Obviously, I’ve been rubbing feet all week!!
Day 16: Love intercedes
The Dare: Begin praying today for your spouseâ€™s heart.
I pray for my husband daily..even multiple times a day. Working outside of the home can be stressful for your spouse so go before God for them, it means more than you think!
Day 17: Love promotes intimacy
The Dare: Determine to guard your mateâ€™s secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you.Â Make them feel safe.
Intimacy is way more than sex. Intimacy is how you guard your husband’s heart and emotions. I’ve learned that even though my husband can be thick-skinned, he longs to be heard and feel wanted. Intimacy begins with a positive morning (for you non-morning people) and throughout the day!
Day 18: Love seeks to understand
The Dare: Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer.Â Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas youâ€™ve rarely talked about.Â Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.
Everyday I learn something new about my husband. Whether we want to admit it, we change quite often. Our standards indeed remain the same, but we may go about it a different way. communicating these differences and emotions matters in a marriage. I’m still learning to include my husband in my deepest thoughts even if its not that deep to him or vice versa!
Day 19: Love is impossible
The Dare: Look back over the dares from previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love? Ask him to show you where you stand with him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.
Day 20: Love is Jesus Christ
The Dare: Dare to take God at his word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray, â€œLord Jesus, I am a sinner. But you have shown your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and you have proven your power to save me from death by your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by your grace.â€
Wow!! Day 20 gives us the opportunity to get it right…do our first works over. Learning the source and example of true intimacy and relationship gives us all a foundation in our marriage. Have you repented for your shortcomings? As Paul states, we must die daily!
Ok people!! 20 days remain in the challenge!! Let’s do this!!
It’s Spring!!! Flowers are blooming…Earth is awaken and refreshed!! So.. this is the perfect opportunity to awaken and revive our marriages! With so many diseased relationships, it is time to remedy them with a interactive challenge. The Love Dare Challenge!! Now, we can discuss all the mess we see in social media concerning marriages, but why spend our focus and time on the obvious and make that time useful in building marriages?!?
If you are not familiar with the Love Dare, well, it was made popular by a Christian movie called, Fireproof.
In the movieÂ FIREPROOF, The Love Dare covers the topics of relationship parasites (addictions like pornography and gambling) and unconditional love. The Love Dare devotional book expands and extends the topics addressed in the filmâ€™s plot to include such vital issues as:
(Click HERE to purchase the book)
This week (Monday through Friday) the focus was as follows:
Day 1- Â do not say anything negative to your spouse. Great or small. We tend to nag or complain without thought and much of the time, it is miserable to always assume that all your spouse do is speak or think negative about everything. Replace your nagging with compliments….
Day 2- Â Do an unexpected gesture of kindness. Letting your spouse know you care in the smallest way..whether it’d be washing the car, ironing their clothes or even a note in their lunch will go a long way. I know from experience my husband loves to have me visit him for lunch at his job. It brightens his day!
Day 3- Â Buy something for your spouse. From aÂ greeting card to a box of chocolate or if you’re fancy, an outfit from his/her favorite store!
Day 4- Contact your spouse during the day to check on them. I love to call my husband throughout the day. If you use discernment, you will know when to call them when they need it the most.
Day 5- Now this is where it gets a bit hands on…..Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them. Can you do it?!?! After much conversation and care, this will become second nature to just communicate!
I’m taking the challenge. Not to say my marriage is in turmoil, it is to say I care and want more out of my relationship… a revival. Same with having a relationship with God, there is always room to grow and know more about the Father. He has so much to reveal to us if we would only commune with Him…God created relationships AKA marriages and they are a reflection ( or should be) of our relationship/intimacy with Him.
Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright Â© 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.
Well, looks like the church is riding the fence on this one! Before I share my thoughts about this subject, I will begin withÂ thisÂ questionÂ from Megan Good that was posted on her Instagram account….
“Why would anyone ever want to be a Christian when you see how they treat each other?â€
On a promotional tour of the couples’ new book on abstinence before marriage called “The Wait” on Valentine’s Day, a woman who was apart of the audience had a “question” during the Q & A portion of the meet. This was her comment:
â€œThis is not offensive, but I was at the grocery store and I looked at a newsstand and I saw you, and you had your breast showing,â€ one woman in the audience said.Â â€œSo, so, I wasnâ€™t gonna come here, I wasnâ€™t, but the Lord brought me here to see you. Youâ€™re beautiful. You are a beautiful young woman, and your testimony is awesome. Itâ€™s awesome. Amen. Amen! And the Lord let me come and push past the judgment … because you have to make sure what you say and what you do match up, you understand?Â So we gonna cover up, right?â€
I’m pretty sure everyone’s jaw dropped to hear this, including Meagan Good. Her husband came to her defense as any husband who love their wife would do…but he lost me at “She can wear whatever she want in the Name of Jesus!” Ummm, sir…. Tis not true! The bible speaks clearly about modesty.
â€œI desireâ€¦that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godlinessâ€”with good works.â€œ 1 Timothy 2:8-10
While what you wear can speak volumes about you, it can easily be mistaken as well…modesty, I believe, is the state of one’s heart. Perfect example… A young lady comes to church with skin tight clothes and breasts exposed. What is your first thought? Perhaps she’s a prostitute. Maybe, but she came to the church! The church isn’t for perfect people..AND the church isn’t a fashion show. The church is for the lost to be found…the church is for conviction and comfort… if you are apart of the Body of Christ, then you too are the church. In my honest opinion (there wouldn’t be no other way), I believe the audience member was out of line. No way was it acceptable to start off your comment about someone with “This is not offensive”… you shut their ears at the first sentence! God is not out of order and that was completely out of order. I know Meagan Good is human and she professes Christ and by the looks of it (or that was her acting skills at work LOL), but I truly believe she is struggling with the topic anyway. It’s us typical church folk who is quick to judge. No one knows the heart of the person or what they’re truly going through unless you are transparent. But how do you reach someone like Meagan Good? Honestly, I don’t know, but God has people assigned to certain people. The statement the audience member made was quite distasteful especially because she threw God in the mix. GOD IS ALL ABOUT ORDER.Â But check this out…. look at what Good as on during this engagement and every other church engagement they attend… she’s fully clothed. She knows enough not to wear what she would wear on the Red Carpet or Movie Premieres to the church. Maybe if she had everything out, maybe something should have been said.
Well, back to her husband (Devon Franklin). In every way, he was right to defend his wife and I believe he spoke out of anger. There’s no way he can fix his mouth to believe that his wife can dress how she want IN THE NAME OF JESUS…but in the culture we live in, it just might be okay in his eyes. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with dressing up for your husband, but there is a place for that as my BFF in my head (Ayesha Curry) stated before.
But in defense to all who is struggling in the heart, God sees you. I was once ridiculed because of what I wore to church. By no means was I revealing, but the color I decided to wear was too much for the saints. I came to church with a red skirt that was pleated in the back…SO FREAKING CUTE…but IT WAS RED! Since when the color red was ungodly? I was highly offended, but because I was secured in my relationship with Jesus, I didn’t let it bother me…but who is to say it won’t bother the next girl who wears red? Or cleavage is revealed? She may turn away from God, never to experience the love He has for her because a “Saint” got to her first.
We must examine our motives and think before we speak… Christian or not!
So in closing… LOL… Modesty is not about your clothes only, but about your attitude and behavior. You can be fully dressed, head to pinky toe and be jacked up!
Modesty is about who you worship. Wow!! Deep right?!?! The God we serve is about us reflecting him, being an example… holiness..fruit bearers, seed sowers…being holy in your communication and entertainment.
Modesty is true freedom. Culture sees it as opposite, but when you truly think about it, the world is wrapped around the idea of freedom as self-love and expression as in our body is art, explore it, show it off. True freedom is being sober minded and respectable and not being a sexual nuisance or a slave to sin.
The next time you see a young girl in whom you discern is dealing with matters of the heart, talk to her. Don’t be so quick to condemn her…everyone needs the love of God.Â Conviction will always cause change, but when you put yourself in it, you’ll take the love and discipline away from the only One who brings change.
All you have to do is be the willing to put your thoughts and opinion of others aside, God will definitely do the rest.
Growing up I was under the impression that life was about the bigger and better things of life. Looking back, I realize the pressure to appear to be something you’re not. People will go in debt to look the part. Is it worth it?
Now that I have my own family now and our own expenses, we choose to live within our means well enjoying our lives professionally and leisurely. Living less doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the means to live, but you choose to live without the stress of living check to check. Get it?
For a few years now, my focus has been on my family and being debt free… Â from mortgage to a piece of mind! It is easy to get wrapped up in the latest trend and way of life, but when you are focused on your goals, no trend can even tempt you! Don’t get me wrong a nice pair of shoes always makes a girl smile, but it should not be the source of your happiness.
I want my life to be full of adventure and thrills… risks and rewards. How can this happen if I’m living like the next person?! As Christians, we are to live a purposeful life. A life that is a refection of God’s love, grace and favor! When people see you, do they see Christ or the things you throw in their face? My hope is I’m seen “naked” and completely “transparent”. No one should ever question who I belong to or what I represent.
When you see me, I hope you see patience. Patience is a very complicated and “offensive” word for this day in age. We live in the express or gimme now society. No one waits for anything! My husband and I have a goal to build our first home (with our own hands) before age 33! This is unbelievable to many and some even have to offend their reason why they did something different. One person once said, To each its own” and I fond this to be valid. We never compared ourselves with the next couple, but being the light God has called us to be, some people feel the need to validate themselves. What people fail to realize, our decisions does not affect yours. You want the suburban life? Go for it!! We are godly proud of you! You want the most popular gadget?! Yessss, werk it out! But for me and my house, if we want those things, we believe we rather do it off of impulse or for popularity, but to fulfill our OWN goals! And in doing so, patience and hearing from God plays a huge role in our lives.
When you see me, I hope you see ingenuity. For the past year, we have been transitioning into a homestead life. Growing our own fruits, experimenting with farm animals, and farm fresh eggs, the works! Who would have thought that a couple of city kids would love the country life so much!! From big city contracts to building chicken coops and pig pens, who would have thought?! My hope is that people are encouraged to live out their dream even if it’s not very popular to do.
When you see me, I hope you see confidence.Â Being confident in your decisions can make you stand apart. People’s opinions begin to flow into your personal space. Once you are secure i your goals and livelihood, their opinions will not matter. When we decided to follow God and move to Texas, we had people praying against us…LITERALLY!! People told us they were praying against our hast decision. When we moved into a mobile home, we were told to just buy a home and worry about building one later. That may have worked for someone else, but not us! We are confident in our decision…even in our struggle.
When you have your life goals together, everything else doesn’t matter. Living a life of less is so relieving. Less drama, less negativity, less stress. You would think everyone’s goal is to be with less of these things, but some actually thrive on it. To each its own.
Actually, during this time of living within our means, I’ve been able to really enjoy nature. Living in the country has taught me to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. It has also taught me to be a better steward of the things we are given. Too often we are concerned about artificial and man made fashions of this world and are easily wrapped up in fantasy that we lose focus of the things that matter…God, family and relationships. This Less is more journey is focused on those three things. I want all that God has in store for me…the true riches of life. One of my favorite songwriters (Jimmy Needham) sung,
“Â Why are we so convinced a bigger audience
Is simply common sense to have?
Maybe success is measured best
By nothing less then our obedience”
If we put our focus and our energies to the Source of our being, we will enjoy the promises of God. If we stayed committed to God, our obedience, patience and long-suffering will be rewarded. What a way to be!!!!
Are you on a Less is more journey? What ways are you freeing yourself to enjoy the bounty of God’s promises for your life?
A word I thought Â I would have never said a few years ago. Yes, I am married with a handful of babies, but you wouldn’t catch me in any such conversation. But, now is a different story! I grew up where no one talked about it, but EVERYONE did “IT”. My eyes have also see things that scarred me, but that is only because it wasn’t shown any respect or class. I am talking about sex. God created sex ONLY for one man and his wife to enjoy and to create. But why are CHRISTIANS so afraid to speak up about it?! Sex was created for married Christians! The world is unafraid and bold when it comes to sexuality, but the people whom sex was created for is silent and embarrassed. Well, not anymore!!
I was 19 years old when I got married and up until recently, I was afraid to engage into conversation about sex, even with my own husband! Sad, I know! There are a lot of people who are stepping into marriage blindly because someone was too embarrassed to be real with them. SEX IS NOT A BAD WORD!! Sex is a very spiritual and submissive act between husband and wife that has been abused by the world AND ignored by the church!
In marriage, sex is for creating but it is also for pleasure. Sex should not be a chore….it should be something you enjoy intimately with you husband or wife. BUT do not expect it to be your only form of expression for your spouse. Have date nights, text each other or write notes! Yes, people still do that…I still do that!… Surprise visits at the job. These small tokens help to enhance your marriage. Intimacy does not begin in the bedroom. Intimacy is a relationship. You can’t KNOW your husband or wife unless you know them. Same with Jesus; He is longing to spend time with you and to know you. You can’t know Him without a relationship!
Speaking of the bible, have you ever sat down and read/listen Song of Solomon? Oh my my!!! Talking about deep! Give it a go! Now i will not give you my interpretation of the book, but I will express ways to create sparks in your relationship with your husband or wife in the next post to this series!