[Editor’s note: The author explains her family’s Lenten commitment to take the Love Dare here . Regular updates will be posted all through Lent. Click here to catch up on previous posts. Due to CE staff scheduling, we will not be able to keep up with these posts daily, but we will make sure they are all posted, even though it means they run past Lent. ]
Get rid of any addictions in our lives that hinder our relationships with each other.
“Love always protects” (1 Corinthians 13:70).
Although we have dealt with addiction in our families or origin and our family of procreation, we were challenged today to apply this dare to our current lives. Then we thought of addiction in a new way. It doesn’t have to be the traditional thinking of addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling or pornography, currently these are not issues in our home, but we can be addicted to negative behaviors. Let’s call them habits, rather than addictions.
I, myself, am addicted to my short-temper. I give in to outbursts, when I should work harder at restraining myself. One of my sons has a habit of always saying the last word. He will literally be muttering it under his breath, if he can’t say it out loud (because he was just reprimanded about it). My youngest daughter screams at the drop of a hat, and so on and so on.
Any addiction or bad habit takes a lot of work to overcome. The first step is realizing that YOU are the problem. My husband likes to tell a joke about a man who was a drunk. He says, “If you had my life, you’d drink too.” The irony of course, is that the man made his own situation worse by drinking! I used to say, “The kids made me so mad today.” My grandpa would always remind us that no one can “make” you mad. You allow yourself to get angry and respond inappropriately. While we can not be responsible for some of the things that happen to us, we do have the responsibility of controlling how we react to those things.
The next step is to look for the things that trigger your bad habits. Once you recognize them, you have more power over them. Third, get help if you can’t change these things alone.
Lord, we all struggle with some negative aspect of our personality. We inevitably hurt the ones we love, help us to change these behaviors.