Love Dare Day Six: Love is Not Irritable

[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.]

On day six, we focused on making lists of the things that we have negative reactions to and how we could react in a more positive way.

“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.

This dare will certainly take me months to do. Writing the list was not difficult: the noise in our house, kids’ messy rooms, the family not noticing or appreciating my hard work and undoing it all…. These are all triggers for me. There is a saying that when you are tired, hungry or sick you are more likely to fall into bad behaviors. I think this applies to most of us, but I always tell my kids that once you have recognized bad patterns in yourself you must work to overcome them! That is easier said than done.

At this point I can see everyone trying to change, but we are still struggling. We are not perfect, so we cannot do the dare perfectly. Certainly there has been an increase in kindness around here. Praise God!! My husband has been an absolute inspiration to me. My daughter and I have the flu and he has been straightening up (this after working 12-15 hour days), he has run out to the store for us and this morning I woke to find all the dishes from breakfast done for the second day in a row! It is astonishing how I feel more loved and valued from these acts of kindness. I expected to find myself changing toward my family (as I carried out the dare), however, I did not anticipate how positive being the recipient of the dare would make me feel! I am learning to appreciate my family in new ways. I am moving from feeling constantly annoyed to grateful.

If you are struggling with a difficult family member, I would recommend getting the Love Dare book, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, and silently carrying out the dare on them. If my own reaction is indicative of the normal results it could prove life-changing.

Lord, I would like to thank you for my family and for all the effort they put into being good family members. Help me not to overlook the everyday graces and kindness they bring into my life.

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  • Doris Rodriguez

    TODAY’S DARE: Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list below of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

    I get irritated and offended easily, but I also forgive and forget quickly and easily. Unfortunately, I often use Ricky as my sounding board or my steam release, and this isn’t fair to him at all. I can definitely turn sour under pressure and minor problems can yield major reactions. I am really going to have to work at being a calming breeze and a flower among the thistles. LOL

    The older I get, the more affected by stress I get. I just can’t seem to juggle as many things or people as I used to and this can be frustrating. Also, I don’t remember as well and I certainly get confused more readily. But I also know that a lot of my irritation stems from my selfish nature because I want things my way all the time. Why can’t the whole world revolve around me???? Right? Wrong!

    Lord, help me to not be so selfish all the time. Help me to see the members of my family as people in their own right, with dreams and pressures and goals. Help me to be more patient and calm under pressure and stress. Amen. +++