The Family Love Dare Journal: Day Three — Love is Not Selfish

[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.]

Today’s dare is to invest time, money and/or energy into members of our family.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Rom 12:10

We are only on day three and I’m already feeling a little disheartened. I don’t see much change yet, even in myself. I thought we had learned this lesson a few years ago when we cared for my dying father-in-law. I saw my family blossom as they put his needs first; the television show he wanted to watch was put on, the foods he wanted to eat were prepared, time was spent as he wanted to or needed to. We even glossed over his grumpiness and ignored his temper in order to do what was best for him. How did we forget these lessons so quickly? Does someone need to lay dying before this is important to us?!

I did a small kindness for my husband, but I was surprised at how I tried to reason my way out of it. All I did was bring him lunch, because he had to work late, but I tried to convince myself that I should stay home and clean the house because that would mean more to him. (He’s a guy. Of course he would prefer food!)

The kids seem to struggle with this dare too. The “littles” found things to do (one made a picture for daddy and another did an extra chore), but the older ones seem to ignore today all together. Are we really burning out after only three days?

Lord, help us to grow during these forty days without needing a catastrophe to be the catalyst. Let our motivation be love.

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  • Doris Rodriguez

    Ricky and Luke opened their presents but neither one of them have done Day 3 yet so I guess we are on hold … or we move on, and I am reluctant to do that. We had an emergency situation with my little shorky (Cuddles) that has deeply affected my focus and concentration so I think we’ll just wait a few days before continuing the Love Dare. It helped when I read the following in the Love Dare journal I got for Ricky: Don’t be discouraged if outside situations prevent you from accomplishing a specific dare. Just pick back up as soon as you can and proceed with the journey. This was music to my ears, and helped me relax and wait patiently for the right moment to continue.

    Do I really want what is best for my husband and my family? Well, of course, I do! To me this question is a no-brainer. I love Ricky and the boys and I want the very, very best for all of them.

    Do I want them to feel loved by me? Definitely!

    Do they believe I have their best interest in mind? As far as Ricky goes, probably not! He has had to come second so many times that he probably feels very left out and even overlooked at times. But a lot of times, this is his choice because he would rather stay home than go out. As far as the boys go, they resist my advice and motherly interference, but I think they know I have their best interest in mind.

    Do they see me as looking out for myself first? I’m not sure how to answer this one. I am a very, very selfish person and I am sure they know this … but they also see me going out of my way to help them and others when it really and truly counts, and even when it doesn’t. I think the best way to answer this question is that I pamper myself when I can because no one else does. I live in a household of four guys so sometimes it feels as if I am invisible and worthless, and definitely outnumbered.

    I have decided that we are going to move forward with the Love Dare, even if Ricky and Luke have not completed Day 3. It’s starting to become “all about the presents” I am supposed to get and I don’t want that to be my motivation to stay stagnant. So … onward and upward!

    Lord, help me to put my resentment and frustration behind me and focus on the days ahead. Help me to be a better wife and mother. Help me to focus on the needs of my husband before anything else. And please bring complete healing to Cuddles’ little eyes. Amen.