Love Dare: Day 1; Love Is Patient

Who’s ready to do a love dare?

This is the new journey I have been talking about! At the end of November I saw the movie Fireproof & it was one of those movies that shook me up & stuck with me for days afterwards. In fact, it’s still hanging with me. My marriage is not in trouble the way the marriage in the movie was. Not by a long shot. We’ve got a pretty good thing goin’. But there are areas that need some attention. Just like any marriage of 16 years, things have gone a bit stale. Our kid’s lives have taken over ours, day to day work has made us tired & has us stuck in a boring routine. I decided we needed a boost. After watching the movie, I thought the Love Dare would be a fun thing to try. If it works to save a failing marriage, it can surely work to breathe life back into a dull one, right?

Our 1st Christmas.      Dec. 1988

Our 1st Christmas.
Dec. 1988

So here I go. I am going to do the Love Dare challenges for the next 40 days. My husband, MKB from here on out, does not know I am doing this, so SSSSHHH! I want this to be my little gift to him. He has been such a wonderful husband & father, so I want to give back to him. I haven’t always been the best wife. I let hormones get the best of me & take it out on poor MKB. Last year my goal was to stop doing that. I did ok, but not great. This year I’m going to try harder and these love dares are just the thing to help me get jump started. Writing about them here will keep me accountable!

Dare #1:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.

Love Is Patient. 

I am not. MKB certainly knows this. I can’t wait for anything. I’ve tried working on this in the past, but have always failed. I work with kids all day long & I can be patient with them, but for some reason I can’t hold onto my patience when it comes to MKB. If he doesn’t do something I’ve asked right away, I start to get fidgety. Then comes the nagging. Then the anger. Ugh…ugly! It is very fitting that the 1st Love Dare challenge is to demonstrate patience, remain calm & do not say 1 negative thing to MKB today.

“Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief.” Yep. I’ll buy that. I am disappointed AND sad when I feel I’ve been ignored by MKB.

“It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.” Ouch. I have to control my emotions around MKB. It is my choice. Be patient, be calm, stay positive. I can do this! I’ll report back tomorrow with how day 1 went & will share day #2’s challenge.

Til next time, kids…wish me luck!

sjb

If you would like to do the Love Dare Challenge, you can find the book on Amazon.com. Here is the handy dandy link: The Love Dare.  I am in no way compensated for sharing this challenge or the book. I just want everyone to have the chance to be happy 🙂

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What Is Your Love Language?

Cover of "The 5 Love Languages: The Secre...

Cover via Amazon

What is YOUR love language? Or did you even know there was such a thing? I didn’t until my bible study group talked about it one day. Then ironically that same week, my daughter had taken a quiz at school over what her love language is. When a topic comes up multiple times within a short amount of time, I sit up and listen because it is obviously something God is wanting me to pay attention to.

I downloaded the book The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman to learn more about them. The 5 languages are affirmative words, physical touch, acts of service, receiving of gifts, and quality time.

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Our 1st picture together.
July 1988

I quickly discovered my love language is affirmative words. I like to hear praise for a job well done, I like to hear my husband tell me I’m pretty or that I look good in an outfit…basically if you compliment me, I am a happy girl. But I was surprised to find out I also respond to physical touch. Normally I am not a touchy feely person. But physical touch can be something as simple as a pat on the back, peck on the cheek or holding hands. I do like to hold hands! It’s been awhile since my husband and I held hands. When we were dating we constantly held hands. In the car, while walking in public, sitting on the couch together. But after we got married holding hands fell by the wayside and I don’t really know why.

There is a free quiz at 5lovelanguages.com that you can take to discover your love language. But don’t stop there! If you are looking to improve communication in your marriage, both of you should take the quiz, so you can both know how to communicate with each other better. I had my husband take the quiz last night and was surprised with his results! I was dead certain his main love language would be quality time. He wants do everything together. Since he works odd hours, he values his time with me…which is very sweet! So after taking the quiz myself, I figured his love language would be quality time, not physical touch. Some would say “duh, he’s a man, of course he likes physical touch!” But it’s not all about intimacy. Like I mentioned above, it’s more about holding hands, a hug when your spouse walks in the door, a  shoulder rub. My husband was missing the same thing I was…holding hands!

So how will I improve my communication with my husband when using words isn’t even part of his love language? Easy. Use less words! I tend to chatter too much. It’s a woman thing. We use 7000 words a day when our men can get by with only 2000. From now on when I want my husband’s attention I will reach for his hand, place my hand on his shoulder or something like that. When I just want to let him know I will miss him before I leave, I’ll give him a hug and a kiss goodbye. Less words, more physical expression of love.

And for me, my husband has agreed to talk to me in more affirmative words and maybe every once in awhile you’ll see us holding hands in public!

I’m excited that we have discovered something new about each other, even after 16 years of marriage and am anxious to see how much this improves our communication with each other!

Finding out our love languages was just step one of this new journey I am on. Tomorrow I’m going to share with you what I am doing on my own to be an even better wife than I was last year! So til next time, kids…

sjb