When Love Dares…
I’m a sucker for self-help books such as “The Happiness Project,” “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Why Men Love Bitches” and the likes… Being the control-freak, I always tend to follow guidelines… The first month of January’s Happiness Project was to:
Go to sleep earlier
Toss, restore, organize
Tackle a nagging task
Act more energetic
Frankly speaking, it’s easier doing it for yourself. YOURSELF.
Why am I saying this? Last year, right after my first year of marriage, I thought of reading the “The Love Dares: 40 Dares” ebook, inspired by the movie “Fireproof” . I challenged myself to do the 40-day love dares for my husband without him knowing.
Day 1 started with Love is Patient
“Be completely humble and gentle; be
patient, bearing with one another in love.”
The dare tasked me to demonstrate patience by saying nothing negative to my husband.
Sometimes girls (our hormones) have a tendency to say something that we end up regretting. Day 1 was really a struggle because I used to always nag my husband even with simplest matter as to which restaurant to eat. So that day, we were already late for an event, then while on the road, he said that we need to go back because he left his wallet. I felt like scolding him!!! But I held my tongue. Whew. Rather than being my usual demanding self, the Holy Spirit helped me settle down and show compassion. Love indeed will inspire you to become a patient spouse.
Day 2 is Love is Kind
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted,
forgiving each other, just as God in
Christ also has forgiven you.”
Day 2 dared me to do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
The house helper is usually the one who prepares our morning breakfast. That day, I woke up early and decided to Google unique breakfast in bed ideas. With much confidence, I made him breakfast. He was pleasantly surprised when he woke up :). But what’s good with these love dare series is that you have to still continue (of course) your first day and so on.
Day 3 is Love is not selfish
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly
love; give preference to one another in
For the third day, along with saying nothing negative to my husband, the dare was to buy him something that says, “I was thinking of you today.”
I met my friends that day in the mall, and thought of buying him new set of briefs in red, pink and purple. Not that grand though but I set aside my shopping spree for a little gesture of selflessness. You know, sacrificing a pair of stilettos for a set of briefs. When he received it, he was super happy and feeling extra romantic at the same time.
Day 4 is Love is thoughtful
“How precious also are Your thoughts to
me. . . .How vast is the sum of them! If I
should count them, they would
outnumber the sand.”
The 4th dare was, contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.
Normally, after marriage, we take for granted the little actions to be thoughtful with each other. I am guilty of that. It was a great feeling when I called him during his working hours just to say.. “Wala lang, I just miss you” and butterflies started flying again in my tummy. Sometimes it takes just a little gesture to bring back the spark. For husbands, never stop pursuing your wife. And always look at our husbands the way we looked at them on our first dates.
Day 5 is Love is not rude
“He who blesses his friend with a loud
voice early in the morning, it will be
reckoned a curse to him.”
Fifth day, fifth dare. 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 or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.
I told myself this is easy. So I asked him. And my ears couldn’t believe what I just heard. In denial maybe? Selfishness? I knew deep inside I was a nagger, but hearing it straight from his mouth was so hurtful. He asked me to always say it nicely, when I want something instead of nagging him. He said he will do it anyway. The dare required three things, but he’s just on his first thing, and I easily snapped again. Instead of humbling my heart and accepting it, I started justifying it and ended up with an argument, which defeats the purpose of the dare. We, women, needs affection, let’s always be reminded that our husbands need respect.
… And just like any other humans… I fail. Yes, I failed on the 5th dare. Remember my introduction, it’s easier doing it for yourself… and it takes a lot of LOVE… unconditional love when you do it for others or in this case for your better half. And just like all the marriages, we’re a work in progress.
I’d like to share with you the guiding principles to practice etiquette in your marriage that I learned from the ebook.
1. Guard the Golden Rule. Treat your mate the same way you want to be treated.
2. No double standards. Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers.
3. Honor requests. Consider what your husband or wife already asked you to do or not do. If in doubt, then ask.
What I’ve learned? No self-help books can perfect you and your marriage. Marriage is hard work. It should be a constant love dare. Yes, there will be days that I will fail. But I am anchoring my marriage on a rock that will never fail… Jesus. The Lord gives me the courage and faithfulness to be the wife He calls me out to be. And I’m fortunate and glad as well to be in the industry where I’m always reminded of the imperfect beauty of marriage through God’s word, priests/ pastors homily, godparents’ advice and the testimony of each couple that I was able to shoot and serve.
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