“Love believes the best” or “thinks no evil” (1 Cor 13:5) always sounded to me as if love requires sticking our head in the sand and pretending we don’t see anything wrong in the person, place, thing, etc. that we’re trying to love.
The writers of The Love Dare indicate that it might be more of a focus thing.
They describe two metaphorical rooms in our hearts: The Appreciation Room and the Depreciation Room. One has kind words and phrases written all over, describing the good qualities of our spouses. The other room has phrases and words that describe the things that bother or irritate us about our spouse.
The question: In which room do I spend most of my time?
Do I linger in the appreciation room and focus on the gifts present in my wife, plotting how to surprise her with acts of kindness or words of encouragement?
Or Do I prop my feet up in the ‘depreciation’ room and plot my zingers and make my cases and justify any ill feelings or bad habits I allow myself to indulge in?
Believing the best means that I practice focusing on the good stuff. Lord knows I’m toast if my wife focused on the things in my life that bug her. (I’m temporarily suspending the use of second person ‘you’).
I was supposed to have written out two lists. One has phrases and words that could be found in the good room. The other has attributes that I might plaster up in th bad room. They are now hidden away in a secret place, per the instructions on page 34.
The second part of the dare: Pick a positive attribute from the first list and thakn your spouse for having this characteristic.
My pick was her awesome skill at finding fun things for our kids to do. It’s so awesome to get random pics during the day of our kids at a park or a story time or doing a craft. I’m so not good at that stuff (but she does inspire me to pull something out of a hat on a Saturday when she’s gone).
Lesson Learned (back to second person—i.e. ‘you’ as in my wife, who is supposed to be the future audience for this blog):
This dare helps me focus on the things that are such gifts in you. Back to Day 6, I notice when I’m stressed or selfish, that I tend toward the depreciation room because, well, it’s easy to justify laziness out of that room. But that’s uncool. You are so awesome in so many ways. I want to be the person in your life that encourages you in those things.
Day 8 Prep: Love is not jealous. I’m supposed to set fire to the negative list, and focus on being your biggest fan! Celebrate your victory today! Share with you some gladness about a recent success.