Day 23 in my occasional work through The Love Dare
It has been since Februrary 3 (almost 2 months ago) that I posted Love Dare Day 22. The authors are starting to meddle, so maybe that’s why I’ve been dragging my feet.
I know the point is to go through the book in 40 days, just like Kirk Cameron did in Fireproof. As a matter of fact, I think today is the day where the Cameron character took a baseball bat to his computer monitor. (or was it Day 24?). I’ve only seen that bit of cinematic genius once, so I’m not sure.
Day 23 urges us to protect the marriage against its enemies, listing a four categories of ‘enemies.’ It then charges husbands and wives to fulfill their roles as protectors of the marriage.
- Harmful Influences: TV, Internet, and even work or hobbies are all included. What things keep us from being clued into each other? What things send us unhelpful messages? What prevents us from spending quality time together?
- Unhealthy Relationships: Obviously, emotional and physical affairs fit into this category. Also, though, watch out for friendships or even family relationships that are toxic. Are any of these relationships damaging to the marriage… or to productive life in general?
- Shame: This one is interesting. Marriage exposes our personal emotional and character defects. The question is whether we expose these weaknesses in public or do we protect our mate? I would take it a step further: It doesn’t need to be public. Do we use each other’s weaknesses as ammunition or to turn the knife?
- Parasites: I’m not sure the difference between this and Harmful Influences, but the authors focus in more on ‘addictions’ here. What addiction—gambling, drugs, shopping, food, porn—steals the heart away from the mate.
Those are the four categories. If you were reading this right now, which would you say is hurting our marriage? Or are we pretty good?
I’m so thankful that you are kind to me in public. You don’t shame me. I appreciate that so much. So many men and women call out their spouses to others. You don’t, even when you probably could.
We’re also trying to cut back or at least put boundaries around ‘Harmful influences’. We are cutting back on TV and computer usage.
In the end, the authors encourage the men to take the lead in this battle. I know sometimes I wait for you to move, even if I’d been thinking about leading in a certain direction. For instance, I’ve thought we needed to stop watching TV while we eat our dinner (you know, when it’s just the two of us).
I don’t force the issue. I probably should. That would give us some awesome communication time.
My heart around this Love Dare Day 22: Be like a military scout. Be on the lookout. Nip threats in the bud. Be proactive in building helpful influences and strengthening us against parasites and helping us to grow out of our shame and weakness.
I pray when you read this that you will confirm: Yes, honey, you were awesome at that!
I love you and want to protect you, us, and our family insomuch as I have power to do so!
***If you’re randomly reading this and want to explore some of these ideas further, I recommend Andy Stanley’s Staying in Love series. Depending on when you come across this, they should be available to watch online.