The dare for today hearkens back to Day 10’s dare to do something ‘unexpected’ like wash the car or do a load of laundry and Day 2 “Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness” (p.9). It is…
What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can ou run an errand? Give a back rub or a foot massage? Is there housework that you could help with? Choose a gesture that says ‘I Cherish You’ and do it with a smile.
Well, honestly, I do a lot of these things as a matter of course—you know I do. The one thing that I could help with is laundry (a little more). I can’t stand doing too much laundry!
Loving Your Wife = Loving Yourself
The beauty of Day 11 isn’t in the dare. It’s in the reminders in the devotional itself. A key point comes from Ephesians 5:28-29: “he who loves his own wife loves himself…”. On either side of that excerpt, Paul points out that loving our wives is like loving our own bodies.
The upshot is that if I love you, then I’m taking care of me. If I don’t love you, then I’m doing the equivalent of smoking 2 packs a day, eating 13 Twinkies, and drinking a fifth of anything—Coffee, Coke, or bourbon.
The writers of The Love Dare put it like this:
When you mistreat your mate, you are also mistreating yourself. Think about it. Your lives are now interwoven together. Your spouse cannot experience joy or pain, blessing or cursing, without it also affecting you. So when you attack your mate [I assume verbally here], it is like attcking your own body. (p.52)
The challenge is that when I am not loving you like I should, then I’m eating mental and spiritual junk food. When I love you, it’s like fruit and veggies to the soul.
Trade-In Vs. Nursing Back to Health
The lie these days is that if you’re not doing what I want or if you’re acting in a way that brings out a bad mood in me, then I should make you change or, to use the Day 11 metaphor, ‘turn you in’ for a new model. The chapter opens with a story about a guy who takes his car for repairs. Instead of repairing the car, he trades it in for a new vehicle.
The metaphor that the writers say should be more like marriage was a hand injury metaphor: If a guy hurts his hand at work, he won’t simply cut it off. He’ll do what he can to nurture that hand back to health. That’s how we handle pain, suffering, even injury in marriage–by cherishing and nurturing whatever wound is there.
What I need to do is check myself. If something is bringing out a foul reaction in me, then I need to see what my glitch is. If you or I have a valid gripe, then we simply need to learn to fight fair, clean, and lovingly.
Back to the dare: The need I met was, well, we went on a date. My parents kept the kids (their idea from a week ago, admittedly). We had Mexican, a margarita, a wonderful walk through downtown Roswell. It was a beautiful summer night.