With the way this chapter is worded in the book, I'm guessing that a majority of people think like I do regarding these dares and marriage and a bunch of things. It's like that chapter was written directly to me. It almost should have been a letter addressed to me. Like the chapter talks about, I have been trying to muster up enough courage, strength, and stubbornness to force unconditional love to come out of me. So since I'm not the type to EVER quit, how am I supposed to just surrender everything to Jesus? Well, as with nearly everything else in my life, I had to make such a mess of it that I cannot salvage anything myself. I was in the pits of despair this morning, and read this chapter. I saw my need and Jesus is supplying it according to His word. Maybe for the first time, I can see my bride as Jesus sees her, His beloved. So, I prayed for Him to heal my broken heart and to show me how to do this thing called Love. No chances yet, but there's a lot of days left. All I can say is that I was broken-hearted and I asked for Him to fill me with His Love and to make me into a vessel of that Love. Something is different. yes, the hurt is still there, but I can feel it leaving. Love keeps no record of wrongs, and the hurt that goes along with them is being chased out by his Love. I hope I described this in a somewhat understandable way, but it's nearly impossible to put into words.
And since I posted this morning, I've had an opportunity to try and share that Love with a dear friend who needs to experience it. I went one step further than this dare talks about, though. I prayed for discernment, and I got some, but not about myself. With everything that has been going on with my wife, one of the first things I thought of was spiritual warfare. That being said, I became my bride's ally. All of this was without her knowledge, mind you. But I started praying for many things in my marriage as they came to mind. I claimed my marriage for Christ. I do not know what the fullness of time will bring, but I DO know that with my earlier admission, God's perfect forgiveness is being felt in my life. The Enemy is attempting to sabotage me by throwing some reminders of negative feelings and throwing up some roadblocks, but as the Bible says, Resist the DEvil and he will flee from you. I've been resisting and praying for a chance to share this Love. Not many opportunities to share it with my bride, yet, but I believe that will change eventually.
You are now allowing Him to mold you. You are now trusting Him in the way He wants.
Now, here is the next step. By doing these things and allowing them to happen you are now a testimony to others around you especially your wife. That is a big big thing.
Praise God.... Always.
Aaron, that's exactly what I was telling my wife last night as I re-read Day 18 and read Day 19. It's as if this was written specifically to me!
This book is absolutely amazing, it's like everyone that reads it has the same reaction. The Lord has put us here, in this place, to receive His love so we can project that to our spouse. It's really hard for me to hear from my wife that she highly doubts we have a chance together. I'm resigned to give myself up to Jesus and let Him do His work on my heart.
Hang in there dude, it will all work out for the best in the end!
But not only to project this understanding to our wives.... But to project that understanding in our relationship with Him.