A Love Dare: “Say Nothing Negative to Your Spouse”
From the book, The Love Dare, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
Ironically, this issue of words is the first dare, and one of my weakest areas of sin. I am critical and verbal. These two characteristics can be a harmful combination- especially in a marriage. The day I attempted this dare began well with a deliberate drive to speak only positive words to my husband. I believe I was working off the “Idle Hands” theory, but rather avoiding an “Idle Mouth.” For a while, it felt wonderful to shower my husband with sweet, honey-dripped words, but then something I didn’t expect happened. He said hurtful words to me; this is not his area of weakness so it came as quite a shock.
What was this; the ultimate test? Apparently, it was.
As my emotions boiled over, I restrained my tongue and lips to claim victory over the unwanted verbal warfare. To honor my dare, I kept my mouth shut, said nothing, and cried. This got his attention. He apologized, and I was able to explain why his words were so hurtful. His forgiveness was swift and his attitude turned gentle- yet another lesson I needed to learn. Unfortunately, my husband cries far less than I do, and I imagine he swallows his pain in bitter silence when I attack with words.
This dare led to a situation where I became the victim of my most common mishap in love. The tables turned, and in the moment I realized, this is how I speak to my husband. I throw criticism and condescending statements out like yesterday’s trash. I am unloving to my spouse- the man I am required to live out the gospel with, and yet day to day I am unaffected by my sin. It was only until I was attempting righteous behavior were my true colors shown through my husband’s reflection of my all too common actions.
Any time I learn a divine lesson, I am engaged in the most unexpected way. I guess that’s why they are divine- and effective. Otherwise, I would have just given myself the praise for conquering a dare in love and become filled with blind pride. I’m thankful the Lord opened my eyes to the destructive nature of my words. In this love dare and in my marriage, I am now certain that the Lord intervenes, loves, and redeems.