Lenten "Love Dare" ~ Day 6

Yesterday was a tough dare. I was surprised by my husbands answers. I am a people pleaser. I just want to be accepted and liked. Can you say PRIDE! This is something that has hindered me throughout the years. My husband had nothing but praise for how I treat him. He did however point out how my desire to please others is so strong, that at times, I put him and our family aside in order to meet their expectations.

WOW! That was a light bulb moment. There should never be a time where my family is put aside in such a manner. I must remember that I am to serve God, then my husband and family, then everyone else. That order must be maintained if I am to have peace.

I have struggled with my own unrealistic perfectionist expectations and those of others my whole life. Two weeks ago during the YM retreat, it became very clear to me during afternoon prayer, that I needed to hand it over to God. Only He could bring order to my disordered perception of what people expected from me and what I expected from myself. These were my expectations, not God's or anyone elses. But mine alone. I need to let them go and listen to how God needs me to love and serve Him, through my family and others. Let go, Let God!

Day 6
Love is not irritable
"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city." Proverbs 16:32

"The Bible can help you avoid unhealthy stress. It teaches you to let love guide your relationships so you aren't caught up in unnecessary arguments (Col 3:12-14). To pray through your anxieties instead of tackling them on your own (Phil. 4:6-7). To delegate when you are overworked (Exodus 18:17-23). To avoid overindulgence (Proverbs 25:16)."

"It also exhorts you to take a "Sabbath" vacation day every week for worship and rest. This strategically allows you time to recharge, refocus, and add breathing room or margin to your weekly schedule."

"Today's Dare:
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life."

The above italicised text comes from "The Love Dare" by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
(I highly encourage you to purchase this book. I am only giving little snippets each day. The book is so rich with scripture driven advice and counsel.)

Irritability. Stress. Impatience. All of these lead to unpleasant confrontations with our spouses and family members. Balance is something that challenges many of us in our daily lives. With calendars full, laundry piling up and housework undone, the children running wild, and that overwhelmed feeling in the pit of your stomach growing by the second, we are ripe for disaster.

This exercise is an opportunity to examine where we fall short. We set ourselves up for angry confrontations. Why? We need to strive for that balance. Prayer is the answer. It allows us to examine how God wishes our day to go. What are our priorities? How do we manage our homes? What do we need to change to achieve peace and order?

This Lent we have the opportunity to examine all of these things in the light of God's word. So remain vigilant in prayer and study of His word. He will provide the answers we seek. Write those lists and be honest. It's the only way to move forward toward peace.