Day 1 of The Love Dare
"Love is Patient"
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing
with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2, NIV).
[I looked up the definitions of humble, gentle and
patient. Humble is "having a modest or low estimate of
one's own importance." The word that caught me there
is importance. I often feel that what I'm doing or
contributing is more than someone else's. I need to
work on that! Gentle is "being mild in temperament;
kind or tender." Patient is being "able to wait
without becoming annoyed or anxious; slow to lose
one's temper with irritating people or situations." I
realize that sometimes I am indeed able to wait, but
I'm not doing it without becoming annoyed. I may be
waiting, but I'm also fuming inside. I need to work on
Love works. It is life's most powerful motivator and
has far greater depth and meaning than most people
realize. It always does what is best for others and
can empower us to face the greatest of problems. We
are born with a lifelong thirst for love. Our hearts
desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen. Love
changes our motivation for living. Relationships
become meaningful with it. No marriage is successful
Love is built on two pillars that best define what it
is. Those pillars are patience and kindness. All other
characteristics of love are extensions of these two
attributes. And that's where your dare will begin.
Love will inspire you to become a patient person. When
you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive
way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger.
You choose to have a long fuse intead of a quick
temper. Rather than being restless and demanding, love
helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to
those around you. Patience brings an internal calm
during an external storm.
No one likes to be around an impatient person. It
causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and
regrettable ways. The irony of anger toward a wrongful
action is that it spawns new wrongs of its own. Anger
almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually
generates additional problems. But patience stops
problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip,
more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is
a deep breath. It clears the air. It stops foolishness
from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room. It
is a choice to control your emotions rather than
allowing your emotions to control you, and shows
discretion instead of returning evil for evil.
If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate,
or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger
is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If
so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.
Anger is usually caused with the strong desire for
something is mixed with disappointment or grief. You
don't get what you want and you start heating up
inside. It is often an emotional reaction that flows
out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil
Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn't rush to
judgment but listens to what the other person is
saying. Patience stands in the doorway where anger is
clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole
picture before passing judgment. The Bible says, "He
who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he
who is quick-tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29).
As sure as a lack of patience will turn your home into
a war zone, the practice of patience will foster peace
and quiet. "A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but
the slow to anger calms a dispute" (Proverbs 15:18).
Statements like these from the Bible book of Proverbs
are clear principles with timeless relevance. Patience
is where love meets wisdom. And every marriage needs
that combination to stay healthy.
Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be
human. It understands that everyone fails. When a
mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time
than they deserve to correct it. It gives you the
ability to hold on during the tough times in your
relationship rather than bailing out under the
But can your spouse count on having a patient wife or
husband to deal with? Can she know that locking her
keys in the car will be met by your understanding
rather than a demeaning lecture that makes her feel
like a child? Can he know that cheering during the
last seconds of a football game won't invite a
loud-mouthed laundry list of ways he should be
spending his time? It turns out that few people are as
hard to live with as an impatient person.
What would the tone and volume of your home be like if
you tried this biblical approach: "See that no one
repays another with evil for evil, but always seek
after that which is good for one another" (1
Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it
naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an
essential ingredient to their marriage relationships.
That's a good starting point to demonstrate true love.
The Love Dare journey is a process, and the first
thing you must resolve to possess is patience. Think
of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it's a race
The first part of the dare is fairly simple. Although
love is communicated in a number of ways, our words
often reflect the condition of our heart. FOR THE NEXT
DAY, RESOLVE TO DEMONSTRATE PATIENCE AND TO SAY
NOTHING NEGATIVE TO YOUR SPOUSE AT ALL. IF THE
TEMPTATION ARISES, CHOOSE NOT TO SAY ANYTHING. IT'S
BETTER TO HOLD YOUR TONGUE THAN TO SAY SOMETHING
When you've completed the dare, write in your journal
in response to the following questions: Did anything
happen today to cause anger toward your mate? Were you
tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them
come out in words?