I recently took an online home safety audit. It tests you on how safe your home is from hazards including fires. Of course fires can start many different ways that we cannot control but there are a lot of things that can be done to prevent them. Well….we failed the test. So guess what we are doing this weekend? Fireproofing! We are going to be getting new fire extinguishers, new batteries for all of the smoke detectors, redoing locks, checking for overloaded electric outlets, and making and practicing an escape plan. We also need to get numbers for our mailbox so the fire department can find us…although the pizza man doesn’t seem to have a problem.
To take the home safety audit yourself click here.
Speaking of fireproofing, many of you have probably heard about or have seen the movie, Fireproof, about one man’s story to save his marriage. It is a powerful story worth seeing (although you might have to overlook some of the acting). In the movie the lead character, Kirk Cameron, realizes that his marriage is on the brink of divorce. He is challenged by his father to take part in a 40 day Love Dare Challenge. Reluctantly he agrees, and the movie tells his story.
Side note: My favorite prime time show growing up…Growing Pains!! And I may have had some several posters of Kirk in my bedroom.
Anyways, I found the 40 Love Dare Challenges online so I thought I would share. This can be done by the husband for the wife, as in the movie, or by the wife towards the husband. Either way it is sure to help your marriage grow, maybe even in areas you didn’t realize needed strengthening.
Resolve to say nothing negative about your spouse today.
Ephesians 4:2 “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”
Do at least one unexpected gesture to your spouse as an act of kindness.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Buy your spouse something that says, “I was thinking about you today.”
Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Contact your spouse sometime during the day and ask how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.
Psalm 139: 17-18 “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”
Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them.
Proverbs 27:14 “Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.”
Choose to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.
Proverbs 16:32 “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
On a sheet of paper, write out positive things about your spouse. At some point during the day, pick a positive attribute from the list and thank your spouse for having the characteristic.
I Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.
Song of Solomon 8:6 “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave.Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.”
Think of a way to greet your spouse today to reflect your love for them, and then do it with a smile and enthusiasm.
I Peter 5:14 “Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”
Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse.
Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Example: Choose a gesture that says “I love you” and do it with a smile.
Ephesians 5:28 “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse.
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement and resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.
Mark 3:25 “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”
Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.”
Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine.
I Peter 3:7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse’s life and in your marriage.
3 John 2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Determine to guard your mate’s secrets and pray for them.
Proverbs 17:9 “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”
Prepare a special dinner at home and focus this time on getting to know your spouse better.
Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,”
Ask God to show you where you stand with him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.
I John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
Dare to take God at his word and trust Jesus Christ for salvation.
Romans 5:6 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Make time to pray and read your bible today.
Isaiah 58:11 “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
Choose to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it.
Hosea 2:20 “I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”
Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.
I Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it.
I John 2:17 “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
If there is anything you haven’t forgiven in your spouse, forgive it today.
2 Corinthians 2:10 “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ…”
Ask for God’s forgiveness for your areas of wrongdoing, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse.
Romans 2:1 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”
Think of one area where your spouse has told you you’re expecting too much, and tell them you’re sorry for being so hard on them about it.
Psalm 25:20 “Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.”
Purpose to do what you can to meet the greatest need in your spouse’s life right now.
I John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.
Ephesians 6:7 “rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man…”
Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse and, if appropriate, discuss it openly and seek God for unity.
John 17:11 “And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Commit to God and your spouse to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.
Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your spouse today (in a way that honors them).
I Corinthians 7:3 “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.”
Tell your spouse that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel.
Ecclesiastes 4:11 “Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?”
Verbally commend your spouse about a recent time when they demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way.
I Corinthians 13:6 “[love] …it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”
Find a Christian marriage mentor. Ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.
Proverbs 15:22 “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Commit to reading the bible every day. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to reading with you.
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together.
Matthew 18:19 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Ask yourself what your spouse would want if it was obtainable, then map out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires.
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Leave it in a place where your mate will find it.
I Corinthians 13:8 “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home.
Ruth 1:16 “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”