So I decided to take the love dare challenges, and adapt them to our whole family, including the sibling relationships. Now, I kinda sorta started this back a few months ago, and then the holidays hit. Back then we were trying to do it the way the book is written, one dare for each day, lasting for 40 days. Well, I don't like that, since I am doing this with the kids in mind, I don't think it "sinks in" that quickly. So we are going to do each dare for at least a week (or longer if we need to).
So onward and upward.....
Love dare #1: Love is patient
Ephesians 4:2 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
Dictionary definition of patience:
- good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence
- is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties.
- The story of Job exemplifies patience. Job endured near apocalyptic calamities with patience, never once reproaching G-d.
- The story of Micah, for example, is that he suffers many challenging conditions and yet endures, saying "I will wait for the God who saves me." Patience in God, it is said, will aid believers in finding the strength to be delivered from the evils that are inherent in the physical life.
- "The patient man shows much good sense, but the quick-tempered man displays folly at its height" (Proverbs 14:29, NAB)
- "An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord." (Proverbs 15:18, NAB)
- "A patient man is better than a warrior, and he who rules his temper, than he who takes a city." (Proverbs 16:32)
- "Better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit. Do not in spirit become quickly discontented, for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool." (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9, NAB).
- "be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all" (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, NAB)
- "everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger" (James 1:19, NAB).
- Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Suess
Love is the most important, powerful force in the whole universe. Love always wants to do what is the best for others and it can help us to overcome our greatest problems. We are all born wanting to have love in our lives. Our hearts need it in the same way our body needs food and water. Being loved can change who we are, just as certainly as not being loved can warp and twist who we were meant to be.
The two most important ingredients in love are patience and kindness. That is where we will begin, with patience.
When you choose to be patient, you are choosing to bring something positive and good into a negative and bad situation. Patience is not easy, it means that you have to control your anger. Patience helps you to extend mercy, and not react out of anger.
Being impatient makes you say and do things that are angry, foolish, and hurtful. When you choose to be angry, you will create even more anger. It becomes a cycle that builds upon itself. Anger rarely makes things better.
It is a choice you can make to control your emotions, and show patience instead of responding right back to someone who hurts you in anger. If your family(sister/brother/mother/father/wife/husband) hurts you, do you automatically try to hurt them back? Do you immediately become angry? If you do that, instead of giving the good medicine of patience to the problem, you are poisoning your relationship.
Patience makes you smart, wise. Patience doesn't automatically try to "get back at" the person who hurt you. She tries to hear what might be going on for the other person. Patience give you and the people around permission to be human, to fail. When a mistake is made, patience gives time for the person to correct it.
What do you think our house would be like if we all practiced patience? How would you feel if people were more patient with you? How could you make others feel if you were patient with them?
None of us can be perfect, or perfectly patient. But we can practice it, and work at it. Try to make it a part of our family and our relationships.
So your challenge for this week: For the next week, resolve to demonstrate patience with your family. Go one week without saying anything hurtful to your family. If the temptation arises, say nothing, go for a time out, count to ten. Its better to hold your tongue than to say something you would regret.
Each night we will check in at dinner and ask the following questions (of mom and dad too).....
Did anything happen today to cause you to be angry with anyone in the family?
How did you handle that?
Were you able to be patient?
If you could go back, and change how you handled it, how would you do it differently?