So I mentioned in a previous post on resolutions that I despite the craziness and unpredictability of life with a newborn and my visiting parents and James being off work, I wanted to start the Love Dare anyway. As it turned out, James had the same idea! He remembered me talking about the book when I bought it months ago, and decided that he would privately start the dare himself! We laughed about it when we realized after the first two or three days that in fact we were both secretly going about this activity. So we decided to start over together, reading the thoughts on love each day and then completing the dare together.
We haven't been diligent in completing the dare every day. Some days go by where we have totally forgotten to even open the book and see what today's dare was. But let me tell you, my mentality about marriage and my husband is totally different! We have been married 6 and a half years now - supposedly coming up on the famous "7-year itch." And although our lives now are completely different than what they were 7 years ago, we haven't felt any pressures or suffocating feelings at all. In fact, other than being busier now with the business and with children, we are very much in love.
How things have changed, however, over this past week and a half, is that James is now in the forefront of my mind every day. In the past while, I always knew he was there, but thinking about things like the kids, errands, the house, cleaning, chores, church, appointments and the like always seemed to be first on my mind. James and I always connected at night, but the rest of the time I will admit that I rarely focused my thoughts on him - just him, who he is as a man and as my husband. I also rarely gave much thought to myself in my role as his wife, what I can and should be doing as his leading support. With a new dare every day, now my mind is constantly on James, thinking about the new angle of love we read about that morning, and contemplating on how to complete today's dare. Now when I am rocking Benjamin or wiping a runny nose or sweeping the floor or folding the laundry or loading the boys in the car, I'm thinking about James. I have always known that in my life my husband has to come first, but now I am living that knowledge daily.
I have always been humbled and taught many things on what love truly is. I have been amazed at just how many of my thoughts and actions are done out of selfishness, where before I never would have pegged myself as one caught up in self-interest. I am learning that it is not my job to change my husband (oh - be honest - we all have at least one thing we wish we could change about our spouse!) but that it is my responsibility to change myself. I am not perfect, and am nowhere near perfect, and there are many things about myself that need changing. Now I can adjust my mentality about my marriage, making sure that I am putting my best foot forward and being all that I can be for James.
This Love Dare was born out of a film about a marriage that needed saving. But the amazing thing is that any relationship at any stage would benefit from this experience. For we are never done growing, and we can always learn another lesson or two about love, pure and unselfish love, love in action.