Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dare 12

Dare 12: Love lets the other win. If you were asked to name areas where you and your husband disagree, you'd likely be able to do it without thinking very hard. And sadly, unless someone at your house starts doing some giving in, these same issues are going to keep popping up. Defending your rights and opinions is a foundational part of your nature and make-up. It's detrimental, though, inside a marriage relationship, and it steals away time and productivity. It can also cause great frustration for both of you. Granted, being stubborn is not always bad. Some things are worth standing up for and protecting. Our priorities, morals, and obedience to God should be guarded with great effort. But too often we debate over piddling things. Other times, the stakes are much higher.

Though these issues may not crop up every day, they keep resurfacing and don't really go away. You never seem to get any closer to resolution or compromise. The heels just keep digging in. There's only one way to get beyond stalemates like these, and that's by finding a word that's the opposite of stubbornness. That word is willing. It's an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations. And the one best example of it is Jesus Christ.

As God, He had every right to refuse becoming a man but yielded and did--because He was willing. He had the right to be served by all mankind but came to serve instead. He had the right to live in peace and safety but willingly laid down His life for our sins. He was even willing to endure the grueling torture of the cross. He loved, He cooperated, and was willing to do His Father's will instead of His own. "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5. The attitude of willingness, flexibility, and humble submission. It means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself.

The very moment one of you says, "I'm willing to go your way on this one," the argument will be over. And though the follow-through may cost you some pride and discomfort, you have made a loving, lasting investment in your marriage. That's not to say your husband is necessarily right or being wise about a matter, but you are choosing to give strong consideration to his preference as a way of valuing him.

The Dare: Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your husband. Tell him you are putting his preference first.

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4.

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