All of today's Love Dare was really good today, so I thought I'd share the whole thing, because everyone can benefit from the power of positive thinking. And honestly, I encourage you to read the whole book, because so far, it's very good!
Day 7: Love believes the best. "[Love] believes all things, hopes all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7
the deep and private corridors of your heart, there is a room. It's
called the Appreciation Room. It's where your thoughts go when you
encounter positive and encouraging things about your spouse. And every
so often, you enjoy visiting this special place.
On the walls are
written kind words and phrases describing the good attributes of your
mate. These may include characteristics like "honest" and "intelligent",
or phrases like "diligent worker," "wonderful cook," or "beautiful
eyes". They are things you've discovered about your husband or wife that
have embedded themselves in your memory. When you think about these
things, your appreciation for your spouse begins to increase. In fact,
the more time you spend meditating on these positive attributes, the
more grateful you are for your mate.
Most things in the
Appreciation Room were likely written in the initial stages of your
relationship. You could summarize them as things you liked and respected
about your loved one. They were true, honorable, and good. And you
spent a great deal of time dwelling on them in this room... before you
were married. But you may have found that you don't visit this special
room as often as you once did. That's because there is another competing
Down another dark corridor of your heart lies the
Depreciation Room, an unfortunately you visit there as well. On its
walls are written the things that bother and irritate you about your
spouse. These things were placed there out of frustration, hurt
feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations.
is lined with the weaknesses and failures of your husband and wife.
Their bad habits, hurtful words, and poor decisions are written in large
letters that cover the walls from one end to the other. If you stay in
this room long enough, you get depressed and start expressing things
like, "My wife is so selfish," or "My husband can be such a jerk." Or
maybe, "I think I married the wrong person."
Some people write
very hateful things in this room, where tell-off statements are
rehearsed for the next argument. Emotional injuries fester here, adding
more scathing remarks to the walls. It's where ammunition is kept for
the next big fight and bitterness is allowed to spread like a disease.
People fall out of love here.
But know this. Spending time in the
Depreciation Room kills marriages. Divorces are plotted in this room
and violent plans are schemed. The more time you spend in this place,
the more your heart devalues your spouse. It begins the moments you walk
in the door, and your care for them lessens with every second that
You may say, "But these things are true!" Yes, but so
are the things in the Appreciation Room. Everyone fails and has areas of
that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal
baggage. This is a sad aspect of being human. We have all sinned. But we
have this unfortunate tendency to downplay our own negative attributes
while putting our partner's failures under a magnifying glass.
Let's get down to the real issue here. Love knows about the Depreciation Room and does not live in denial that it exists.
But we choose not live there.
must decide to stop running to this room and lingering there after
every frustrating event in your relationship. It does you no good and
drains the joy out of your marriage.
Loves chooses to believe the
best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses
to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst
hopes are proven to be true, loves makes every effort to deal with them
and move forward. As much as possible, loves focuses on the positive.
time to start thinking differently. It's time to let love lead your
thoughts and your focus. The only reason you should glance in the door
of the Depreciation Room is to know how to pray for your spouse. And the
only reason you should ever go in this room is to write "COVERED IN
LOVE" in huge letters across the walls.
It's to move into the
Appreciation Room, to settle down and make it your home. As you choose
to meditate on the positives, you will learn that many more wonderful
character qualities could be written across these walls. Your spouse is a
living, breathing, endless book to be read. Dreams and hopes have yet
to be realized. Talents and abilities may be discovered like hidden
treasure. But the choice to explore them starts with a decision by you.
must develop the habit of reining in your negative thoughts and
focusing on the positive attributes of your mate. This is a crucial step
as you learn to lead your heart to truly love your spouse. It is a
decision that you make, whether they deserve it or not.
Today's assignment was
to make a list of positive things about your spouse and a list of
negative things. There is different purpose and plan for each. At some
point during the day, pick a positive attribute and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.