Just before Valentine’s Day this year, I went to a local bookstore and picked up a copy of The Love Dare. This book was featured in the movie “Fireproof,” starring Kirk Cameron, whose character, Caleb Holt, is dealing with a troubled marriage. In an effort to help Caleb turn the situation around, his father gives him a book containing 40 days of Scripture meditations and practical ways to show love to his wife, and encourages Caleb to work his way through the book, one day at a time. This book was called The Love Dare in the movie.
The producers and writers of “Fireproof,” Stephen and Alex Kendrick, then also wrote an actual book called The Love Dare in order to further encourage those who saw the movie to take action to make their own marriages stronger. It was my own desire to see positive changes in my marriage that caused me to pick up a copy of The Love Dare and to apply the principles to my own life.
As stated earlier, The Love Dare is written as a 40-day journal of Scripture and practical advice pertaining to the marital relationship. Each day discusses a different aspect of what it means to love your mate; for example, patience, kindness, honoring your mate, and dealing with lust are some of the topics touched upon. Scripture references are given dealing with each topic, as well as practical suggestions on applying it to one’s life. There is also space for writing down your actions and the response from your spouse, any new insights you gain from Scripture and how you intend to apply it, and whatever else you may wish to write down.
In the back of the book there are also appendices dealing with prayer (how to be sure your prayers are in fact effective and not being hindered in any way by wrong attitudes), questions to start conversations with your spouse on many different topics ( good for couples who do not know how to communicate with each other beyond small talk), the importance of knowing and applying the Word of God to your marriage, and also a very eye-opening discussion of “leading your heart” as opposed to “following your heart.” This section is really the crux of the matter of holding a marriage together—not living by your emotions, but realizing that true love is a matter of the will and choosing to remain committed in spite of how rough things may get, and trusting God to be faithful in His promise to see you through.
I am finding that I don’t necessarily work through each assignment in one day, however. Some things are more challenging to complete than others, and that is okay….it is a learning and growing process, after all. And the assignments are not merely a one-time application of knowledge, either; these are lessons that are to be applied throughout one’s marriage. I know the things I am reading in this book are helping me to focus on areas I need to work on, and as I share things with my husband, hopefully it will also impact his attitude and actions as well.
I would recommend The Love Dare to anyone who wants to strengthen their relationship with their mate, and I believe it would be a great gift for newlyweds as well. I also recommend the movie “Fireproof.” It is very compelling and has a message that is sorely needed in this day and age when traditional marriage is not taken very seriously and is under attack.