My husband works nights, and I'm in school during the day. The constant comings and goings and never see each other tend to take a toll on our relationship, which is way we were both thrilled when his sister and her husband gave us a copy of the book "The Love Dare" for Christmas. I had another book I was reading at the time and in the end of January, excitedly picked up the copy and prepared for 40 days to strengthening my marriage. I knew that the book went along with the movie "Fireproof," which I had yet to see, but I didn't know much else.
Day 1 starts out with 1 Corinthians 13, "Love is patient." The few short, easy-to-read paragraphs talked about being patient with your spouse as a way of loving. I've been actively trying to follow Jesus for about 20 years now, so I know enough to not ask for patience when I pray. Somehow, whenever you pray for patience, it seems like there is a trial around the corner to give you a chance to practice it! Instead, I prayed that God would help me to show more patience with my darling Erik. Apparently I didn't work things clearly enough, or maybe God just knows my heart and what I need...
That was a Monday, which is a school day with late classes. I arrived home after Erik had left for work, put the kids to bed, took the dog out, unpacked the lunch box and backpack, repacked the backpack, and finally sat, exhausted in the recliner to check for an email about the presentation assignment from my group. About 10:15 I heard the familiar strains of "Winnie the Pooh" from my Blackberry, signaling that my DH was calling me. The first words I heard were, "Honey, you're going to hate me, but I forgot something very important and I need you to please bring it to me." Several seconds of dead air time passed before I broke the stunned silence to say "You've gotta be kidding me. You mean I have to get the kids away, drive all the way there and home, and I have classes in the morning!?!" Realize that his work is almost 50 miles away, so round trip is going to be almost two hours. He profusely apologized but insisted that he needed the item. Honestly, I don't even remember what it was. The words I had read earlier that day, "Love is patient" played like a broken record through my brain, managing to hold my tongue still from angry comments.
Reluctantly I packed up the kids, made a Starbucks run, and arrived home dreading the next day. Still, the Love Dare had prepared me for the journey and I managed to arrive home without saying anything that I would regret. And I was able to serve my husband and demonstrate love to him. Nevertheless, that was several weeks ago and I am still gathering the courage to read Day 2. Who knows what will happen afterwards? :)
P.S. Some great resources for you are at Fire Proof Your Marriage