The Love Dare. By Stephen and Alex Kendrick. Nashville: B & H, 2008.
I am not much for reading practical Christian literature. I am much more prone to theology and scriptural discourses. Occasionally, I will divert to some type of history or biographical work, and even at times will entertain a work of fiction.
The reasons I chose to read Love Dare, even though it is a practical guide for marriage, were because I really enjoyed the movie that centers around the book, “Fireproof,” and I wondered if it could be a useful tool for marriage counseling. I found it to be more than a useful tool in counseling situations. I found it to be extremely useful for ME!
The Love Dare is a 40 day challenge to begin understanding and viewing marriage from the biblical perspective of true love. For each day, there is a lesson on love based on the Scripture, followed by a succinct “dare.” The dares are very practical ways in which to put the love lessons into practice with your spouse.
I enjoyed Love Dare for these reasons: (1) I found the counsel given throughout the book to be biblically based and easily applied, (2) the lessons on love were drawn straight from Scripture and adequately applied, and (3) it supplied me with some new tools to help me “Man Up” and love my wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her (Eph 5:25)!
Take these following quotes for example. (1) Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. [p.2], (2) When you look at your mate, you’re looking at part of you. So treat her well. (based on Eph 5:28) [p. 53], (3) Have you ever wondered why God gives you overwhelming insight into your spouse’s hidden faults? Do you really think it’s for endless nagging? No, it is for effective kneeling. No one knows better how to pray for your mate than you. [p. 77], and (4) Someone who knows us this intimately can either love us at depths we never imagined, or can wound us in ways we may never fully recover from. [p. 81]
In addition, the illustrations throughout are thoughtful and vivid as well. For example, on the lesson that “Love Cherishes” the writers set forth two very different scenarios. In the first case, a man realizes that an overhaul of his car is too expensive so he trades it in for a new one. In the second, another man crushes his hand and regards no price too high to alleviate the pain and restore his hand. The authors observe, “The problem within our culture is that marriage is more often treated like the first scenario.” [p. 51] Now that’s vivid truth!
Due to the brevity of each chapter, the ease of implementing the counsel, and the tools provided to pursue true love within marriage, The Love Dare is easily accessible to all audiences. I highly recommend it to everyone somehow connected to marriage, from those considering marriage to those considering divorce! Even for those who have a “not so bad” marriage! There is ALWAYS room for improvement, and as we improve according to the Bible, there will always be more joy!
So go ahead - take the dare! You will surely better your marriage: you just might save it. Read it and apply it. I dare you!