Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Love Dare - Day Seven

Love Believes the Best

In 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.   When you think about these things, your appreciation for your spouse begins to increase.  Most things in the Appreciation Room were likely written in the initial stages of your relationship. 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 room nearby.

Down another dark corridor of your heart lies the Depreciation Room, and 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.  People fall out of love here.   Spending time in the Depreciation Room kills marriages.  Divorces are plotted in this room and violent plans are schemed.  It begins the moment you walk in the door, and your care for them lessens with every second that ticks by.

You may say, “But these things are true!”  Yes, but so are the things in the Appreciation Room.  Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. Everyone has unresolved issues, hurts, and personal baggage.  This is a sad aspect of being human.

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 love chooses not live there.  Love chooses to believe the best about people.  It gives them the benefit of the doubt.  As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.

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 Dare

For today’s dare, get two sheets of paper.  On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse.  Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each.  At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.

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