I’ve been reading a book by Stephen & Alex Kendrick titled “The Love Dare”.
I give this book TWO HUGE thumbs up!
I must admit that originally reading this book was probably not done with the purest of intentions on my part. However, as I am working my way through it day by day I find that my original motives don’t matter anymore. I’m learning so much about myself and now I am the one changing. And I could not be happier.
The interesting thing about this book is that although it was intended for marriages, I find that it actually is giving me tools that I can use in all the relationships in my life. Husband, children, parents, co-workers, friends, and even strangers.
One chapter that seems to stick with the me most is about rooms. According to the Kendrick brothers in the deep and private corridors of your heart there are two rooms. These rooms are where your thoughts go when you encounter life with your spouse (or anyone really).
One room, and allow me to put a dramatic Tammie spin on their original words please, has graffiti all over the walls. In a sloppy and messy way painted on the walls of this room are the things that bother and irritate you about your spouse. “My husband can be such a jerk.” “My wife is too selfish.” “I think I married the wrong person.”
These words were painted there out of frustration, hurt feelings, and the disappointment of unmet expectations. The walls show a gallery of weaknesses and failures of your spouse. Emotional injuries fester here, adding more hurtful remarks to the walls. People fall out of love in this room. This is the Depreciation Room.
There is another room nearby. You will find it competes for your attention. On the walls of this room though you won’t find graffiti. Instead you will find beautifully framed and aligned pieces of art. Art that shows the positive attributes of your mate. Words like “honest” and “intelligent” are on these walls. Phrases like “diligent worker”, “wonderful cook”, or “beautiful eyes”.
These are things you’ve discovered about your spouse that you love and have embedded in your memory forever. When you visit this room your love and appreciation for your spouse begins to increase. The more time you spend in this room and meditate on their positive traits the more grateful you are for your spouse. Love does not die in this room but instead it grows. This is the Appreciation Room.
I’m finding that I not only use this idea in my marriage but in so many other relationships as well. The thing is, yes, the words in the Depreciation Room might be true about that person. However, so are the words in the Appreciation Room as well.
I am trying to remind myself that everyone fails. Everyone has the need for growth. And the Bible clearly states that all of us are sinners. Every one of us.
What the Kendrick brothers want us to understand, and what I am trying to remember is this: Love knows about the Depreciation room. Love doesn’t deny that this room exists. However, love chooses not to live in this room.
Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. And, when something bad happens and our worst hopes are proved to be true about a person … Love makes every effort to deal with them and the situation in … well … love. Love deals with it and then moves forward.
So my friends, which room to you spend the most time in now? Are you willing to change? Do you want to take the Love Dare Challenge with me?? You can get your copy at any bookstore or here.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”