YAY!!!! I made it all the way to the end!!!! I am so glad that you all have shared in this journey with me. I hope that if you haven't taken the dare for yourself, that you will. It will truly bless you and your spouse IF you give it your all. And if you have started, I hope that you will finish, and finish well.
The last dare says WRITE OUT A RENEWAL OF YOUR VOWS AND PLACE THEM IN YOUR HOME. PERHAPS, YOU COULD MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO FORMALLY RENEW YOUR WEDDING VOWS BEFORE A MINISTER AND WITH FAMILY PRESENT. MAKE IT A LIVING TESTAMENT TO THE VALUE OF MARRIAGE IN GOD'S EYES AND THE HIGH HONOR OF BEING ONE WITH YOUR MATE.
I knew that this was coming because I had of course looked ahead. So, I casually mentioned this to Frank this morning. I wish I could tell you that we had a, uhm, moment. And we did. We had the kind of moment that we typically have. We had the kind of moment that "fits" for us. Let me enlighten you. It went a little something like this.
A: You know what today is in the dare, don't you?
F: No, what.
A: We are supposed to renew our vows. *smirk and very big chuckle while trying not to look at him*
F:*silence and also trying not to smile*
A: You know, I was thinking since our 10yr anniversary just happens to be coming up in January...
F:*now playing along* Well since Steph and Ry ARE going too and Steph does have her seminary degree, she could officiate and Ry could be our witness.
A:exactly! and we could make snow angels and make a big heart in the snow with our initials in it!
A:and I could pull out my wedding dress and wear it again for you!
F: i don't care if you have lost 60lbs, you ain't fittin' in that thing again.
A: *not laughing and not smiling* excuse me...
See, those are the kind of moments that we have together. I am just telling you gals, it ain't gonna happen. We are not going to renew our vows. However, we can take some time to remember why we did this crazy thing called marriage. If you want to renew your vows, that is great and I really do think that it's sweet. Hey, Jon and Kate did it and I loved it!!
Just because the "dare" is over doesn't mean that the journey has to be. Quite the opposite actually. I think the best has really just started. As I really start focusing on Frank's needs and not my own. As I start to focus on the successes in our marriage instead of the failures. As I give him permission to be imperfect. As I concentrate on changing myself instead of him. With all of these things finally beginning to take more of a priority, how can things do anything BUT get better?
I love the way that this book has made very clear the difference between the worlds view of marriage and God's view of marriage. See, the world views marriage more as a contract. A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust and it lists the rules and conditions of the agreement. And although there are consequences, it can be broken. God's view of marriage is a covenant. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust. Your promise is unconditional and good forever. It is spoken before God and out of love for each other.
Contracts are self-serving and comes with limited liability. It can be broken with mutual consent. Covenants are for the benefits of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has NO expiration date. It is intended to be unbreakable.
God made several covenants throughout the Bible. He made one with Noah (Gen. 9:12:17), with Abraham (Gen. 17: 1-8), with Moses (Exodus 19: 3-6), with David (2Sam. 7: 7-16) and with those who believe in Him (Heb 9:15). Not one time has God ever broken His covenants. He does not enter into them lightly.
Keeping a marriage covenant is not something that we can do on our own. That's why we need someone who has never broken a covenant before to lead us and to guide us through it. God. He alone is the One who can do it.
The time is now. Don't wait until tomorrow to start loving your spouse the way that God intended. You and I don't have that promise. Your life depends on it. Their life depends on it. Your marriage depends on it. Go ahead. I dare ya...