In the introduction the authors state that God created marriage to be a beautiful and priceless gift which He uses to help us:
- eliminate lonliness
- multiply our effectiveness
- establish families
- raise children
- enjoy life
- bless us with relational intimacy
In addition they talk about how marriage "shows us our own need to grow and deal with our own issues and self centeredness through the help of a lifelong partner." They then go on to say that the world tells us to follow our hearts, but we should instead be leading our hearts. If we are not leading it then someone or something else will lead it.
"The truth is, love is a decision, not just a feeling. It is selfless, sacrificial and transformational."
As I reflected on these things, and prepared myself to begin this Love Dare again, I thought it wise to do some self-reflection. To ask myself the following quesitons and rate myself in my marriage on each of these items. I'm not going to share my "ratings" here with you (that is for my personal journal - and to be honest I've not fully determined my ratings yet!). However, I am going to share the questions with you here and encourage you to ask yourself the same things.
I agree with what the authors are saying above about marriage and must honestly ask myself if these purposes for marriage are being accomplished in my life and if not, what do I need to do to change that? And I need to ask myself, am I willing to admit that I need to change - as opposed to assuming my husband needs to change. And finally, am I willing to allow God to change me?
1. Does my marriage elminate lonliness in my life? In my husband's life?
2. Does my marriage multiply the effectiveness of myself and my husband?
3. Is my marriage establishing a family?
4. Is my marriage allowing my husband and I to raise our children they way we want to?
5. Does my marriage help both of us to enjoy life?
6. Has our marriage blessed us with relational intimacy?
7. Has my marriage caused me to identify my own need to grow and deal with my own issues and self-centeredness? Have I even begun to make changes to do so?
8. Do I allow my husband to help me with identifying these things in my life and with making the changes?
9. Do I see my husband as my lifelong partner? Do I treat him as such? Does he see himself as my lifelong partner? Does he see me as his?
10. Do I follow my heart or do I lead it? If I follow it, what or who does lead it?
11. Is love a feeling or decision for me?
12. Is my love selfless? sacrificial? transformational?