When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. — Romans 2:1
The authors stated that yesterday’s dare was the toughest. Today’s dare they say could be a milestone in your marriage. The Lord will lead you through this if you will pray and ask Him for guidance.
It’s all about personal responsibility. Ouch. Something we want others to have—but sometimes struggle to maintain within ourselves without finding fault or shifting blame. Don’t you agree that military folks tend to be more responsible than most, however? So perhaps this dare won’t be difficult . . . though perhaps you’ve been putting it off. Now is the time—and it might be the milestone that the authors are hoping.
In Day 26 you will find these statements and appropriate questions, “When love takes responsibility for its actions, it’s not to prove how noble you’ve been but rather to admit how much further you have to go. . . .What might happen in your relationship if instead of passing blame, you first admitted your own wrongs? . . . . Are you taking responsibility for your own faults? Have you said or done things to your spouse—or to God—that are wrong? Love desires to have a right relationship with both God and your mate.” (p. 127)
Truthfulness is what it takes—a willingness to really examine the struggles in your marriage and admit any wrongdoing for which you might be held responsible. Let humility reign and pride fall away—and come before the Lord in prayerful confession to Him. Then go to your spouse, by telephone, email, or letter, and ask for forgiveness. “They should forgive you, but your responsibility does not lie with their decision. Admitting your mistakes is your responsibility.” (p. 128) With transparency and sincerity, take this dare . . . and let God give you grace and strength to begin the journey towards a healthier marriage.
Here is today’s dare during deployment: Pray and ask God for forgiveness for falling short in specific areas in your marriage. Then ask your spouse for forgiveness. No matter what their reaction is, accept it with understanding.
And what if you honestly don’t know where you’ve been wrong? Ask! Gently say, “How have I hurt you?” Then listen . . . . and begin the process of making things right before God and your spouse.
Dr. Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas have written an excellent book entitled The Five Languages of Apology. Just as Day 11 introduced you to The Five Love Languages, Day 26 can be just as eye-opening for you because different people accept apologies in different ways. “I’m sorry” might not be enough. Your spouse might also need to hear from you “I was wrong.” “What can I do to make it right?” “I’ll try not to do that again.” “Will you please forgive me?” This book is so helpful to identify, describe, and illustrate how this concept will enhance your relationship in marriage, in parenting, and in your community.
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:8,9
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. — 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32
Chapman, Gary, and Thomas, Jennifer, The Five Languages of Apology (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 2006)
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)