He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him. — Proverbs 27:14
Do you know people who are intentionally rude in their behavior? Or perhaps they are rude and just don’t know it. Worse would be if they are rude, know that they are, and just don’t care! Day 5 in The Love Dare addresses this from the perspective of how others view you. This is the day to examine your own actions just to make sure that you are not being rude—that would not be loving.
Last year we were meeting with a group of wives from a large Army installation whose husbands were all deployed. One wife shared that before her husband left for Iraq she read Proverbs 21:19: “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” The truth in that verse really pricked her heart, she told the group. She thought about how rude she was being to her husband (more and more as he prepared to deploy) and she did not want him to feel like it was better to be downrange than to be with her at home.
She gave no specifics, but we could all make a list of ways couples can be rude during that tense period before a deployment. Corrective action would include making doubly sure that sarcasm or condescension (especially in public) is avoided, being careful not to ignore any requests, catching ourselves before we slam any doors, hang up the phone or pick any arguments, and trying to be gracious in speaking. We were all impressed with this lady’s authenticity and willingness to share—because, truth be known, we all had experienced exactly what she was talking about.
Of course this does not apply just to women. There are plenty of verses which apply to all of us. Proverbs 26:21 is similar in its use of the term “quarrelsome”: “As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.” 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter”, specifically says that “love is not rude.” Perhaps rudeness to you means continuing to do things that are annoying—or maybe it means something more than that depending on the individual. But today you have a chance to explore that with the dare. As the chapter in The Love Dare says, “Do you wish your spouse would quit doing the things that bother you? Then it’s time to stop doing the things that bother them.” (p. 23)
Here is today’s dare during deployment: Ask your spouse, by email or phone (or letter) to name three things you do which cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated. Avoid defensiveness—that is a sign of immaturity. This is one of those times that the dare is easier to do while separated than face-to-face, I think. Give no excuses—just ask. Then the next logical question for you to think about is, “What am I going to do with this information to improve in these areas?”
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. — James 3:13
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. — Psalm 34:12,13
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)