Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4
We’re nearing the end of the 40 Day “Love Dare Challenge.” This dare, Day 38, is a particularly fun challenge. It’s fun because it calls you to think of how you can give to your spouse in an extravagant way. “Love sometimes needs to be extravagant. To go all out. It sometimes needs to set aside the technicalities and just bless because it wants to.” (p. 186)
What would your spouse’s dream look like—something special just for them—if it was at all possible? Maybe a ski trip, maybe a vacation cruise, maybe time alone for a retreat, maybe take a class, maybe a chance to go up in a small airplane, maybe a new outfit, maybe build a photographic darkroom or a special crafts corner, maybe a deep-sea fishing trip, maybe the chance to go to a reunion . . . . or maybe something that doesn’t cost any money at all—like some time together, a long-awaited compliment, or just to be treated with special attention. Those special dreams, those special desires—wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to begin working on to please your spouse? This is something that you can work on during the duration of your deployment—and give as a surprise in the future. Meanwhile the preparations can make the excitement build.
But what if you have no idea what your spouse would love? Ask them. And what if your heart is not in it because you know that your spouse would not be impressed? Pray that God would help you think of something that you could put your heart into—something that comes out of a higher level of love which wants to help fulfill their dreams. Pray to love them more.
After all, the pattern for this is God’s extravagant, unconditional love—when we least deserved it and most needed it. “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4,5) God gave us the greatest gift of all—His Son Jesus Christ—who died for our sins and opened the door to eternal life with Him. If you have confessed your sin and received that gift then you know what it feels like to be surprised by joy . . . to be the recipient of something so wonderful and undeserved. Wouldn’t it be great to demonstrate that same type of generosity to your spouse?
Here is today’s dare during deployment: Begin praying for an idea of what your spouse would really want, within reason. Then start your preparations to give this to them, to whatever level you can, when you are reunited after deployment.
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. — 2 Corinthians 9:8
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)