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OVER SUWE & THE LOVE DARE

Who remembers Suwe?

I do. And that Saturday, I watched the little kids enjoy their game of life. One will tell the other, ‘that’s my house, don’t enter my house’….and they will plead and laugh…and let the other in their house.

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But it’s not the play that drew me to them.. But their hearts. Because earlier in the day, these two boys had fought. They had insulted each other and one was punished.
But a few minutes later, they had drew a game on the earth and were skipping and jumping around on their Suwe house. Like no fight had happened.


I want to be a kid again. To play with my friends even after a million fights. To have hearts so pure…one that moves quickly past offenses and hurt. To be filled with love, moment after moment (Psalms 90:14). My friend Chacha says that, as adults, we over-process and over-analyze things and make mountains over hills that should have been broken. But what if like the Suwe kids, we choose to love…per minute.

Most times I find myself screaming,‘Dear God, love is hard. You mean I should keep quiet, forgive, be patient, be kind, pray….pray for those who hurt me..’and everytime, God’s response is YES. ‘If God counted our errors against us, can we stand?’ And if God can love us, why can’t we love others? Love requires humility. Love stays even when there’s no reward. Love gives blank pages. It is new every morning.
I’m not the best ‘lover’ in the world, but, I know, I’ve grown. I hope to love like my ‘SUWE’ friends. 

I hope to follow the guidelines on love as explained in 1 Corinthians 13 and the book- The love dare.

The love dare is one of my fave books.

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I just finished reading it yesterday. It’s a fantastic read, written by the Kendrick Brothers-  Alex and Stephen, and they did a great job in breaking down 1 Corinthians 13 in a very practical way.

Though it focuses on Marraige (If you are married, please read it, and watch the movie- Fire Proof), I found it really helpful in handling relationships generally. It changed me.

It’s a 40-day dare on love….and as each day progressed, I found myself screaming, ‘Dear God, love is hard. You mean I should keep quiet, forgive, be patient, be kind, pray….pray for those who hurt me..’

I realized how selfish I was. It is not always about me and my feelings. Love requires humility. Love pursues even when it is not reciprocated. Love gives blank pages. It is new every morning.

As I read this book, I knew I needed more grace to live a love-filled life. And God gave grace.

I’m not the best ‘lover’ in the world, but, I know, I’ve grown.

We can’t love in our strength. On our own, we may fall, but with Jehovah God, who is love personified, we can truly live a life full of love.

See below for some notes I made as I read the book each day.

DAY 1

Love works. Love is patient. Love is built on patience and kindness. Being patient makes you respond positively in negative situations. Be slow to anger, rather than return evil for evil. Let anger not be your emotional default when treated unfairly. Rather than being restless, love will help you settle down and extend mercy to those around you.  Being patient is being wise. It gifts people the permission to be human. It gifts people time to correct their defaults. It gifts you the ability to hold on during tough times in your relationships rather than bailing out under pressure. Resolve to demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to anyone. Say nothing at all. It is better to say nothing than something you’ll regret.

Proverbs 15:18

Be patient.

DAY 2

Dear soul,
How harsh are you? How kind are you? How gentle and helpful are you? Do you wait to be asked or do you take the initiative?
Love is kind. Being kind is being gentle, helpful, willing and taking initiative.
Ahhhhhhh….

DAY 3

In whatever you do,don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Love is not selfish. Philippians 2:3

DAY 4

Love is thoughtful. Love teaches you to engage your mind before you engage your lips. It filters words through a grid of truth and kindness.

DAY 5

Nothing irritates others as quickly as being rude. Genuine love minds its manners. Love is not rude.

DAY 6

When under pressure, are you sweet or sour? Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. Love is not irritable.

DAY 7

Love believes the best. It chooses not to dwell in the depreciation room, but in the appreciation room. It gives benefit of doubt. Everyone fails and has areas that need growth. We have baggage’s, hurts and issues. Love knows that. It does not live in denial. But it chooses not to live the depreciation room. It refuses to fill the unknown with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, it makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. It focuses on the positive. Love does not run to the depreciation room after every frustrating even in its relationships. The depreciation room drains the joy out of a relationship. Let love lead your thoughts and focus. Go to the depreciation to see how you can pray for your spouse. Settle in the appreciation room. Meditate in the positives.

DAY 8

If you are not careful, jealousy slithers like a viper into your heart, and strikes your motivations and relationships. It is a poison, stopping you from living the life of love God intends for you. Celebrate others, don’t resent them. Celebrate others; don’t throw pity parties. Love refuses to let jealousy in. It diffuses it with humility and gratefulness.
Love is not jealous.

DAY 9

Even when you are not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and give value to others by the way you greet them. Love is a choice. So, choose to change your greeting. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. You can smile, be enthusiastic, humble, make them feel loved and appreciated.
A good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interactions.
Choose to love.
Love makes good impressions.

DAY 10

Agape. That is God’s kind of love. He doesn’t love us because we are so lovable, but because He is so loving. God choose to love us. Nothing can separate us from His love.
“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:10 NET
Love based on feelings or circumstances will not last. Love is beyond friendship or sexual attraction.
Agape, unconditional love, cannot be swayed by time or circumstances .
Let Agape, God’s kind of love, be your foundation. Let God grow His love in you.
Can u still love, irrespective of people’s attitude towards you?
Love is a choice.
Love is unconditional.

DAY 11

When you love others, you love yourself. Love cherishes.

DAY 12      

Love lets the other win.

Phil 2:4

Stubbornness is part of our nature; however, unless someone starts giving in, issues are going to keep popping up. Something’s are worth standing up for, but fighting over every little things are not necessary. Be kind. Be willing. Have a spirit of cooperation.

DAY 13

There will be conflicts. But love helps you install airbags and to set up guard rails. Have boundaries, e. g. Listening before you speak, dealing with your own issues upfront, and speaking gently. Fighting fair means changing your weapons. Disagreeing with dignity. It should result in building a bridge, not burning one down. Love is not a fight but it is always worth fighting for.
Love fights fair.

DAY 14

There are days you won’t feel like loving others or moment when we love out of obligation. But remember that, our days are too short to waste in bickering over petty things. Life is too fleeting for that.
Lead your heart to delight in others.
It’s a choice.
Love takes delight. It’s fresh….like new love. It’s a choice.

DAY 15

Love is honorable. It respects and treats people with worth. Honor people. Gift them with your attention. They matter.

Love honors even when it is disrespected. It treats its relationship as special even when an ungrateful attitude is all it gets in return.

DAY 16

Pray. Just pray. Love intercedes.

DAY 17

Love listens. It promotes freedom, not fear. It promotes intimacy.

DAY 18

By wisdom, a house is built, and through understanding, it is established. Love seeks to understand. Proverbs 24:3 (NET)

DAY 19

Without God, Love is impossible. Loving others unconditionally and unselfishly is hard when we do it in our strength & out of our own heart. On our own, we fail, are prideful and may stop loving when it doesn’t work out the way we want it to. Real love comes from God. Love that is able to withstand every pressure comes from God. He is love personified.
So today, abide in Christ and His word. Surrender yourself to God, you will be filled with His goodness & His love.
Jehovah God loves us, and with His strength, we can love others as well.
Only God can change our hearts and give us the ability to love others.
Love may be hard. But it’s possible to live in it when we trust God. Let Gods love be planted deep in your heart.

DAY 20

This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters. This is what God commands: that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ, and that we love each other as he commanded.
1 John 3:16, 23 ERV

DAY 21

Love is satisfied in God. He is our everyday supply. Jehovah loves us so much!

DAY 22

Love is faithful. It loves even when its overtures are retuned unwanted. Love starts with God. Gift undeserved love to others because God gives us love every day.

Love is faithful. It sticks in good and bad times. Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated reaction, not a knee jerk reaction. Be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it.

DAY 23

Love protects. Protect your relationships from harmful influences, habits, unhealthy relationships, shame, addictions, pornography, gambling, etc.

Guard your hearts and remove anything that is hindering your relationships.

DAY 24

Are you in love or in lust?
Lust opposes love. It’s the first step out of fellowship with God and others. Lust breeds more lust. It breeds anger, dissatisfaction, destroys relationships and leads to emptiness. It’s a warning light on your heart alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing Gods love to fill you.
Today, fix your eyes on God and His word. Live grateful, rather than brood in discontentment.
Love offers you the best life in the world.
Choose love over lust.
Are you in love or in lust? Love Vs Lust?

DAY 25

Forgiveness has to happen, or a successful Relationship won’t.
Unforgiveness equals torture and prison….for you as well.
Forgiveness is about freedom and letting go and handing the offender over to God. It frees you of unnecessary burden.
Great relationship are not created by people who never hurt each other, but by people who chose to keep no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Love forgives. Choose to forgive.

DAY 26

Are you responsible? Or do you constantly have an excuse for everything you do, even your mistakes, but when others do the same mistakes, you judge, blame and condemn them (Romans 2:1)? are you so quick to deflect criticism and blame someone else for your actions but quick to hold back grace when others make same mistake?
Love doesn’t pass the blame easily or justify selfish motives. It does not make excuses, but works towards making positive differences in its life and that of others. Love is responsible, and sincere, it is willing to admit and correct it’s faults and wrong. It is not defensive. It listens. It honors and cherishes others.
Humble yourself. Seek forgiveness (regardless of their response). Avoid unresolved issues. Correct and repair the damage and offense.
Pride is resistant to responsibility but humility and honesty before God and others builds a relationship.
Love is responsible.

DAY 27

Love encourages. Live by encouragements rather than by expectations. Love focuses on personal responsibility and improving yourself rather than on demanding more from others.

Mathew 7:4-5

Don’t be critical but be encouraging. Love. Be the greatest encourager.

DAY 28

Love is willing to make sacrifices to see that the needs of others are given your very best effort and focus. When others are overwhelmed and under the gun, it calls you to set aside what seems so essential in your life to help….even if your help is that of a listening ear.
Is your life about worshipping God and serving His people?
Love makes sacrifices.

DAY 29

….love anyway as to the LORD. Love motivated by mere duty cannot last long. Love motivated by favorable conditions, can never be assured of sufficient oxygen to keep it breathing. Only love that is lifted as an offering to God- returned to Him in gratitude for all He has done, is able to sustain itself, when all other reasons have lost its ability to energize us.
Love’s highest motivation is God. Let Him be your focus.

DAY 30

Love brings unity.

DAY 31

Leave. Cleave. Walk as one.

DAY 32

Let the love of Christ be the foundation of your relationships. It makes the relationship easy.

DAY 33

Love realizes that God put people together on purpose. And though you may disagree with their perspectives, you should give their views respect and strong consideration.

DAY 34

Love rejoices with the truth. God’s word is truth. It is the ultimate expression of what real life is. And when we see people obey Gods word, it should cause us to rejoice.
Love literally cheer for/celebrates godliness.

DAY 35

“Mighty sequoia trees tower hundreds of feet in the air and can withstand intense environmental pressures. Lightning can strike them, fierce winds can blow, and forest fires can rage around them. But still they stand. One of the secrets to the strength of this giant tree is what goes on below the surface. Unlike many trees, they reach out and interlock their roots with the sequoias around them. Each becomes empowered and reinforced by the strength of the others. The secret to the sequoia is also a key to maintaining a strong, healthy relationship.
We all need wise counsel throughout life. It should be sought for and it should be received (Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (Proverbs 15:22)). Wisdom is more valuable than gold.
And so, do you have someone in your life you can turn to for good advice, prayer support, accountability and encouragement? Of course, it’s important to guard yourself against wrong influencers. However, good mentors (someone with a Christ-like heart, honest and is full of love) can help put wind in your sails.
Interlock yourself with a network of amazing people….and most importantly, with God.
So yeah, pursue godly advise, healthy friendships and experienced mentors.”
Love is accountable. Accountability helps.

DAY 36:

Your word is a lamp to walk by, and a light to illuminate my path (Psalms 119:105). Commit to reading and living Gods word.

DAY 37:

Love agrees in prayer. Prayer should be your automatic reflex action when you don’t know what to do. Pray for your relationships. Instead of continuing in discord, and allowing feelings to be hurt, seek unity by turning your heart to God and asking for His help. It stops the bleeding, quiets loud voices and pauses you when you realise you are in Gods presence. It keeps God in the middle of everything.
So….pray.

DAY 38:

He gave it anyway. He paid the price, even when we were undeserving.
He’s our model, the one our love should imitate.
Delight yourself in the Lord.
Love fulfills dreams.
Choose the good portion!

 DAY 39:

It pursues, moves forward and never gives up…even in challenges.
If love can be told to quit loving, then it’s not really love….because the Christ kind of love stays.
Love that is from God is unending and unstoppable. Love never fails. It gives anyway.
Let your love be based on the word of God.
Love endures.

Day 40:

A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust, outlining the conditions and consequences if broken. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life.
A contract is self serving and comes with limited liability. A covenant is for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. it has no expiration date.
A contract can be broken with mutual consent. A covenant is intended to be unbreakable.
…and never once has God broken any of His covenants. He’ll help us keep ours. It’s by His strength. Be a channel of God’s love to others.
Love is too holy a treasure to trade in for another, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences
Love is a covenant, not a contract.
I dare you to love.

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What’s your favourite dare?

What area are you struggling with?

Tell God.

One of my fave verses from the Bible is, Psalms 90:14. It says (paraphrase), ‘Fill us with your love every morning, so that we may live happily and joyfully’.

Tell God and He’ll fill you with His love. There’s so much joy in love.

Love is powerful, and as you interact with people each day, I dare you to love your neighbours as you love yourself.

COMPASSION

Love & Light!

:)

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