Vol 2, No. 4 Feb 2012

...A monthly newsletter designed to help make your marriage great. Each issue contains articles, tips and more.

The Love Dare:  Love is Kind

by Lynn M. Griesemer

    My daughter gave me the book The Love Dare (2008) by Stephen and Alex Kendrick for Christmas.  I’d known about this book since the movie Fireproof in 2008.  If you aren’t familiar with the Kendrick brothers, they are Christian Pastors and filmmakers.  Other notable movies to their credit include Facing the Giants and Courageous.

    While I enjoyed their movies (Courageous was my favorite), many scenes in some of their movies were a little too “preachy” for my liking.  I assumed The Love Dare would be preachy also.  But after working through this book for the past few weeks, I’d give The Love Dare a positive review.  The book is like a workbook where you read a description and then follow through with a different assignment  each day.  It involves 40 days of exercises and reflection about your marriage.

    Day 1 is about patience and how we respond to our spouse.  I’d like to discuss the Day 2 Exercise:  “Love is Kind.”  Kindness is proactive; it is love in action.  As I think about how many people lead busy lives, I wonder if we have a hard time placing a priority on kindness, and instead, favor fast-paced task-oriented living and communicating.

    When we are in love, we want to be kind, and kindness seems to come naturally, as we are getting to know someone.  Kindness makes us more attractive and likeable.  Kindness involves gentleness, tenderness, care and compassion.  Kind people are helpful and empathetic.  Kindness involves charity and service.  In short, kindness can be seen as the opposite of selfishness (unless the motives for acting kind are self-serving).   When we are kind, we are willing and perhaps more agreeable than argumentative.  Kindness might include listening better, complaining less, criticizing less.

    Kindness does not come naturally for most of us.  It is natural to mirror or respond to another’s behavior.  We need to think ahead and take the initiative by offering genuine acts of kindness.  It means anticipating your spouse’s need(s) or desire and taking action.  Kindness is important to demonstrate during conflict or arguments.  People think arguments involve shouting and name-calling, but disagreements and heated discussion can and should contain kindness and focusing on treating your spouse in a kind manner.  Ultimately, kindness is a way of showing love and is a special blessing to your spouse.

Lynn M. Griesemer is a Marriage Coach and has been happily married for over 25 years. She helps struggling marriages improve and good marriages become great. www.marriagecoachlynn.com.

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Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness today.  I sometimes slip into selfish motives and am often preoccupied, but I found it easy to be kind as I worked on the “Be Kind”  Love Dare Exercise.  As I was going through the day, I wondered why I don’t do more small gestures of kindness.  Perhaps it requires more conscious thought and effort to behave in ways that are simple and add so much to the relationship.  Sometimes we form habits and patterns.  I know I can use a boost in kindness because of the surprised look on my husband’s face as I made various offerings throughout the day.

    Make it a priority and try to become more aware of how kind you are to your spouse.  Try to make a regular habit of performing random acts of kindness.

Picture Couples Corner

Meet Henry and Kristine James.  They’ve been married for many years, and have two adult daughters.  Henry and Kristine are European, have traveled and lived around the world and have many interests – some shared and many not in common.   Kristine believes that the foundation of love does not hinge on shared interests, but rather, shared values.  In fact, she says, that when they attend parties, dinners or events, they often like to split up or separate, mingle with different people, and then they notice that have many months of interesting conversation with each other.  Sometimes the differences make for an interesting marriage.

When Henry had a major illness a few years ago, doctors said that 90% of their patients die and told Kristine to prepare for life without Henry.  Kristine did not listen to the doctors and instead, added major doses of goofy humor to Henry’s recuperation.   Henry made a full recovery after several months, and Kristine knows that a sense of humor and not acting so seriously, in spite of major illness and difficulties, are ways to bring peace and calm to the marriage.  We tend to think that a life-threatening or serious diagnosis means acting and approaching life seriously, but Kristine employed an opposite approach.

   Kristine appeared on a few episodes of “Your Marriage Matters.”  Her interviews can be heard here: www.blogtalkradio.com/marriagecoachlynn.  11/9/10:  “Great Marriages Must be Created;” 2/8/11: “How to Deal with Irritations;” and 5/10/11: “Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half:  Differences in Marriage.”


“You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.” – Stephen and Alex Kendrick.


www.marriagecoachlynn.com – See if Marriage Coaching might be something you’re interested in.  The concept of coaching is similar to a personal trainer for the body and is a way to boost your marital health by becoming stronger.

www.blogtalkradio.com/marriagecoachlynn -Weekly internet radio program that encourages and supports lifelong, happy marriage. Archived shows all available for listening.

Nurture your marriage and invest in resources, conferences, weekend retreats, therapy or coaching as a way to deepen your understanding of yourself and your relationship. Some people spend 15 minutes a day with prayer, meditation or spiritual reading.  How about 15 minutes per day on marital reading?! Professional development is one’s career is important and so too is your marriage.   Please add “Reenergize Your Marriage in 21 Days” to your personal library.  You won’t be disappointed!


Here’s what others are saying about the book:

“You have provided a lot of practical advice and exercises that should help the reader. If I had to sum it up in one word, 'communicate' would be my choice. Much of the advice and many of the exercises help the two partners to rekindle communication with one another.” – P.W., Annandale, VA

Reenergize Your Marriage in 21 Days it is very informative, friendly and positive. What I like is that it gives positive reinforcement. What you are doing is great. I am thankful for people (like yourself), expressing and living their lives about what they are passionate about.” – F.A., Chantilly, VA.

© 2012 Lynn M. Griesemer

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