March 15, 2009 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
I DARE YOU!When we think of someone being a "daring" person, what usually comes to mind is someone who shows great courage and boldness by facing a risk or a challenge head-on.† By definition, a daring act implies that danger and failure are options.† But the daring person factors in all the odds and proceeds anyway, because the reward of accomplishing the goal far exceeds the risks and dangers. †
†††† After 23 weeks on the New York Times Books Best Seller List, The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick has regained the number one spot on the paperback "Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous" list.† The book is written for couples, but clearly has application for all loving relationships.† Last fall, the movie "Fireproof", which is now out on DVD,† played across the nation, and viewers were first introduced to The Love Dare through the movie.† In the movie, an older father dares his adult son to work on his failing marriage by asking him to commit to forty days worth of exercises and behavioral changes designed to revitalize his relationship.
†††† The Love Dare has sold 2.3 million copies to date, demonstrating that people are clearly looking for help in improving their marriages.† The book offers good, solid, Christian advice.† Like most self-help books it reminds us of much that we already know, but too often forget.† You will not agree with everything it says, but you will surely benefit from most of its advice.
††† Given the attributes outlined above, a daring person could be a mountain climber, a marathoner, a civil rights activist, a teacher of special needs children, a tight-rope walker or an immigrant setting out for a new country.† The Love Dare reminds us that in this day and age, one of the most daring things we can ever do is to fall in love with someone.†† Staying in love, and keeping the love alive over the years, is an even greater dare as we seek to grow and mature into the people we are called to be.
†††† Entering into a loving relationship indeed involves risk and danger.† We risk getting our hearts broken.† We risk being abandoned or betrayed.† We risk finding out things about our beloved that we did not know.† We risk finding out things about ourselves that we did not know!† We risk being changed in ways that we could not have possibly anticipated.† It takes a daring soul, full of courage and boldness, to fall in love!
†††† The title of this column is "I Dare You."† I am not writing to dare you to fall in love.† You already are most likely in love with quite a few people in your life, whether it be your spouse, children, siblings, friends, etc.† The dare I would like you to take is this:† commit to becoming the best you can be at loving the people in your life that you already love.† Dare to stop wishing they would change and become easier to love.† Dare to believe that the people that you love are in your life for a reason, and not by accident.† Dare to become what Love calls you to become.† This is what I dare you, and I dare myself to do.† In fact, I don't just dare you, as we used to say on the playground, I double dare you!
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