“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Icon Media Group, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
The Love Dare Book Review Part 2
Check out Part 1 HERE.
Book Author: Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick
Book Genre: Parent Devotional
Number of Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (July 1, 2013)
My Rating: 5 /5
This book is written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, authors of the original, The Love Dare. They are the creators of movies such as Fireproof and Courageous and Alex has starred in those movies as well as Flywheel and Facing the Giants.
Some of the interesting features of this book include FAQ’s in the author’s preface. There is an online assessment that you can take at www.lovedaretest.com for both parenting and marriage which show your strengths and areas for improvement. You can take it numerous times to see your progress. One issue I had with this site was that it was supposed to give you the option of adding in your childrens’ names and birthdates, but it never worked for me. It is supposed to show you how many days your children have been alive and how long until their next birthday. The marriage one tells how long you have been married and how long until your anniversary and it worked just fine. I tried to email customer support and clicking on the link took me nowhere. The test was great. It shows your scores and specific days that will help you grow in those areas. I think this would be helpful in re-reading the book. Go through it all the first time, then go back and work on specific days that address areas that need the most work. Also, it gives Scripture to help with these areas. At the end, there are appendix articles: a section about what the Bible says about spanking, “12 daring ideas to maximize family time” such as turning off electronics or playing hooky by picking up your child from school to do something fun, ways to pray for your children, things that block prayer and things that make prayer effective, a section with a salvation message for parents to see what following Christ is all about if they are not already Christians, verses for your children to memorize, questions to ask your child for conversation starters, and an inspiring proclamation of what the Word of God is. I like the journaling part of this book so that years later, the children can come back and see how I, as a parent, thought about them and what I did to show them that I love them specifically.
There are 40 days in this challenge. Rather than listing each and every day’s challenges, I’ll share a few that really spoke to me:
Day two (Love is Patient) is something that has been on my heart for a long time from my dad to my ex-husband to my current husband. But I also realize that it is not only about fathers. I often say things in the heat of anger that I wish I hadn’t said. Or lose my temper. I recall things that my dad has said that left an indelible mark on me. I don’t always do a good job with the patience part. But I suppose every parent struggles with that. My son requires an extreme amount of patience. Most of the time, I am able to remove myself from the situation emotionally because it will just escalate. But sometimes I fail because I am tired or hormonal or just have had a bad day and I can’t quite keep my patience as long as I normally can. When I was a younger parent, still with my ex-husband (taking my anger at him out on the children), a single parent, many stressful situations, I was a more angry frustrated parent. Now I have a little more experience under my belt, more support, more knowledge, more wisdom, I have been able to be a more patient parent even though I still fail miserably at times. Sometimes, we get the most angry at things our children do that are also our weakness. It is more helpful to confess that you struggle in the same area. To show your children that you are human and to suggest some ways that you both can grow.
The book talks about patience and kindness being two sides of the coin. Patience diffuses negativity and kindness is an action of positivity. Can you imagine what a family would look like if each member were proficient in patience and kindness?
In the section on kindness, I found an interesting and tough statement, that fathers should display more kindness than other men their children are around. That should be extremely convicting. I can think of many men that I was around as a child that were more kind to me than my father. And many men who have been more kind to my children then their father.
Day 4 (love values) discusses how the world sends the message that children are a burden and an inconvenience. Then after you have children, the world eagerly wants their attention, constantly advertising for them and wanting them to buy their products and serve in their causes and vote for their candidates.
“Children are also given to us to help us personally mature as parents. They teach us how to stop being so selfish and to give sacrificially. They pull us out of our comfort zones and stretch our abilities. They repeat our words and test our integrity. They expose our pride and deepen our humility. They help us learn to love more willingly. They enter this world as if to say, ‘here I am, a mirror to reveal you, ready clay for you to mold. I am given to bear your name and reflect your likeness. I am more valuable than anything you own, and I could become your greatest investment in the world.’ ” I have often been shown the mirror, having the children parrot back to me words that I have said. It causes you to stop and think before you speak.
Day five (love is wonderful): “Our children do not just grow up different; they show up different.” I know this to be only too true as all of my children are extremely different and each one was born in a very different way. My dad often joked that if I had had a zipper installed it wouldn’t have done any good because each one made their entrance into this world in their own way. Arrena was an unplanned C-section baby. Kimberly was a VBAC. Billy was transverse and a planned C-section, however since he had never dropped they had to do a vertical cut for his entrance into the world. As they each left their own scars and marks on my body, as a mother they also are unique in how I feel about them and how they affect my heart. “He personally gets involved forming and weaving the systems of a child’s body into a tapestry of life (Psalm 139:13–14). He draws the blueprints for every little boy and owns the copyright on every little girl…. Every birthmark is a trademark. Every special feature is the signature of divine design.”
Day seven (love is not irritable). Their definition of being irritable means “to be near the point of a knife”. It talks about irritability flowing from two bitter springs stress and selfishness. Wow can I relate to that. It seems like my life is always fraught with stress and it makes me very, very irritable and my patience goes out the window.
Date 10 (love is not rude): “Parents who do not enjoy being around their own children need to seriously ask themselves if they have really taken the time to train them how to be considerate, gracious, and likable. Manners, at the very heart, are a way of expressing love and showing respect for the intrinsic value in other people, each made in the image of God.”
Day 13 (love disciplines). Love is teaching our children a fundamental respect for God because that is the foundation for their moral decision-making. This chapter describes levels of God’s discipline for us. First He exhorts and instructs us clearly while sharing with us the consequences of disobedience beforehand. If we resist then He moves on to level two where He warns or rebukes us. Then the third level is lovingly chastening or scourging us with painful and appropriate consequences when we rebel. Pictures that He is patient but not a pushover. [Read more...]