Guest Author - Meghann Hodges
The Love Dare, written by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick, is a book based upon the Christian movie Fireproof. In the movie a man, who is facing the possibility of divorce, saves his marriage by completing a 40-day list of dares given to him by his father. The book was written after the movie in response to the overwhelming requests for the (at that time) non-existent book.
The Love Dare is Christian based, and each dare has some sort of biblical verse to give meaning to the challenge. Although anyone could benefit from a program that stresses kindness, attentiveness and re-discovery, the book is written for married heterosexual couples.
Why then, do you ask, am I writing a review of a book geared toward straight people? Because it works! Or so I’ve heard. After seeing the movie Fireproof, and reading the book and the many reviews (good and bad) I came to the conclusion that all of the values emphasized and presented to the reader could benefit any relationship.
Marriage is threatened on many fronts in our culture, people focus their time and energy putting importance on looks, money and things they have or can accumulate, meanwhile there is a 50% divorce rate that continues to climb. The Love Dare offers you a chance to take a fresh look at your relationship, and though some of the dares you are asked to complete may seem a little more than common sense, turning common sense into common action is a challenge that many face on a daily basis.
It is all too easy to take the people you love for granted and the key to any successful relationship is being intentional about your actions. We all know that we should be nice to our significant other, of course we should complement them and listen to them, show them that we care and think about them…but all too often we put our relationships on the back burner in place of our own selfish desires.
I found when reading it, that it seemed written by a man for a man. A lot of the wording and descriptions used gave the impression that the reader would be a man and the roles played in marriage were very gender stereotyped. However, the dares presented to the reader can be successfully completed by either person in the relationship.
Although Christian or Faith based, The Love Dare refrains from being too “preachy”, until day 20. It is in the middle of the book that you are finally given the dare to accept Jesus and God in your life by praying the sinner’s prayer. I think ultimately the goal of the writers was to show the reader how hard all the challenges were to complete without the help of God and that God loves you unconditionally. Despite every flaw, every sin, HE chose to give his only son to die for our salvation and HE chooses to forgive and continue loving you.
So once you complete dare 20, you are supposed to feel uplifted and supported on your journey to better your marriage, and to choose to continue loving your spouse despite their flaws and forgive whatever may have happened along the way. This book is not about changing your spouse, but more about becoming a selfless, patient and forgiving person.
I have literally read hundreds customer reviews on The Love Dare, and most claim that it changed their marriage. Even people who had a good marriage say that it made their relationship better and stronger. I believe that the principles depicted and challenged to you in the book can help any couple, whether they are homosexual, heterosexual, dating or married. It is the foundation that every new relationship should build on, and every existing relationship should be reminded of.