Monday, October 31, 2011

40 Days of Love Devotionals

Only a few hours from now the clock will strike November, the time when our thoughts naturally turn to the approaching holidays. This season reminds us to give thanks and examine our relationships with God and others. We focus our attention on gift-giving and worry about what to offer that will best express our love and care.

I know bloggers who, in years past, have spent each day of November writing down their gratitude for someone or for some way they've been blessed. It's a healthy tradition. When I've tried it myself it's been such a lift, and a bright light. The more gratitude I express, the more strongly I feel it, and the more my mind opens up to the endless reasons I have to be thankful.

What I'm suggesting for our first shared challenge is a variation on that theme of daily gratitude. This challenge is meant to help us become better spouses and grow more loving, joyful, and secure in our marriage relationships.  

HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE, those of you who are single or sad! Before you tune out because you aren't married, don't want to be married, have given up on your marriage, or believe you have no prospects, etc., pause and consider how you can experiment with this challenge. Find out what it has to teach you about love, and how it can help you either prepare for marriage or simply improve the way you relate to the people who are close to your heart. I promise you can discover ways to apply this challenge to your life. Don't let discouragement get in your way. Learning to love is never a wasted effort; whatever your situation, it will help you be your best and most fulfilled self.

So. Are you ready to try something lovely and life-changing? This is a FORTY DAY CHALLENGE. That's right, 40! Unless, of course, you decide at the end of forty days that you'd like to extend the experiment even longer (and really, you just might decide to once you begin to enjoy the payoff).
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to carve out a few moments for yourself each day before you go about your life, and have a private Love Devotional. There are two parts to this devotional: study and reflection time, followed by application. You will be invited to take one specific action each day, but as you explore ideas you'll likely come up with additional ways to practice what you learn.

If you are a Latter-day Saint you may already be familiar with the resources on the Church's website, Please visit the main page and find the search box in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and enter "marriage." Up will come a customizable menu of all sorts of articles, lessons, scriptures, talks, videos, audio recordings, and text—many incredible resources to encourage and inspire you. Browse the offerings. Make yourself a reading list if you like. Jump in! Choose something to enjoy every morning and let your heart and mind be fed and taught. Ask yourself questions. Make notes, make plans. Be with the information in ways that work best for you.

The second part of your devotional is a Love Dare. These come from a wonderful pair of Christian authors who wrote a book on understanding and practicing unconditional love in marriage. These "dares" are meant for husbands as well as wives, so if you are married, you may like to share what you're reading with your spouse. But do remember that as far as this challenge goes, the point is to work on lifting and improving you, because that's the one person you have been given responsibility and absolute freedom to control. Be careful not to give in to the temptation to try to turn this into a fixer-upper project for your spouse!

The authors of these Love Dares reference many fitting passages of scripture. They don't use the exact translation of the Holy Bible that Latter-day Saints are most familiar with, but you can easily locate corresponding references in the King James Version, if you want to follow along and study additional references.

These Love Dares can be so helpful and hopeful. They are focused on good, sound relationship principles, and as I said before, there are many ways to apply the concepts to other important relationships.

This challenge will officially start tomorrow, November 1st, with the advent of Thanksgiving. I hope you will decide to join me in doing these daily devotionals through December 10th. If you are really pushed for time in the mornings, and it feels too much to do all at once, perhaps you could start your day with a Love Dare, and then find a marriage topic at to study later in the day, or to read and ponder at bedtime.

Best of success to you. If you come to this challenge too late to join in on November 1st, don't let it stop you. Today is always a good day to begin.

The next challenge for A Few Good Women will come in a week or so, and it will be a quick and easy one, I promise!

Now, read on and follow these wonderful links, friends—

The Love Dare
Love Dare Day 1
Love Dare Day 2
Love Dare Day 3
Love Dare Day 4
Love Dare Day 5
Love Dare Day 6
Love Dare Day 7
Love Dare Day 8
Love Dare Day 9
Love Dare Day 10
Love Dare Day 11
Love Dare Day 12
Love Dare Day 13
Love Dare Day 16
Love Dare Day 17
Love Dare Day 18
Love Dare Day 19
Love Dare Day 20
Love Dare Day 21
Love Dare Day 22
Love Dare Day 23
Love Dare Day 24
Love Dare Day 25
Love Dare Day 26
Love Dare Day 27
Love Dare Day 28
Love Dare Day 29
Love Dare Day 30
Love Dare Day 31
Love Dare Day 32
Love Dare Day 33
Love Dare Day 34
Love Dare Day 35
Love Dare Day 36
Love Dare Day 37
Love Dare Day 38
Love Dare Day 39
Love Dare Day 40


  1. I am so excited to do this, Gigi! I've been mentally toiling around ideas in my head to strengthen myself and improve my marriage (because it can always be even better, right?) but hadn't come up with one that was IT. You nailed it on the spot! THANK YOU! Looking forward to seeing what other brilliant things come on this blog.