Customer Reviews: The Love Dare
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VINE VOICEon March 18, 2009
I became a Believer 5 years ago. Married for 6 years to a beautiful, amazing woman and blessed with 2 adorable children from this union, why do this 'challenge'? Why read this book?

I love my wife, and our marriage thrives. Sometimes I think if men would simply, truly love their wives, divorce would go out the window. In general, and forgive me for generalities, woman thrive at relationships and social activities if we give them a reason.

My dilemma: I became a Christian and my wife didn't. Still, our relationship works even with an essentially 'New Ager' married to a 'Jesus Freak'. I pray and witness to my family openly and try to do it with love and without a better than you, condemning, preachy attitude. But I'm flawed, and sometimes she'll roll her eyes or sigh, and either I or her get a bit defensive or worse, offensive. Whew!

The Kendricks' 40 day challenge offers daily encouragement essentially for Believers; although, anyone could benefit from a program that stresses kindness, attentiveness and re-discovery, but unless non-Christians are open and friendly towards the Faith, most will probably be put off by the Christian theme.

If you like a daily to-do format and the feeling of having a 40 day period of cleansing, starting over, renewal, I strongly recommend this for you. Most of the challenges are simply commonsense, but it's nice to hear it in short, digestable pieces and wonder what tomorrow's challenge will bring. And of course, it goes well with the movie.

I gave it 5 stars, not because it's a great, voluminous revelation, not that now I'm highly enlighted as my wife might say, and not just because I'm a Jesus freak, but because it calmed me down and help release my control; it urged me to look deeper, to want to give more freely without conditions, to try to love without too many expectations and to appreciate her for her. And as a man and a Christian, may I say: everything in the world is not about me!

"Yes, yes, I know all this." But, it sure helps to repeat it and be reminded of what's really important.

Finally, did it help my marriage? Yes! She didn't know what I was up to. And not to brag, because we struggle with life problems like anyone, and she's still a non-Believer(that's in God's hands) but our closeness and intimacy jumped to a fresh, new level. There's fireworks in more ways than I can say. Whatever you do, there's always hope, start anew.
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on November 18, 2008
After 15 years of marriage and three children, this simple little book helped me to remember that marriage is not just about meeting the right person, it's also about being the right person. A small time commitment over 40 days breathed now life back into our marriage. I highly recommend it to all married couples.
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Half of all marriages end in divorce. That means most marriage relationships are either severely dysfunctional or headed that way. What is the answer?

The Love Dare's answer is that we don't really understand how to live out the love that marriage requires. Inspired by the movie Fireproof, this book is a forty day devotional that covers various aspects of the true sacrificial love which is missing from many marriages.

There is a lot to like about this book. It clearly explains the nature of mature love & practically challenges you to live it out. It emphasizes how YOU have to be the one to take responsibility and change, regardless of how your partner does or does not respond, and it shows how the strength for that kind of love is powered by a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This book has had a powerful impact on thousands of people, and I am very thankful for the truth it teaches.

However, the book does have some shortcomings. First, the book is unnaturally constrained to fit the plot of the movie. The movie's plot confronted the main character with his need for a personal relationship with God mid-way through, and so the book follows suit. Halfway through the forty days, we suddenly shift to a presentation of how living out sacrificial love should make one realize his absolute need for Christianity. For Christians reading a book on marriage, the discussion of how our relationship with Christ should structure our marital relationship should be foundational, should be page 1. On the other hand, a non-Christian reading the book frankly is unlikely to be impressed by this sudden foray into an altar call in the middle of the book.

Second, the book spends little time on the differing roles of the husband and wife in a marriage. From a Biblical standpoint, there are real & crucial differences in how a man loves & responds to his wife vs. how a woman loves & responds to her husband. The Love Dare doesn't address these differing roles which are very important to the success of any Christian marriage.

Third, I felt there was this unwritten "if you do these steps your marriage will be transformed" aura to the book. While all marriages can benefit from going through this devotional, I think that many seriously troubled marriages will not have the movie's storybook happy ending at the end of forty days. Consequently, I fear people will either conclude they failed in some way or that God failed in some way. Neither would be true. Many marriages need more than just a good devotional; they need intensive personal intervention by a person of wisdom such as a counselor or pastor plus two partners who are both committed and humble. In my experience true humility is seldom found in both halves of a troubled relationship.

The Love Dare is forty days of wisdom and challenge that will benefit any marriage; just don't consider it to be the complete cure-all for every troubled relationship in the world.
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on March 4, 2009
I had planned to wait until I completed the 40 days before writing this review. But I have come to decide that it won't matter if my husband and I reunite to determine this book a personal success. My circumstances are different than most. My husband & I have been separated for almost a year and living 2,000 miles apart. You would think that would make doing the daily dares difficult. I do it all by email. I give a brief review of that day's topic and then I talk about what I would do "if I were home". My husband swore he'd delete the emails without opening but evidently he couldn't bring himself to do that. I'm only on day 16 and we are communicating by phone and our last conversation he said "if you come home, we'll need to take things slow". A month ago he said he couldn't wait until the year was up to file for divorce. Like in the movie - don't do anything about ending the marriage until you give it just 40 more days. I am prayerfully hopeful that this will be the first 40 days of our new life together and a wonderful testimony to others in trouble. But, if not, the insight about myself that has been revealed day by day will make me a better person in any relationship. Good luck and God bless.
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on October 23, 2008
To be fair, I am only on day 10 of the dare. I purposefully waited to review and intended to wait until the end, but I wanted an alternate perspective on Amazon. I am not knocking the authors or the intent, but I can't give this book 5 stars because instead of helping my marriage it's making me feel even less loved. I already do most of the things the dare has me to do for my husband. When one of the dares required me to ask him what I did that may annoy him, he answered "I don't know". There's nothing in this book about how to deal with that (again, I'm not all the way through it).

A good friend and I are both doing the Love Dare and are having similar difficulties. While we are both trying to be better spouses and be more patient, we are faced with husbands who are the antithesis to everything in this book. The Love Dare's answer to that? Love is unconditional.

If you are a patient, caring, giving, loving spouse who bends over backwards for a mate who does not return the favor, this book is likely to cause more resentful feelings between you and your spouse. (To which the book reminds you, Love is not Selfish).

If you are a selfish and whiny nag of a spouse who constantly berates your mate and expects him or her to be perfect in every way, this book will open your eyes.

I give the book three stars because either way you will learn a lot about yourself and your spouse.
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on October 6, 2008
I was a divorce attorney for 5 or 6 years and saw hundreds of marriages come to an end--but usually for the same few reasons. This book could put divorce attorneys out of business.
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on August 13, 2012
Seriously! How much time have you wasted trying to fix somebody else? I read this book and had no idea how much energy I was wasting thinking someone else was the problem. Is my spouse perfect? No, but I can only try to better myself not control someone else. I consider myself a really good person, hold the door for others, take extra change back into the store, PTA etc. But I had to quit owning his problems and learn a little bit about owning mine. I have been married 11 and a half years and we have NEVER lacked love. My marriage was in turmoil though none the less. I was given this book by a friend who could just tell we needed it. I truly believe it has saved my marriage. It taught me that we lacked commitment even though we didn't think we did. After reading it I returned the book and bought my own copy. we can probably say we've never been happier. I intend to refer to it often and continue to live a long committed life with my husband and show our two children that everything takes work and some things are worth fighting for. I bought an extra copy for a wedding gift and it may sit on their bookshelf for years, I just hope that when its time comes it will make its way to their hands. I'm not an extremely religious person, we consider ourselves Christian and even make it to church, yet we have some very specific scientific views. None of that mattered to me with all the religious reference and undertones. I simply learned how to better myself in all of my relationships not just my marriage.
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on October 13, 2008
Been married 36 years and still going strong - thought I knew everything - but now I know I was missing so much - This is like starting fresh all over again. I only wish I had started this 36 years ago (and that doesn't even count how it works on other relatives and acquaintances).
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on October 1, 2008
The Love Dare

This book goes along with the movie, Fireproof, which has a Christian marriage theme. The book contains 40 days of Biblical topics and dares for each day. There is a topic, and a reading for each day which includes scripture, a dare, a place to check off when you complete the dare, and some questions about each dare.

An example--one day is about unconditional love, and the questions for that day ask if this is different than you have acted in the past and how the current results are different.

There are lines to write answers in the book. For a couple to do this, you probably each want to get your own book. If you are the only one in your marriage who would buy or do this, you can still do it and get a lot out of it.

I highly recommend this. It is a terrific way to make baby steps toward a better marriage by doing very simple, measurable actions.
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on September 17, 2008
The Love Dare is must reading for anyone who wants to improve their marriage. My wife and I have been doing marriage counseling for over ten years, and this book, without a doubt, will help anyone who wants to take their marriage relationship seriously. Well done!
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