Okay, so maybe my tongue was bitten once or twice, but I’m sure things will get more challenging as the days go on.

I want us to draw closer to God and each other, of course, but I also needed these 40 days to be a time of personal reflection.

Our relationship is complicated; we’ve experienced times of true connection and total betrayal—with each of us defining those words in different ways.

I do know how much I've been hurt in the past, and how far we've come since then, but I also know that sometimes the past comes back and hits me so hard I recoil.

The wounds may heal, but scabs seem to get knocked off sometimes, and this is my problem.

I have to learn to accept the scars for what they are, and not allow anything or anybody to cause the past come back to haunt me.

So I'm daring myself to take the plank out of my own eye, and to step up hand in hand with the man I love, our eyes focused on the God who put us together.

Day 1: Love is patient Today's dare was relatively simple.

Editor’s note: In the fall of 2008, Mary Lebeau and her husband, Scott, took the “Love Dare”—a 40-day series (based on a book by Stephen and Alex Kendrick) of challenges and activities designed to strengthen and even rekindle a couple’s love relationship. The night was a fun one—good people, inspiring movie, and a bit of fellowship afterward.

But there really was no reason to think it could be more than that.

Then the leader of our marriage ministry decided to dare the couples who attended to go through the same “Love Dare” that the lead character in the movie took.

My husband, Scott, and I decided to join three other couples in accepting the challenge. First and simplest, I support the marriage ministry in our church as much as possible; it has honestly blessed the two of us, and I want to keep it moving forward.