LOVING YOUR SPOUSE

YOU SPEAK A UNIQUE LOVE LANGUAGE

If you have ever felt like your spouse is speaking Spanish, and you are speaking French… there is a pretty good reason!

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

One of the best books ever written on the subject of marriage is Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. This book is filled with information and an in depth look into individual personalities and how we naturally can be wired as human beings.

Gary Chapman is a relationship counselor and author, he is the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. He also has a radio program on marriage and relationships that airs on over 100 stations. In his most famous series, The Five Love Languages, he goes on to argue and explain that each of us has an independent love language that we speak, and if you are not speaking your spouses love language nine times out of ten, your marriage will go through trial most often ending in divorce.

Chapman’s academic training began in anthropology, so being a studier of linguistics and behavior, he began to process people and determine secondary languages. Each individual he determined has five. Most have a predominate ‘first’ secondary language, and then a weaker second. The five “love languages” are;

1. Physical Touch
2. Acts of Service
3. Quality Time
4. Gifts
5. Words of Affirmation

Throughout the book, you will begin to recognize and understand that while your main love language is quality time (mine), your spouses main love language may be words of affirmation (Jeff’s). This was a very important discovery for me, considering that I was always hungry for Jeff to spend more time with me, while Jeff was always hungering for my approval. Before this book I would get mad at him for not desiring to follow me around and do everything that I do with me, and he would get frustrated when I didn’t recognize his accomplishments verbally and tell him how “proud” I was of him! We were speaking entirely different love languages and we were emotionally empty because of it.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE HONEYMOON?

For whatever reason, while we are in the honeymoon phase we hunger and desire to do whatever our fiances/spouses desire or need from us. It is a phase in marriage when everything is nearly perfect then reality sinks in, and we stop trying. What a bummer! Instinctively we have been speaking to each other in each others love language in the courtship phase, and have been in the process of filling each others “love tanks”. Then we get tired, have achieved the goal of marriage, and end up with stopping trying. This book goes on to show us that if we as individuals can recognize that if we can begin speaking love to our spouse in their love languages, much of the honeymoon phase can be restored and life can go on with your very best friend, your spouse!

IT ISN’T NATURAL

Opposites attract, and thank God they do! If my main love language was physical touch, and so was my spouse… we would never get anything practical done! The easiest way to determine your love language is to recognize what you yourself do most often,

  • Are you a hugger? A hand holder? (Physical Touch)
  • Do you go out of your way to do dishes for someone? Mow their lawn so they don’t have to? (Acts of Service)
  • Do you like sitting and reading a book with someone? Is it enough for you to be in the same room as some one? (Quality Time)
  • Do you like to buy presents for others? Do even .25 cent trinkets catch your eye as the perfect something for someone else? (Gifts)
  • Are you constantly saying “Way to go friend! I always knew you could do it!” (Words of Affirmation)

If you can determine your love language and your spouses, you will begin to see that your spouse is more than likely your polar opposite, and speaking in their love language is not natural for you. This is where the work comes in. You will actually have to work at bringing to them the love that they so desperately need and require.

EMPTY LOVE TANKS

Just as a car without gas can not run, a person who has not received the love they require is void and empty and miserable (some stemming from childhood). You know you have filled your spouses love tank when they are not desperately seeking out love from you, or others. I like to use this example to men, “If you ask your wife if you can go to watch the game at Joe’s house, and she says ‘sure!’, with a smile… You’ve done your job! She is full! If you ask her if it would be ok, and she grimaces at you and says.. ‘AGAIN!?’ Guess what, she is empty!” The same can go for women, hanging out with the girls.

Today, I would like to encourage you to learn your spouses love language, and start speaking it and see what happens. I also would like to encourage you to read this book, in it you will find a wealth of information and personal experiences. Many times marriages breakup from two empty individuals who eventually find another person outside of marriage that is willing to fill them up. However, then again the honeymoon phase quickly ends, and you have an endless cycle of divorce and separations.

A prayer for today,
Father God, be with your children in their relationships. Help them to recognize that we all have ‘tells’, characteristics, and gifts that make up our personalities. While we are all unique and different, you have made us in Your image, the image of love. While You have certain characteristics, so do we. Show us Lord how we can better relate to our spouses, and begin speaking to them in a language that they understand. It is our desire to be married forever [Matt 19:6], and we pray that all of our relationships whether it be with our mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, spouses, or friends will become healthy from this day forward. Show us how we can start speaking love to others in the best way possible, we desire to be apart of the solution, not a part of the problem. In Your Son Jesus’ name AMEN.

Dr. Chapman has also written,

The Five Love Languages of Children
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers
The Five Love Languages Singles Edition
The Five Languages of Apology
God Speaks Your Love Language
The Marriage You Have Always Wanted
and more!

God Bless you today as you learn to speak what your spouse desires to hear, and may your spouse desire to speak back to you!

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