Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Marriage, Love Languages And God


We all speak one.

Which one do you speak?

Maybe it's English, perhaps French or German.... maybe Vietnamese.

Whatever your language, there is one language everyone speaks....

That language being....


Dr. Gary Chapman the author of the New York Times bestseller book The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment To Your Mate has reportedly saved many marriages by teaching couples how to effectively share their needs and have them met by the one they love and have chosen to live their life with.

There are 5 Love Languages:

Words Of Affirmation
Acts Of Service 
Quality Time
Physical Touch 

You can take his quiz here to learn what your love language is:


What love language are you?

During my marriage my husband and I took the love language test and although we had been married twelve years at that point it soon confirmed one of the issues we had had during our marriage. I remember feeling admittedly frustrated by the results because we were predictably at complete opposite love languages. His top love language was physical touch. My last love language was physical touch.

Being an encourager is personally important to me.... cheering on those who have had difficulties when maybe the only words their heart has ever heard were negatively piercing ones... because so often the ugly words we hear as children are what later echo in our heads. Yet that doesn't translate to later in life the one we marry placing value in hearing words of life spoken by us as we share this gift.

When the one we marry values physical touch first and foremost and giving it is last on our own list, it creates great challenges in a marriage. Because their need for physical touch is constant... anything from a pat on the back, holding hands to sex, for someone who doesn't require much of the same it can be exhausting and perhaps we may even begin to view our spouse as extremely needy and high maintenance.

It was a struggle for me initially to swallow this bitter pill.... to admit that yes, I had married someone whose primary love language was touch and how excruciatingly needy it came across to me. Meanwhile, I had been jumping like a frenzied cheerleader for over a decade with words of encouragement to him... I might as well have had a megaphone and done cartwheels through the kitchen every time I expressed kudos loud and proud on his latest career achievement upon his arrival home, when he mowed the yard, took out the trash, showered him with words of appreciation when he picked me up my favorite donut at Starbucks and put the toilet lid down. It was considered a good day in my eyes when we cuddled on the couch under a blanket to eat take out, talk and watch a movie.... because it equaled valuable quality time spent together. I was practically screaming my top two love languages to him for years and yet although I was patting myself on the back quite proudly my words were apparently falling on nearly deaf ears by him as he panted in heat like a puppy. 

It wasn't his love language. 

Upon seeing our results from the love language tests we took I began making the necessary changes (even though I felt as though I was in foreign territory) and speaking his language more....

And yet in that I believe it's extremely important that we know the difference between meeting our spouses needs in terms of their top love language and enabling an addiction. 

A puppy with needs versus a sick puppy.....
Addiction is when a need for something has crossed the line into unhealthy territory. We all have a need for love, food and sex. But when a need becomes consuming and all encompassing.... when we become addicted to love and engage in a string of meaningless relationships, when we eat too much, trying to fill an unmet need deep within... when we have obsessive compulsive behaviors that translate to sex so frequent it drains the ones we love or dabble in porn it takes away.... it all breeds death not life. 

A narcissist is often also a sex addict and with sex addiction comes an expectation of sex many times a day, tasteless groping of his wife with unclean words spoken, porn, cybersex, sex with women whose names he doesn't know, prositutes and empty affairs. It's entitlement and sickness and for a wife who feels nudged to submit more to her husband, to give him more and more after realizing or confirming her husbands top love language is physical touch it can have catastrophic results....

She will one day upon discovering his dirty secrets realize she can never ever fulfill him. It's not possible. There is an empty hole deep within him that will never be filled. He needs help to overcome and that comes from repentance, a willingness to change and a plea to God. 

It's not a reflection of her

She's not a bad wife. She has tried and tried, willingly made the changes she could, that were in her power to convey her love to him in the way he desires, in his love language. And yet she's merely tossing pennies in the wind that never make it to the fountain of life. 

Granted, all love languages are important to everyone, we need all of them even if we may find ourselves dismissing the importance of one or two. Because at the end of the day who doesn't enjoy an engulfing hug from the one we love and giving one to them? We all need and on some level desire that intimate connectivity with our spouse.... just because physical touch is last on our list doesn't equate to us being cold.... often any issues seem to revolve more around timing, frequency and approach than passionate desire. 

We all have a primary love language
 along with a close runner up. 

I actually fleetingly entertained the thought of how if I had it to do over again and could interview a potential mate on their love language that would have saved a lot of grief and anguish, right?

Most importantly though so could screening for sex addictions.
And narcissism. 

Because those don't bear fruit or give life.

***** And yet the biggest issues in a person's life 
aren't the issues themselves
 but their self awareness and 
willingness to overcome them. *****

Let's remember this... 

Love is work. Lots of it and God chiseling each of us to meet our spouses needs. To love them not just in our own way (which yes, since were perhaps by human nature a bit biased we probably think our way is pretty great.... and yes, absolutely well-intentioned) but yet also in their way.... to meet their needs not just by route of our own.

That's choosing to love. 

That's choosing to serve. 

That's saying today:

"I choose to give you what maybe isn't easy for me
 but I'm doing it because you are worth it.... 
and better than that.... 
we are worth it." 

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013 

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