LOVE, let’s talk about that for a sec.
Many people feel that Valentine’s day should be every day, just like mothers and father’s day which is a bit crazy cos how on earth will I afford that many gifts. Well, by giving someone a gift to show your love and appreciation is not the only way to show and express love. There a many ways in which one can express love to your spouse, friends and family and because we are in the month of LOVE, we will solely be focusing on LOVE in marriage.
What does the Bible say about LOVE? (in marriage)
Okay, so scripture states the following:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sin.”
1 Peter 4:8
So the Bible clearly instructs men to love and woman to submit. The instruction to woman to submit to their husband, is often misinterpreted by many. But, if you understand the true meaning of biblical submission, you will soon learn that even though woman are not instructed (like the men) to love their husbands, loving your spouse comes naturally if the husband follows his instruction. With all the instructions being dished out, there’s no how-to that comes along with it and this is what I actually want to chat about.
How do I love my spouse?
How are you supposed to love your spouse? Let’s take a few steps back to the top…there are many ways in which you can show love to your spouse. Buying your wife flowers & chocolates, cooking your husbands’ favourite meal, even saying that you love them. Love can mean a whole lot of different things to everyone and the interpretation thereof can be different. This simply means that love or loving someone can mean two different things to two different people.
This brings me to a book I read some time ago. Ever heard of “love languages” before? Now this book – The Five Love Languages, written by Dr. Gary Chapman back in 1995, explains this very well. In a nutshell, it simply states that everyone speaks a different love language – interprets love differently so in order for one to show love to one’s spouse in a manner in which they understand, one needs to learn and understand their love language.
The 5 love languages of love
Words of affirmation
Someone who loves to receive compliments or to be told how good they are at something they do, will speak this language. E.g. If this were to be my language and my husband shower me with gifts or takes over some of my mommy duties to show me that he loves me, I will not feel the love coming from him in this way. Instead, he should be complementing me on my cooking or my hair when I get back from the salon, or just constantly tell me nice things to make me feel secure and loved. Hearing the physical words from your spouse builds the self-image and confidence of someone who speaks this language. Humble and kind talks can also communicate affection and appreciation.
This is my language…can you tell?? My husband and I do everything together, well, most things. I would prefer staying home, watching movies, just chatting about anything and everything. Earlier in our marriage there was a major miscommunication that cause so much havoc in our marriage, it almost brought it to an end. Alan was this amazing father, he literally raised the kids during their baby years while I was working crazy hours at a casino. To tell you the truth, he did a far better job than me….seriously. He did everything, even clean the house, do washing and when I was home, ready to spend some time together, he took a break. It wasn’t that he didn’t deserve that break, it was just that spending time with me was not on his to-do-list…ever. This action communicated to me that he doesn’t want to spend time with me which in turn lead me to believe that he simply doesn’t love me. Quality time simply emphasizes on focused attention on the one you love.
For many people, receiving gifts is a big deal. We all have that one friend that comes to visit and say…”look at my shoes/necklace/bag, my husband bought it…ahhh he loves me so much!” I certainly have one of them. For someone that speaks this language, you simply cannot just tell them you love them without giving them something, ever. And remember, this is not being materialistic but rather a “visual symbol of love”. The thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift communicates love. A good tip for someone that is married to someone that speaks this language…NEVER FORGET A BIRTHDAY OR ANNIVERSARY or any other gift giving occasion.
Acts of service
Some people appreciates it when their spouse helps to ease their burden of responsibilities. Who wouldn’t? This language needs to be communicated with joy and in a loving way for it to be perceived as LOVE. If your spouse has to beg or ask you repeatedly to make him a cup of coffee or bake him that cheese cake he’s been craving for, if you moan about it he will see it as a burden to you and intern interprets it as unloving towards him.
This language is not about what happens in the bedroom. Ever heard of oxytocin? Well, this is a hormone that is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland in the brain. This is often referred to as the cuddle or love hormone. This hormone is secreted when touching and thus facilitates bonding which communicates LOVE. And since LOVE is what we need, hugging, holding hands and leaning against each other – communicates just that. So when you think your spouse is too “clingy”, think again, he/she might be communicating LOVE.
Getting to know your spouse’s love language can be tricky. Make a list of things that you think he/she likes, try different approaches in doing things or take the quiz online. Once you know your spouse’s love language your relationship will flourish.
Do you know your spouse’s love language?