And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
About a year after Richard and I were married, we were asked by our pastor, whom we had done our pre-marital counseling with, to help him do a marriage retreat. He wanted us to tackle the session on ….wait for it….. communication. HA! Who does that? Who asks a couple 1 year into their marriage to tell other couples how to communicate. Well apparently he knew what he was doing because we researched that very thing in the Bible for weeks. In the end, we sat in front of about 20 couples and explained to them that communication was all about communicating love to one another. It was an eye-opening experience for us and made our marriage stronger. We still have the “communication demon” rear it’s ugly head every once in a while but when it does we just stop, pray, step back, and look at where the conversation went sour.
In today’s day and age, love has become a mixed up term without meaning People are confused about love whether it is because they have had a poor role model in their parents or have lived in a relationship that has not been healthy. Love is the greatest of all human qualities, and an attribute of God himself. Love involves unselfish service to others; to show it gives evidence that you care.
Communicating with your spouse doesn’t always mean that you agree with them. In fact most of the time the need for communication is there because you disagree about something. Sometimes you have to figure out that agreeing to disagree is the best option and then you have to let it go. You have to be able to be ok with not coming to an understanding. And that is perfectly fine. I live by the philosophy that it is better to be happy than right.
Seldom to a husband and wife communicate the same love language. We tend to speak our own language and expect the other to understand without teaching them how to speak our language. As a result, we completely miss out on what the other is trying to say.
example: What she says; “You never help me around the house.” What she means; “Honey I have a lot on my to do list today. Can you please help me out with one or two of them?” there is definitely a difference in how those two things will play out. He may say; “Stop nagging me all the time!” What he means; “Honey I am really tired, I worked all day, can I please relax for a few minutes and then we can talk.”
I know those are pretty extreme examples, and they are certainly things that you have to work towards. But I guarantee if you communicate the feeling of love instead of the “emotion” of what ever it is you are feeling, things will start to change.
The end of the love chapter in Corinthians chapter 13, which I highly recommend reading, says that love is the most important thin. In fact, the apostle Paul says that love should be our highest goal. But if you are going to keep love alive, you need to learn a new language. One that your spouse understands. That takes discipline and practice…but the reward is a lasting committed relationship.
How are you communicating love to your spouse? Are you teaching your love language? Are you making yourself willing to learn his/hers? Take a leap of faith and start being a student of your spouse and learning all you can about his/her love language. Begin in grade school if you have to. But don’t stop after graduation. Continue on to get your doctorate. It will be well worth the investment and will cost nothing but time. But the profession of loving your spouse is the most rewarding career you will ever have.
Father God, today I come to you asking that you strengthen the communication in our marriages. Please keep husbands and wives strong in their quest to figure out what each other want. Lord I pray that you will open and burdened their hearts to be open and honest with one another about their needs. Watch over them and put a hedge of protection around them and their families so that they may be strong in You. Amen