In my last blog, we talked about how to understand your love language and that of your spouse. Today, I want to share why that is so vitally important.
Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages, says this about loving your spouse: “Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love”.
Think of it this way. Imagine you are at the carnival standing at the dart/balloon game. You are handed three darts and the goal is to hit three balloons that are hung right in front of you. Then, imagine you turn 90 degrees to your right and throw your darts at the wall where they hang the stuffed animal prizes. Because you are throwing in the wrong direction, you do not hit a single balloon.
Well, many couples are like that. I sincerely believe that most spouses really do try to hit the balloons (they actually are sincere in their effort to throw the darts). Unfortunately, they are throwing at the wrong wall! Wasted effort. Because they have not taken the time to understand their spouse’s love language, they are not even facing the target.
The other reason you need to know your spouse’s love language is this: “Seldom do a husband and wife have the same primary emotional love language. We tend to speak our primary love language and we become confused when our spouse does not understand what we are communicating.” (Gary Chapman).
So, we assume that everything is fine if we love our spouse the way we want to be loved. Wrong. It is likely that the way they want to be loved is different than the way you want to be loved. And, if you don’t know that, you’ll make the mistake of loving them the wrong way.
How can you be sure you are throwing the darts at the right balloons and loving them the way they want to be loved. Well, take the 10 minute online test I described in my last blog. It can’t get much easier than that — it’s fun, it’s informative, and it could revolutionize your marriage.
Why is this so important? Well, Gary Chapman wrote, “the need to feel loved by one’s spouse is at the heart of marital desires. A man said to me recently, ‘What good is the house, the cars, the place at the beach, or any of the rest of it if your wife doesn’t love you?’ Do you understand what he was saying. ‘More than anything, I want to be loved by my wife’”.
Chapman goes on to write, “Meeting my wife’s need for love is a choice I make each day. If I know her primary love language and choose to speak it, her deepest emotional need will be met and she will feel secure in my love. If she does the same for me, my emotional needs are met and both of us live with a full tank”.
It couldn’t be much simpler to understand, really.
And, frankly, it couldn’t get much closer to the heart of what Christ calls Christians to do in our marriages. The New Testament coined a new Greek word for love ~ agape. Agape means the sacrificial love of putting others before yourself (The Good Samaritan, for example).
The Bible’s word for love is a verb, not a noun. It is something you do, not necessarily something you feel. As a Christian, we are called to put the interests of others before ourselves (to consider the example of Christ, as it says in Philippians 2:1f). If that is the case (and Christ modeled that for us on the cross), how much more should we be focused on meeting the needs of the most important person in our life on earth (our spouse).
The way I look at it, the only way to take home the stuffed animal prize is to be shooting AT the right balloon targets. Frankly, I think it makes a whole lot more sense to shoot at the right target and TAKE HOME the prize than to leave empty handed. Don’t you?
I happen to really like stuffed animal prizes… though what I really yearn for is to see the love in my wife’s eyes when I serve her needs. Makes all the shooting worthwhile.
If you take the online test and need insight into understanding the results and where to go from there, e-mail me. I can help.
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