What is love? It seems that the true definition is becoming more and more obscure these days. The term “love” gets thrown around everywhere to describe every sort of emotion these days.
I mean, do you really “love” that sandwich you had for lunch? Did you really “love” that movie that you saw last week? Do you honestly “love” your house, your car, and that new pair of jeans that you purchased at the mall yesterday?
It seems we use the word ‘love’ so non-nonchalantly in our conversations, it has almost started to lose its significance and its ability to accurately describe the true physical and emotional force that is LOVE.
Society has truly done us a disservice by watering down and over using the term love.
Love is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Love is the foundation of mankinds existence. Love is the very fabric of humanity and the glue that holds all of society together. Love is God, and God IS Love (1 John 4:8).
Every human being that has breath in his/her lungs, whether they will admit it or not, needs to love and to be loved. It is an essential human need, a requirement for a healthy life, just like the air we breath, the food we eat and the water we drink to stay alive. We must have love in order to survive. Thankfully we have a creator, our God who loves us so much that he actually sacrificed his own flesh and blood that we might know and understand his love for us. And the bible lets us know in Proverbs 18:24 and John 15:12 that God is a friend and a father to us. A friend who sticks closer than a brother, a friend with such a passionate love for us that even death could not keep Him from us.
What a powerful truth to know that we have someone who loves us continuously with with a love that is perfect, enduring and powerful. But to really live a healthy and happy life, we need to learn to reflect and share that love that we receive from God, to those around us. So how do we do that? How do we learn to love our neighbors, friends, coworkers, kids, and most importantly our spouses?
Well, there are five basic love languages that we human beings tap into and relate to emotionally.
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch
Each of us will identify with one or two of these ‘love languages’ more than the others, and for each person the love language that speaks the loudest might be different, but the truth is we all need to have at least some portion of each of these types of love present in our lives on a regular and consistent basis in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
In order to maintain a healthy marriage relationship, it is vitally important that you learn which love language your spouse most identifies with as well, and make sure that you are ‘communicating’ that love language to them on a regular basis. The ‘language’ that speaks the loudest to your spouse and makes them feel truly loved may be different than what you personally identify with, and at times that can be a stumbling block in a marriage.
For many of us, it is easy to get tunnel-focused and only try communicating to our spouse the ‘love language’ that we personally identify with. It is easy to understand why we behave this way. If we receive our own emotional feelings of love and gratification from one particular love language than it is natural for us to assume that showing that same type of love to our spouse is the greatest way that we can communicate our love. Unfortunately many times that is not the case. You might be most emotionally impacted by affirmations or physical touch for example, whereas your spouse might be more emotionally driven by acts of service or quality time. If you only try to communicate your love through hugs, kisses and “thank you’s” that is great, and I’m sure your spouse will appreciate that, but you will not really be expressing love toward your spouse in a way that they will feel emotionally impacted by.
Remember, true love is an act of sacrifice. It is putting your own selfishness aside and giving some part of yourself to another human being, simply because you want to bless them and serve them and make their life better in some way.
In order to truly love your spouse in a way that they will feel and be emotionally impacted by, you must take the time to learn which love language your spouse identifies with, and then learn to communicate that love to them in a genuine and unselfish way.
Next week we will take a more in-depth look into each of the five love languages and how to apply them effectively. I will also teach you how to recognize which of the five love languages your spouse most identifies with so you can work on communicating that love language to them in order to strengthen your bond and your relationship.
For more helpful advice on how to establish healthy communication and romance in your marriage visit http://www.ChristianMarriageRetreats.net