Falling in love might just be one of the greatest feelings one can have. It begins with warm fuzzy feelings– butterflies in your stomach– heart skipping a beat– and quickly develops into a full blown euphoric feeling. The euphoria of falling in love can make you do some pretty “crazy” things– often quickly escalating to an emotional obsession– leading you to do all you can to please the other person and “win” their heart.
Research shows that the “falling in love” or emotional obsession lasts about two years. A lasting relationship can not be built on this feeling alone. Often times people get wrapped up in their current feelings and fail to see the bigger picture.When the realization happens– somewhere within that two year mark– they begin to question everything they thought they knew.
Everyone is born with the desire to feel loved. As the saying goes “falling in love is easy-staying in love is the hard part”. This is because at the beginning stages we go so above and beyond to win the others heart– that we express our love in a multitude of ways. Once the “honeymoon stage” is over and those “falling in love” feelings subside– it leaves many feeling lost– searching for what happened– why is it so different–where did the romance go?
Often times this is a result of taking a step back from the “courting”– at this point-it’s safe to say- you have won their heart. However what happens is– when you take the step back– you are no longer expressing your love in all the different ways you once did. So what are you missing? There are five love languages and each person has a primary language. Perhaps, you are no longer speaking the same language– it’s like trying to communicate and one of you speaks English and the other French– you will not understand each other.
Did you know?
It’s common in a marriage for one to genuinely express their love for a spouse, while still failing to connect emotionally.
Before we dig into the love languages let’s take a look at what the Bible says to us regarding marriage and how to love our spouse. After all– God is the supreme example of love!
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
1 John 4:7-11 Knowing God through Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Okay-Okay I get it!
But do you?
God loves us unconditionally–even when we are in our most unlovable state– God is right there waiting for you to call on Him– He will surround you in love and compassion– like you have never felt! The Bible tells us if we do not choose love-it signifies we do not know God. God’s love draws us near to Him and then to others.
Now it’s time for the fun part (not really). This is where many want to stop reading or stop following God– its the hardest part– the “staying in love” hard part. The Bible tells us that if one spouse is not showing love– the other must STILL LOVE– following the example of God who still loved us as sinners (Romans 5:8).
Ouch! That is NOT easy to do– trust me– I understand. Loving someone who is being down right mean and selfish takes some serious self-control and lots of prayer!
There are five basic love languages– by understanding each and discovering which applies to you and which to your spouse– It will help make showing love towards your spouse easier and more effective.
Each person has a primary love language and when love is expressed in that language– they feel truly loved.
1. Words of Affirmation
- Uses words to build each other up
- The smallest affirmation goes a long way.
- Encourage one another with words
- 1 Corinthians 8:1 Love edifies- builds up
- Goal: Make spouse feel affirmed.
- Tokens of appreciation
- Gifts even inexpensive ones to this person makes them feel loved and thought about
- This person feels love through thoughtful gifts- a tangible reminder they are loved
- Goal: Give spouse inexpensive, thoughtful, tangible gift to remind them they are loved
3. Acts of Service
- Actions that one knows the other will appreciate
- Ask spouse what can be done to help them–Do it– without complaining
- 1 John 3:18 love in deed and in truth
4. Quality Time
- Gives undivided attention to spouse
- Activity is unimportant– Focusing on each other is
- Time is a powerful communication of love
- Time = Love
5. Physical Touch
- Tender caring touch
- An embrace, a kiss, a hug, a hand on the shoulder are all expressions of love
- Physical touch helps reduce depression.
- Mark 10:16 Jesus took time to have children come to Him, despite being busy
- Never too old for a loving touch
Discover Your Spouse’s Love Language
- How do they usually express love towards you?
- What do they complain about most often?
- What do they request most often?
Answer the above questions and this will point you towards how your spouse feels truly loved.
It’s common for a person to express love in their own primary love language– which is what causes those “in love” feelings to fade. As we get comfortable in our relationships, we often stop putting in the extra effort to express our love– resulting to what we know best– our own primary love language. When we get to the comfortable state– this is when we begin expressing our love and failing to connect emotionally.
Love your spouse unconditionally– in their love language– and see the unlocking and working of miracles in your marriage and family!
For more on the Five Love Languages Check out this great read!