When Stephen and I were engaged, we went through a video series as part of our pre-marital counseling called Defining the Relationship. Our pastor recommended it because it’s very straightforward and easy to follow. I really enjoyed it because it set us up for some important conversations that we probably wouldn’t have thought to have otherwise. One of the biggest things we took away from the series was the 5 Love Languages. We learned that there are essentially 5 ways that a person receives love: 1) Physical Touch 2) Words of Affirmation 3) Receiving Gifts 4) Acts of Service 5) Quality Time.
Since the day we established our individual love languages, we’ve made a point to incorporate them into our daily lives. My husband can tell me he loves me, be a good listener, and treat me well. Those are all things that good husbands do, but if he notices that the trash is overflowing and takes it out without me having to point it out, then I really feel special. It says, “Hey, I know you’re running around with our kids and I know you like a clean house, so I did this for you because I love you.” He knows my love language is acts of service. Or, when we’ve both had a really tiring day at work, the kids are particularly needy that evening, and we have an early morning the next day, I can take a few minutes and tell my husband just how much I appreciate him. “You did a really great job today. I know you put so much effort into your work and taking care of us and I’m really thankful for you.” I can run my fingers through his hair while we sit on the couch together once the kids are sleeping. If I only have a few minutes of my day to really pour in to our relationship, knowing that my husbands responds well to words of affirmation and physical touch can make the best of those few minutes.
This is especially helpful during busy seasons when we spend more of our waking hours away from each other than we do together. Knowing the other person’s love language helps us to still serve one another as man and wife in a simple, yet intentional way that really keeps our marriage in the forefront. We can be so distracted with work and kids and other miscellaneous commits that it’s easy to feel like your marriage is drowning! Some days, doing one thing for my husband is all I can manage, but that one small thing can keep the fire going strong if it’s received well.
So, what’s your love language? What about your hubby’s? How have the 5 love languages improved your marriage?