Scripture to reflect upon: Genesis 2:18, 24
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Let’s start from the beginning…of time, that is. You were created to help one another.
We live in an All About Me society. Facebook and Twitter prove that point, as we are under the assumption that the whole world wants to know our every move, thought, or drama. So we continually post updates about what’s happening in our mind nearly every second of our day.
When we were single (or if you are still single) we were looking for someone to fulfill a fantasy. We had a laundry list of checkpoints our future soul mate needed to achieve in order for us to commit to them. Some were superficial, and others were characteristic. Hopefully we all strived to find someone who believes in Jesus the way we do, otherwise we’ve got real problems, and I already posted on that topic a few weeks ago. But we often search for a partner with this selfish idea of how they can and will please us. It’s the new world idea, “What can you do for me?”
We were not designed to have people serve us, but instead, to serve others. If you’re having issues in your relationship, you’re probably thinking in terms of what you’re getting or what you’re not getting out of the relationship. We are always expecting something. We want, we want, we want. We take, we take, we take. But we never give back in return. I have a feeling that I am extremely guilty of this myself. My husband does a
LOT for me, and I’m not quite sure I am fulfilling my role in all of this. In order for me to truly meet his needs, it’s incredibly important that I speak his love language.
If you’ve never heard of or read the book, The Five Love Languages, I highly recommend it. All too often, even when we are trying to do nice things for our partner, we may be doing all the wrong things that don’t speak their love language. Your partner may constantly be telling you how wonderful, or how beautiful you are, but if your love language is Physical Touch, and not Words of Affirmation, you’re going to be frustrated and unsatisfied with their efforts to please you. You will more than likey feel like they are doing everything BUT pleasing you, and you will probably also feel as if they just don't "get you." In fact, the very acts of love they show to you, may be entirely rubbing you the wrong way, so much so, that you may believe they just don't love you at all.
Dr. Gary Chapman came up with this amazing discovery of the love languages, and it honestly works! I just took the quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/. (There is a quiz for singles, too, so don’t be discouraged. This will be incredibly helpful in trying to find the right helpmate specifically for you!) It was no surprise to me that my love language is Acts of Service. Because I’m a very busy mommy, and although I’m home all day, having help around the house is a huge thing for me. When Jared cleans or fixes things around the house, this speaks volumes to me. He’s speaking my love language, and I absolutely feel loved. He also gives me words of affirmation, and I don’t typically respond to it the way I do when he helps around the house or with our son.
The Five Love Languages are as follows:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
The problem is that most of us who are aware (either consciously or subconsciously) of what makes us feel loved, try to use that very same love language for our partner, who may not receive love that way. And we tend to get incredibly upset when they don’t or won’t respond to how we are showing our love for them.
ACTION PLAN: I suggest both you and your partner take the quiz and then discuss what your love language means to you, personally. The great thing about the quick quiz is that it will score your love language for each category. That will be extremely helpful in realizing the things that truly don’t do much at all for your partner. (I scored very low in Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch, but very high with Acts of Service. Next in line was Quality Time and then Words of Affirmation.)
Then, get to work! Don’t focus entirely on what your partner is (or isn’t) doing for you—although that’s important, too—but concentrate on how you can please your partner. Make your partner your number one priority this week (aside from God, of course).
FACT: You are no longer single (unless you are, see below). You are no longer living just for you. You and your partner have become one flesh, just as God said. God created us to help one another. If we are only looking out for ourselves, then we will never truly be happy. When we serve others and show them our love, it’s not only rewarding for them, but you will reap the benefits knowing that you are blessing your partner. Being married no longer allows you the luxury of living a selfish and greedy lifestyle. Consider what your partner needs…always.
GO FURTHER: Practice showing your love for your partner by accommodating your partner’s two highest scoring love languages.
SINGLES: You were created specifically for someone special to share your life with. Before moving on in any relationship, it’s important to know what makes YOU tick and what makes you feel loved. If you don’t, then all you will continue to do is spin your wheels getting nowhere fast. Start learning how to be a blessing to others. Put yourself out there by thinking of others first and foremost. Don’t always think about what you want, but focus on others around you and what they want or need. This will properly prepare you for the person God has lined up for you.