Lately I have been experiencing some frustration. Frustration that “I don’t matter” because my garage is a mess. YES, my husband must not love me because he has let the garage go and has not taken the time to keep it clean ~ how I like it. The garage should always be clean because I expect it that way and it’s much more inviting! How in the world can my husband allow the garage to be so dirty and unorganized when he knows how important it is to me for it to be tidy and perfect!?!
Sound familiar? If it does I have a pretty good idea your love language is the same as mine and that is “acts of service.”
“Acts of Service”: doing a task or something your husband would like to be done, for example: washing the dishes, taking out the trash, feeding the animals, checking the children’s homework, dusting, folding the laundry CLEANING THE GARAGE and the list goes…
We, “acts of service” types like things clean and orderly. We are always cleaning up and making sure details are in tact. We serve others easily and look forward to serving because that is how we receive love without even knowing it. Serving others in this way is what we are good at and clearly shows we care so much ~ “DUH!”. So, in return if we do not receive this same type of service it must mean we are not loved. Right!?! WRONG!
Just because I love through service does not mean my husband does. In fact, he usually does not even want me to love him this way because he doesn’t see me serving him this way as love. He sees my actions as “busy again” doing things that truly do not matter. I am not spending quality time with him, speaking to him intimately, touching him, gifting him or just being still. I am “busy” again and well that’s not something he understands. He does not speak this language, my language.
I am selfishly loving my husband my way,
and I have created expectations for him, that are impossible for him to ever reach! That is the reality of the standard I have set! The silly part of all of this is It took me about 12 years of marriage to finally understand this, and I have now been married to my husband for 17 years, together for over 20 and I still forget that just because my garage is dirty ~ like currently really dirty, take a peek :
TOLD YOU! I still begin to believe”He must not really love me or care about me or think about me”. I begin to believe those thoughts because I become blinded by my own love language. When that happens I am making the choice to stay focused on lies from the enemy and my selfish needs verses loving my husband and how he needs to be loved and surrendering my needs to the Lord. This difference in language is something that the enemy uses to drive wedges between husbands and wives, If we lose focus and love selfishly.
God never intended for us to love selfishly, He intended for us to focus on our spouse and love selflessly.
We are to focus on our husbands design, how he craves to be loved, meaning we love through his language ~ not our own.
STOP THE INSANITY!!! There is an amazing book called The 5 Love Languages, written by Gary Chapman, if you have not read it I highly recommend it. It further explains what I am describing here. You see God rarely puts together a couple that is the same. We are usually very different, yet similar to one another. My husband for example is a man who loves quality time, and like I explained I am all about acts of service. So an ideal date for my hubby is me showing up one afternoon at his work just before his lunch break and surprising him for a lunch date! We could go outside have a romantic picnic or trip to his favorite place to eat and just talk, look in each others eyes and enjoy an hour of life. Where my ideal date is my hubby coming home with a box of trash bags and him saying “honey lets go out to the garage tonight, I’m gonna let you watch me sweat and I’m gonna organize and clean the mess in there, you can help me all you want and we can go through everything and have a blast making the garage sparkle” ~ oh yeah baby that to me is the prefect date! See how opposite that is??? See how we can totally get lost in translation?
It’s really kind of silly when you think about it, we sometimes can become so sensitive ~ I hit my clicker and the garage opens and I become fixated on all of the stuff all over the garage, the kids stuff piled up, his tools laid out, my party and event stuff scattered about and suddenly I jump to the worse case scenario, “my husband must not care about me any more, he has lost interest and does not love me”. Kind of ridiculous when you think about it. Or on the other end my hubby starts to nag at me and says “you never make time for me, because you don’t sit with me on the couch”, or “walk with me to the mail box”, “you just don’t care anymore”. In my mind I am like hello I just cleaned your closet and made your dinner and got your car cleaned ~ hello I love you like MAJOR! Because to me that is my love language and I cannot show you anymore love than that, but to him that makes no sense because he does not speak my language. We are not speaking the same languages at all, our language is a mess! He needs me to stop doing what I like and know and start doing what he likes and craves!
Today I challenge you, yes you my friend that is reading right now! I challenge you to truly analyze your marriage and how you love your husband.
Do you love your husband how you crave to be loved, how you know how to love?
Or do you love your husband how he craves and was designed to be loved?
Do you know the difference?
When your husband loves you how he knows to love do you acknowledge him and say thank you even though your love tank may not fill up from his gesture?
Do you love him where he is at?
Do not let the enemy take hold any longer and create wedges in your marriage because you speak different languages?
Begin to learn to speak each others language, take the time to learn and enjoy the process ~ it will not happen over night it will take practice! Remember there is no short cut to excellence! I promise you if you begin to love selflessly your marriage will be blessed and your love tank will overflow ~ even when your garage is messy ~ we all need a reality check every now and then!