Long ago I thought that if you got along with the person you are dating it would just all work out. For a time I even thought even if you didn’t really get along, if you wanted it to work out, it would. In both cases I wasn’t correct. No matter how well you do or don’t get along, you have to be willing to be a life long student of your spouse/partner.
Every person in your life is an individual who is unique. This applies to everyone you come across, new friends, family, old friends, siblings, parents, children and of course most important your spouse. So do you take time to study them? Do you know what is important to them? Do you know what makes them tick and how they need to be shown love? Or do you just wing it and do it how you would like to be shown love?
We were talking about the 5 love languages in youth group. If you have never heard of it before, you are not alone. Apparently my husband had never heard of it and that shocked me. How in the world have I been with this man for over 10 years now and I had no clue he had never heard of this or knew what they were? It does explain a lot though because so often I would explain to him what was important to me and he would look at me like I was an alien from whateverplanethasnotbeendiscoveredyet.
So if you are a person who has not heard of the 5 love languages or if you are a parent I can’t encourage you enough to head on over to the 5 love languages site and take a couple of the tests! After taking the test you may be interested in purchasing the 5 love languages book. The best thing is how many different books there are to help you with the different life stages. There is a love languages for children, love languages for men, love languages for teens, love languages for singles, love languages for the workplace and best of all love languages of God!
I think it is so important to take these tests together. To learn with each other and to try and show your spouse you love them in their love language. I personally take the test about once a year just to see where I am at. I have never asked my husband to take it because I always assumed what his were (it seems that I was a person who was doing some suggesting and never did my own following through). Tonight, I opened up the website and I had each of us take the test.
To say I was shocked by the results doesn’t quite explain how I felt when I looked at his results. I was completely gobsmacked by his results. They were not exactly the same as mine, but we were really close. So close I had to do a double take when comparing them to recall which persons I was looking at. I don’t think it should have shocked me as much as it did, but for whatever reason it did. Probably because in my head, I think men all get physical touch as their top result (I know this isn’t the truth, just a perception I have in my head).
Jack and I have always been similar in so many ways. So often I will say something and he will look at me and tell me to get out of his head because he was just thinking the same thing. Or all of a sudden in the middle of a show we are watching or song he will blurt something out (most of the time it has nothing to do with what we are actually doing) and I just look at him and laugh because I was having the same thought as him and I just had not said it yet. I was so skeptical when I would see shows or movies and the people were, “you complete me”. Especially after my first marriage. However now with Jack, I totally get it because he does complete me.
Do we have problems? Yes of course we do. Do we have disagreements? Yes of course we do. Do we have 100% the same beliefs about everything? Not a chance and that leads back to the problems. Do we love each other? No doubt in my mind. Do we want to spend the rest of our lives together? Could not imagine it any other way. Do we get each other? We are getting there. Do we know how to show love to each other? We are so much closer today than we were yesterday!
I think when you choose to only love people in your life the way you want to be loved you miss out on so much. You are not filling their love bucket up. You are not even filling yours up fully. Being able to show and receive love the way others need it is pretty amazing. It is a gift to them, from you because you truly love them. It does not always mean they are going to come back and show you love the way you need it. There are a lot of reasons why they would not but one of the biggest ones is, maybe just maybe they have no clue what any of that means.
Life can be hard and so can relationships. There is never an easy path all of the time for any of it. You can work toward making things better. You can be selfless, you can pray, you can work together taking the test and putting into action what you have learned about each other.
You could also go the other way and be selfish. You could take the test and stew in the fact that you knew your loved one was not loving you the way you needed it. You could ignore how you should be loving your spouse. You can make a choice to ignore all you have learned and just focus on you and what isn’t going correct.
Life is full of lessons. Some of them are easy and some of them are really hard. Jack isn’t my first marriage. I knew before I got married the first time that I sholdn’t not be doing it. I even wanted to call it off but it didn’t happen. I tried to make that marriage work. I found a church and got involved. I prayed, read the Bible, and read as many books as I could get my hands on about marriage, husbands, wives, relationships and how to make them work; even if only one is trying. None of that worked because it wasn’t a healthy relationship to be in. It was a hard lesson that went on for years; and even current life is affected by that one choice.
Marriages and relationships are not meant to be one sided. They all need give and take. They all need conversation and listening. They all need grace and forgiveness. They all need people who are willing to bend and stand firm. They all need people who are ready and willing to be selfless and not selfish. They all need laughter and tears. They all need joy and sorrows. They all need people who are willing and able to become a student of the person they are with.
Do you know why you have to be willing to be a student of the people you are in a relationship with? Because during our lifetime, we change, we grown, we morph into different beings. We are not who we were in the past. We are ever changing. That is why you have to be willing to be a student and study your spouse. The person you dated will not be the same person you marry. The person you married will not be the same person a year later. That person you loved a year later with completely change when you have children and grandchildren.
We are ever changing and growing. Are you ready and willing to be a student who studies your spouse if you are not already there? Are you ready to take your relationships to the next level? I would love to hear about it because happily ever after can exist, even if you are currently struggling.