I figured I should write about marriage this week for two reasons.
- It’s my wedding anniversary this weekend.
- In Bible study this week, we talked about when God created man and woman and how they were meant to fit together like a puzzle. (Those are my words but it’s what I felt when I read the passage.)
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
– Genesis 2:22-24
Sounds great. Eden. No shame (yet). United. One flesh.
No talk of kids and housework and bills to pay and jobs and disagreements and doubts and sin and annoyances and differences and tempers and sickness and needs and desires and pain and histories and betrayals and forgiveness and tears and fears and the unknown.
God didn’t say “Marriage is hard work”.
But my mom did. She told me that early on and she was right. It’s like parenting- you don’t always know what you are getting into. You may (who are we kidding, you absolutely will) need to get advice, pray, read some books and learn.
Speaking of books…A friend asked me recently if I’ve heard of The Five Love Languages. Are you kidding? I love that book!
Some of my good friends will attest to the fact that when I first read it, I could not stop talking about it. I needed to explain it to everyone and then we all had to tell which “love language” we spoke.
This is a great book for married couples. The premise is that we all speak different love languages. In order to have a “more perfect union”, we need to know which language our partner speaks.
There are five love languages. They are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
First, you take a test to find out what your primary love language is. You can find the test and all the other information at www.5lovelanguages.com.
Here’s what I propose…take the test. Have your husband, wife or significant other take the test. Discuss. You may get a lot of eye rolling and complaining at first but it can be fun. Really, I swear. It’s not only good for marriage but can help you better understand friendship and parenting as well.
I realized my love language is Words of Affirmation. This means if my husband buys me a fancy gift, I will not be as excited as if he tells me what a great wife (person, mother) I am. This is good news for my husband! Save your money and tell me how great I am! Everyone is happy!
Some people would rather have their husbands do the dishes (acts of service) or go on a walk with them (quality time). Knowing this information can prevent a lot of marital strife. You know when your spouse gets you something or does something for you and they are all excited about it and you are irritated for some reason? You know you should be happy with their effort but you feel they don’t understand you. They give you a gift and you are mad. You go storming off and they’re thinking, “Whatever…I just bought you something…I guess I can’t do anything right!”
This is because you are speaking different love languages.
Read the book, take the test. No more excuses.
Wedded bliss all over the place.
And to Jeff…Happy Anniversary. Thank you for 17 years of the good stuff… love, laughter, support, encouragement, generosity, friendship, understanding, respect, growth, honesty, authenticity, dependability, adventure and fun. I’m so glad we are on this journey together. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”
©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
drawing by Mary Engelbreit