No one ever entered into marriage to find loneliness, heartache, or pain. We enter marriage seeking someone who will love us. At first, in any relationship there is excitement and the thrill of something brand new. Everyone enjoys this stage of a relationship because both people are paying attention to each other, caring for every need, and communicating love in a variety of ways.
As we settle down into the relationship, get to know each other, and feel safe about the relationship continuing we have a tendency to not do what we used to do when the relationship was just starting. Life becomes busy, we have bills to pay, and the demands of life begins to drown out the relationship to varying degrees. As this happens the mindfulness of each other and each other’s needs gets lost in the mix of competing demands. We excuse ourselves because the job has all of these demands, or parenting has all of these demands. Tensions rise, small irritations we might have otherwise overlooked become huge fights, and we start neglecting our mate – all because love is not being communicated or felt.
“All forms of love are necessary, and none are to be ignored, but all of us find some forms of love to be more emotionally valuable to us. They are a currency that we find particularly precious, a language that delivers the message of love to our hearts with the most power. Some types of love are more thrilling and fulfilling to us when we receive them...” ― Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
In any relationship, there are two people who have a sense of what love feels like even though they may not be able to communicate exactly what it is. For some folks love is time spent together, for others it is when we do acts of kindness or service for them, and so on. Gary Smalley in his book, “The 5 Love Languages” defines the five most common types of love demonstrated in marriage relationships. All of us have at least one form of love demonstrated that speaks to us more than others. What is yours? What is your spouse’s? What do you do that really lights up your spouse and makes them feel like they are truly loved? You should be doing that. A lot.
Song of Solomon 8:6 “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.”