Coming Up TODAY – Complete Mentee Applications, if interested March 29 th – The Tempters Trap – The Story of David and Bathsheba – and How to Avoid an Affair in your Marriage April 3-5 Couples Retreat Colorado Springs Glen Eryie Retreat Center –donors needed for underwriting and scholarships April 12th-- Easter, no class Fiddlers Green Amphitheater at 10 AM May 17th, Chapel class at 10:45 (no 9 AM) annual picnic on the grounds follows
Before the Wedding Think back... –Prior to dating / the pursuit –Dating and courtship Your primary goal was to make him/her feel loved –Spending time together, giving gifts, compliments and flattery, holding the door, back rubs and holding hands, etc.
What Happens after the Marriage? Lack of effort to show love or, efforts go unnoticed, unappreciated – why? Along with our other personality differences, its very likely we also give and receive love in different ways. We need to understand our spouses primary way of receiving love.
Concept of the Love Tank Running on Empty –Feeling unloved –Emotionally distant from your spouse Full Tank –Feeling loved –Emotional intimacy Choose to take charge of your spouses love tank!
The 5 Love Languages Quality Time Physical Touch Receiving Gifts Acts of Service Words of Affirmation
Quality Time Explanation: You desire to spend time with your spouse focusing your attention on each other. This involves quality conversation, sharing thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly uninterrupted context. Your love tank is refilled when you exchange dialogue that is meaningful and insightful. You feel disconnected from your spouse when you go a period of time without quality time. Scripture: John 2:12 – Jesus leaves after a wedding at Cana to spend quality time with his mother, brothers and disciples
Quality Time How to: Be a student of your spouse. Shared activities are an important part of QT. Place the emphasis on why youre doing the activity, not what the activity is. - at least one of you wants to do it, - the other is willing to do it, - both of you know why you are doing it - to express love by being together. Communicate that you care about your spouse, that you enjoy being with him/her, that you like to do things together.
Quality Time Some practical tips: 1. Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking. 2. Observe body language. 3. Refuse to interrupt. 4. No distractions! Quality conversation requires sympathetic listening but also self-revelation.
Physical Touch Explanation: No, its not just sex It includes any type of touching that makes you/your spouse feel secure and loved –Holding Hands –Hugging –Kissing –Backrub –Running your fingers through their hair –And, yes….sex
Physical Touch Scripture: I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And He took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them Mark 10:15-16
Physical Touch How to: As you walk from the car to the store, reach out and hold your spouses hand. When many friends & family are over, touch your spouse in their presence. It says, Even with all of these people here, I still see you When your spouse is seated, walk up behind them and initiate a shoulder massage. While sitting together in church, when the pastor calls for prayer, reach over and hold your spouses hand. Riding down the road together, reach over & touch your spouse on the leg, stomach, arm, hand, or..…If they say stop! by all means put on the brakes!
Receiving Gifts Explanation: –If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Types of Gift Giving –Just Because: I saw this and thought of you. –Favorites: I picked up your favorite ice cream on my way home. –Souvenir: I missed you while we were apart. –Special Occasion: I have the perfect gift to honor you this day. –Yourself: I will give you my time and attention and share about my day. Scripture: Matthew 2:11 After birth of Jesus… Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Receiving Gifts How to: The Budget –Its an investment in the thing most valuable to you – your marriage. –Sacrificially set aside more from personal spending. Getting Started, No Ideas? –Ask your spouse. –Seek input from others who know your spouses tastes. To the Recipient –Value is in the eye of the beholder, however, you must consider the givers intent and choose to orient your thinking to value the love demonstrated by the giver. Practice makes perfect.
Acts of Service Explanation: Simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Requires some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. It is very important to understand what acts of service your spouse most appreciates. Learn your spouses dialect. It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Indicator that you are Acts of Service – Do you often get frustrated with your spouses failure to do things for you? Scripture: John 13: 3 – 17 Jesus washes his disciples feet.
Acts of Service How to: Seek specifics from your spouse on a few new tasks they desire of you and do exactly as instructed. Choose 3 humble tasks that you dont especially like, but know your spouse would appreciate – surprise your spouse by doing them! Discuss stereotypic gender roles with your spouse. Understand expectations that they might have. Remember some acts of service you performed for each other during courtship – see if your relationship can be rekindled by serving one another that way again. Practical examples: - Do the laundry- Change Diapers - Take out the trash- Clean Bathrooms - Walk the dog- Make a meal - Fill up car with gas- Offer to get a drink when you get up
Words of Affirmation Explanation: Words of affirmation are verbal compliments, encouragements, and words of appreciation. Words of affirmation are best expressed in simple, straight-forward statements of affirmation, such as : "You look great in that outfit" "I really appreciate you washing the dishes tonight" "Thank you for taking the trash out "I am so proud of you for working hard to provide for us Scripture: Proverbs 18: 21 says " The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 12: 25 says "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."
Words of Affirmation How to: Words of affirmation can be separated into 3 main groupings: 1. Encouraging words -- compliment a strength of your spouse -- Words may reinforce a difficult decision. -- Words may call attention to progress made. -- Acknowledging your spouses unique perspective on an important topic. 2. Kind Words -- the way in which words are spoken -- Controlling your tone of voice (attitude, actions, and sarcasm). -- Not being Judgmental (bringing up past wrongs, focused on failures). 3. Humble Words --- Make sure you speak with requests- Not demands -- Requesting affirms your spouses abilities and are heard with a tone of suggestions and guidance. -- Demanding belittles your spouse and makes you a tyrant... Demands are heard as ultimatums and threats.
What does this look like in my marriage? If your spouse feels loved with "Words of Affirmation", then speaking verbal appreciation will do volumes for their love bank. Offering encouragement to them can even help them overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence How do I start? Look for your spouses strengths and tell them how much you appreciate those strengths---Chances are they will work hard to live up to their reputation Remember that choosing to speak your spouses love language takes conscious effort: - Say positive, encouraging things about your spouse to their face and to other people (including children if you have any) - If it is hard to say aloud at first, write down the words of affirmation and give to your spouse, or give a card with underlined parts that had meaning to you Words of Affirmation