I am usually privileged to teach a class when Bible School is in session at church and while teaching one day on The Marriage Covenant, a man stood up and asked a question. He said, “I really love flowers and I keep buying them for my wife but she never takes care of them and it really annoys me. Aren’t women supposed to love flowers?” Of course, the women in class were not in support of that last statement. In fact, some were saying things like “I would rather take money” or “I would prefer it if my husband looks after the children once in a while so I can rest”. Others just erupted in laughter.
The truth is that a lot of people find themselves in that man’s position in their marriages. They deal with their spouses based on what works for them or what they think every man or every woman typically likes. When they don’t get their desired response, they end up frustrated. I always use the phrase ‘being a student of your spouse’ and I think that if more people see the importance of studying their spouse’s per time, the level of frustration will be next to zero.
I am all for learning from others, reading books, counselling, etc. However, copying and pasting what Mr A is doing for his wife into your own marriage is not the best way to go about it. You are to dwell with your own spouse according to knowledge and understanding (1 Peter 3:7); not according to what anyone – society or otherwise, say.
For some women, flowers and some other romantic things speak volumes while for others, their husbands just helping them around the house makes the difference and adds to her fulfillment in the marriage. There are also such differences with men. Some men thrive on words of affirmation from their wives, while others prefer quality time.
Don’t automatically assume that because they are a man or a woman, it means he/she must like the stereotypical things. Again, your duty is to be a student of your spouse, adjust yourself accordingly to them, and communicate effectively with them. Try it! The love languages are:
1. Physical Touch 2. Words of Affirmation 3. Quality Time 4. Gifts 5. Acts of service.
Look out for their love languages by studying them intently and have the mindset that it may change with every phase of life. And, then begin to speak their love language. Doing this would create a positive change in the right direction.
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