Much like happiness, sometimes love is a feeling, and sometimes love is a decision.
Over the course of our relationship there has been times we feel head over feet in love, and there has been times where we have had to make a conscious decision to love each other. It’s usually at the toughest or darkest times, when throwing the towel in seems so much easier, that we have chosen to keep on loving.
Believe me when I say: it has been an extremely difficult decision to make, I may have been hurt or maybe Tony was thoroughly disappointed, and choosing to love is the furtherest thing on our minds. Turning away has seemed easier and almost like the right thing to do. However choosing to love has been incredibly beneficial for our relationship, aswell as for the little ones in our life. I hope by writing this, it will encourage you and inspire you to keep on choosing love.
I find relationships in general intriguing, and am always interested in improving them. I like to live my life on purpose, and want to be an intentional parent and build a marriage that lasts a lifetime. I find myself reading books and blogs on marriage, and parenting, I attend seminars, and listen to podcasts. Recently I have been reading the book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. I choose to read this every year or so, as a gentle reminder on choosing love and the importance of speaking Tony’s primary love language. If this is the first time you have heard about the love languages, then you are in for a treat!
Dr Gary Chapman makes reference to real life examples from his extensive career as a counselor to illustrate the five different languages people use to express love. As I am sure you can appreciate everyone is different, and therefore will give and receive love and affection differently aswell. Generally the love language that you hear well, you generally speak well. Most marriages, the spouse will speak a different love language which potentially leaves the other spouse questioning whether the spouse actually loves them.
The five love languages are pretty straight forward: acts of service; gifts; physical touch; quality time; and words of affirmation. You can probably take a good guess at what is your love language, however let me encourage you to get your hands on a copy of the book as there is an assessment tool within the book that will help you ascertain for certain your love language aswell as your spouse’s love language.
My primary and secondary love languages are quality time and words of affirmation, whilst Tony’s love languages are acts of service and gifts. We couldn’t be more opposite if we tried. We had to learn pretty quickly how to express the love language of our spouse.
I have learnt to watch and appreciate all that Tony does for me as his way of showing me love, is practically helping me. Tony is an incredibly helpful husband, working hard to provide for our family and always helping with daily tasks around our home and raising our energetic boys. Tony may not tell me everyday he loves me with words, but boy does he tell me with all that he does. Tony lives by the mantra: actions speak louder than words. When Tony chooses to express his love through words, it is powerful. I am very grateful that he chooses to love.
Maybe your spouse is head over feet in love with you but possibly speaking a language that you don’t hear or appreciate. You may be feeling upset and unloved. I understand it’s difficult to keep on loving someone when you feel as though you don’t have much love left to give. I believe a lot of misunderstandings and arguments can be avoided if we learn to speak the love language our spouse responds to.
I believe we owe it to ourselves, our marriage and our little family to take time out to learn and explore all there is to do with creating and cultivating a loving relationship. When we choose to love our spouse, we are choosing to serve our family and the community well. I believe it’s always best to think beyond ourselves. Choosing to be kind or to love just one person, has a ripple effect in our community. I want to start in my home, with my little family by choosing love.
I really want to encourage you today to choose love. Love your spouse, even when it is hard. I promise you that your decision will benefit your relationship and your little family as a whole in the long run.
I find this quote particularly inspiring: success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently. I encourage you to seek out the love languages book, read the book with your spouse, complete the questionnaire and apply what you have learnt to your relationship on a daily basis. I am confident it won’t just benefit your spouse, but also the littles ones in your life, and you too!
Today I choose love, and hope you can too!