Serving Him: The 5 Love Languages

serving him

If you missed last week’s introduction post, please click HERE to catch up!

I’m so glad that you are back for week two of our Serving Him series. Today we are focusing on the book The 5 Love Languages and how it can transform your marriage.

My husband and I are as opposite as opposite can be. I love giving and receiving gifts. I start buying Christmas gifts at the post-Christmas sales! When I’m shopping, I always have an eye out for something I think would be the perfect gift for someone in my life. I buy things for holidays, birthdays, and just because. Giving gifts is one way I express my love and appreciation for people.

My husband, on the other hand, does not enjoy giving gifts. To him, shopping for a present is a painful process. He doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what to buy me, and when he shops he often buys the first thing he sees that he thinks might be mildly appropriate. Nor does he love receiving gifts. Don’t get me wrong – he appreciates a present, but it doesn’t make him float on cloud 9 the way it does me. For example, new underwear and tickets to a Falcons game have elicited the same reaction from my husband.

As I’ve mentioned before, this has been a long-standing bone of contention between my husband and I. Gifts are important to me; they are not to him. I want him to put a lot of thought and effort into what he buys me; he doesn’t see the point in spending money when I could just as easily go out and buy something for myself. Something so small has caused a lot of friction and disappointment in our marriage over the years, believe it or not.

A few months ago, Cooper’s preschool Director invited me to be a part of a marriage enrichment class at her church. I didn’t know who was teaching or what the content was, but I signed us up – and I’m so happy I did.

The first class focused on The 5 Love Languages. I’ll admit I kind of rolled my eyes when I looked at the agenda. I’ve owned the book for 10 years and I’ve never made it the whole way through. I’ve even taken the test, although Jason never had. Well, color me surprised over the difference the test and results had on our marriage.

My top two love languages are Gifts and Acts of Service. No surprise there! Jason’s top two were Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Quality Time (the final two were tied). Physical Touch did not surprise me at all, but Acts of Service and Quality Time sure did. The class leader encouraged us to go home and talk about our results and what they meant to us, and that discussion was a game changer.

Sex is important to my husband. Duh. I knew that. What I didn’t know is why. Jason doesn’t just want the act of sex – he craves intimacy. To him, our marriage was lacking in casual touches: kisses hello or goodbye, holding hands, snuggling before bed. This was an eye opener for me! I realized our marriage had just become about sex (no, not as in having sex all the time… hahahaha no) but as in our physical touch was limited to sex. I realized I need to make touch more of a priority because it made my husband feel secure and valued.

On a related note, while I did realize we weren’t logging as much one on one time as we did before kids, I didn’t realize how much we had been neglecting our relationship. We rarely went on dates. The majority of our conversations somehow tended to center around our kids. When we finally got the kids to bed, we were both so exhausted that we’d veg out – only we’d do it separately. We both realized we need to have time at the end of the night for just us, so we’ve started watching Game of Thrones together. It’s “our time” daily to cuddle together and relax. It is a small thing, but it has connected us again.

One light bulb moment for me was hearing that Jason’s love language was Acts of Service. Silly me! Here I was, spending money on presents he didn’t really want and getting disappointed when his reaction to said gift wasn’t what I thought it should be. If I want Jason to get excited about something, it should be an act of service and not a present. On the flip side, that light bulb moment allowed me to finally give up my frustrations about Jason’s ability as a gift giver. Hello, Andrea, your husband doesn’t love to buy gifts. He’s good at many other things, but he will never share your excitement or love of gift giving. Picture me as Elsa, frolicking through the forest: Let It Go.

So, friends, I really want you to have that light bulb moment. If you are a reader and you don’t own the book, please consider purchasing it. If you aren’t a reader you can still take the test HERE. It’s important that your spouse also take the test, so sit them down and have them do it. It takes less than 10 minutes. Write down the results for both of you and let’s meet back here next week to discuss.

I am thinking of starting a secret Facebook group for those interested in taking this series a step further. Let me know if you are interested in belonging to the group!

Serving Him: Enriching Your Marriage & Encouraging Your Spouse

Today we’re starting a new series on Tickled Peach called Serving Him: Enriching Your Marriage & Encouraging Your Spouse.

serving himBefore we get started, let me first make it clear that I am not presenting myself as an expert on the subject of marriage. Far from it! I’ve been married for almost 11 years and I do not think that makes me an expert at anything except knowing how to get on my husband’s nerves. When I had the idea for this series, the purpose was not for me to educate or instruct you. No ma’am. I’m writing this series for myself, and I’m hoping that along the way some of you will benefit from it as well.

I’m not what anyone would call experienced in matters of love. I did not date a ton before I met my husband. I had two serious boyfriends as a teen, I didn’t date at all while I was in college, and then I met my now husband. I am most definitely a romantic. Before I fell in love I thought marriage was all hearts and rainbows and huge sweeping gestures… and now I know differently.

Marriage is hard work. In my opinion, marriage is much less about “love” and more about commitment. That feeling that you have when you first say “I love you”? It doesn’t last. It grows and changes and evolves. Sometimes it even goes away – and this is where commitment comes into play. Truth: you will not always feel love for your husband. He will not always feel love you. True love means sticking around even during those times.

In 10 years of marriage, 10 deployments, 5 moves, 3 houses, 2 children, and 2 dogs the one thing I’ve learned about marriage can be summed up into just a few words: it takes effort.

Right now you may be reading this and thinking:

I’m so tired by the time my husband gets home. I just want to go to bed.

We can’t afford a babysitter.

He doesn’t put in effort; why should I?

He does his thing and I do my thing.

All we talk about is the kids.

Well, this series is for you. It’s for the wife who feels distance from her husband. It’s for the marriage that is in trouble. It is for the couple that is doing just fine – but they could be doing better. It’s for the mom who loves her husband but gives so much to her kids that she feels like she has nothing left for him.

It is for me. I love my husband. I appreciate everything that he does for me and for our family… but I don’t show it. I give and give and give to my kids during the day and by the time the kids are in bed and my husband gets home I have nothing more for him. We rarely go out on date nights because we say that we can’t afford a sitter. When the kids are asleep, we’re both so exhausted that we separate to do our own things as our way of vegging out.

If this series is something that you are interested in, I have a homework assignment for you! I want you to go HERE and take the 5 Love Languages quiz. Have your husband take it as well. Pretty please. Next week we’ll be talking about your results and how what you learn about your spouse can change your marriage.