Summary: This sermon is the fourth in the series and it deals with the love languages in marriage as defined by Gary Chapman.
Some Myths About Dating, Marriage & Divorce IV
Today we will be continuing our series on some myths about dating marriage and divorce. We will be focusing in on the love languages in marriage today, and next time in our final message we will deal with the topic of divorce. Today’s lesson is not only important to help us in marriage, but the love languages we will be discussing can be used as tools to help you understand how to love your children better or to love your parents better or to love your sisters and brothers better.
The scriptures present us with a balanced view of marriage. Our Old Testament reading presented the romantic side of practically worshipping and adoring the other person, admiring his or her beauty and longing to be with them. The new Testament reading gave us the everyday reality that all marriages will have some trials and tribulations within them. Our society provided us with myths about love, which keep many of us thinking something is wrong with marriage thereby leading to unrealistic expectations about our relationships.
Another myth of love in marriage is that love means the same thing in terms of behavior for everybody. Everybody has a language, but it does not mean you automatically understand it. What’s going to happen if you only speak English and your Spouse only speaks Chinese. Chances are unless you’re willing to learn the other person’s language and he or she yours, your relationship will not reach the potential it could have.
There are at least five different love languages that people have. A good marriage is going to be based on knowing, what is this other person’s love language and then doing it so that the other person feels loved by you. If you ever hear, you don’t act like you love me and you respond, “what do you mean I don’t love you, these bills are getting paid aren’t they" or "I gave you these five children didn’t I". You obviously do not understand the person’s language.
Gary Chapman has a book on the Five Love Languages which can help you in greater detail than I’m going to give. The first love language is words of affirmation. Do you notice how often God affirms His love for us. He calls us a chosen people, a royal people, the elect, my children, children of light and the called out ones. We all need to be affirmed in life by some of us have an even greater need than others.
Some people only feel loved when you tell them positive things about themselves. Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are very powerful communicators of love. If you’re married to a person who has this love language, but you don’t offer compliments because either, you don’t want them to get a big head or you just not the type to give out compliments, then you are hurting your spouse. They may be feeling as though nothing they do will ever please you. All though this may not be your intention, it’s the feeling they are receiving. The emotional blows are just as powerful as if you were hitting them with a boxing glove.
Your spouse may thrive off of your encouragement to him or to her to pursue their dreams in life. It’s important to be able to affirm and encourage the person in something he or she wants to do, rather than trying to force them into something you might want them to do. Quite often there are things which are being done well by the other person, but we have taken them for granted for so long, we no longer compliment them on what they have done.
Compliments and encouragement cost very little, yet some of us do it so rarely you’d think it costs 1,000’s of dollars. Another subset of words of Affirmation are kind words. If our words are sharp and critical when we speak to our spouse, we are destroying the joy which could be ours. God does not call us to speak to our spouses as though they were the child and we the parent. There are no sergeants and privates in marriage. We all have the same rank.
We can share our hurt, our pain and even our anger with each other in a kind manner. The bible tells us in Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The words we share and the tone we use, are either helping or hurting our spouse and our marriage. We need to be willing to speak before we speak, even when we are angry. Again we are told in Prov 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Do our words tend to bring wounds into our relationships or do they bring healing?