Hooray – we’re back for another month’s installment of what marriage is teaching me/us! Same as last month, put your links in the comments – I can’t wait to read what marriage is teaching you!
I think that I’ve had at least ten different ideas about what I could write about this month. Marriage is teaching me something new every day. Maybe it is just the early stages, but maybe it isn’t, because marriage is meant to teach us and draw us closer to God every day. Most recently I’ve realized how much marriage is teaching me about the words I use.
I’m a complicated lady. My love languages are in a dead-tie between physical touch, words of affirmation and quality time. In some ways, that means I’m tri-lingual, in other ways, it means I want to receive love in all of those ways to feel truly and deeply loved. Anthony is so, so good at showering me with words of affirmation. I’m a crying sap on the floor of our closet because my clothes don’t fit? He tells me how beautiful I am. I come home from work, dead on my feet and he tells me what a difference I’m making at work and with the children in my program. He is constantly encouraging me, and not just when I’m feeling down and out. He’s the first to compliment me in the morning and the last words out of his mouth at the end of the day to me are always gentle and loving – even if we’ve been bickering.
So what is all of this teaching me? That as much as I love hearing all of these words of affirmation, I need to grow in affirming my husband. If you’ve read any of the love languages books, you’ll know that we most often give love in the same way we want to receive love. I so often get caught in my own world that I forget to affirm Anthony as much as he affirms me. Instead of praising or thanking him for taking the trash out, I nag him about why the dishwasher is full but hasn’t been set to run. When something needs to be done around the house that is usually one of my chores, he doesn’t nag me about it but lovingly asks when I think I’ll have a chance to get to it. I’m hardly the same with him – my requests are more nagging and are nearly always on my time-table, without regard to how tired he is. Marriage is teaching me to be more loving in my words to my husband – to affirm him even when I’m tired, even when the things I’d like done aren’t getting done on my schedule.
The truth is that he’s picked up a lot of the slack around here since I got pregnant. I’m tired and want to go to bed and he doesn’t complain that the laundry hasn’t been done in two weeks, but instead asks how he can help. He is so caring and so giving and never once since we’ve been married (or even since we’ve been together) have I doubted the depth of his feelings towards me. The depth of the love and service he shows me is teaching me that, even though I have a long way to go in returning that love, it is possible. Great love can be shown in the smallest of ways, day in and day out – as well it should be.
What is marriage teaching you? Link-up in the comments below!