Category: Marriage

Love Stimulates Love

Love is a choice.

We can request love, but we cannot demand love. We cannot make our spouse speak our love language. However, though we can’t control our spouse, we can control our attitude and our behavior.

The good news is that love stimulates love. And though the object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love, it is a fact that when we receive love, we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires.

Try this…

Choose an attitude of love. Learn the love language of your spouse and speak it on a regular basis. Then, three months down the road, you can say to them,

‘On a scale of zero to ten, how much love do you feel coming from me?’

If they give you a seven, eight, nine, ten—you’re at the top. Or if they say anything less than ten, you say,

‘What can I do to bring it up to a ten or bring it up to a nine?’

They’ll probably give you a suggestion. To the best of your ability, you do that.

Repeat this process every two weeks by simply asking your spouse what you can do to love them better, and taking their answer to heart.

There’s a good chance that, before long, they’re going to say, ‘Well, wait a minute here. I’m turning this around. On a scale of zero to ten, how much love do you feel coming from me?’”

Before you know it, they’ll be working to love you as well as you have loved them.

And that is exactly how love stimulates love.

*This article is one of many featured in Marriage Hacks: 25 Practical Ways to Make Love Last by Tyler Ward.
To find out more, or to download for free, CLICK HERE.

Seasons of Marriage

If we use the seasons to describe the quality of a marriage, many people have a ‘winter’ marriage. Their marriage is characterized by coldness, harshness, and bitterness. The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice and the weather forecast calls for more freezing rain. Have you been there? Are you there now? The good news is that you don’t have to remain in a winter marriage. No, I’m not suggesting you leave your spouse in hopes of a new “spring” relationship with someone else. I’m suggesting that you determine how long you stay in winter by your attitude and your actions. The first step out of winter is to say, “I’m sorry.” I know it’s not all your fault, but neither are you perfect. Blame your spouse and winter continues. Admit your failures and spring is on the way.

Q&A: More like a Mother than a Wife

Q: I feel more like a mother to my husband than a wife. He is unwilling to change. What should I do?

Gary: There are many couples who are in a situation similar to yours. Part of it has to do with personality, but sometimes a husband doesn’t take initiative because when he has in the past his wife has condemned him. If she does so verbally and his love language is Words of Affirmation, this is extremely painful to him. From there, he decides that it’s better to let her make the decisions. Whether or not this is your situation, ask yourself why he is not taking initiative in the relationship. Ask him directly. You may discover that you need to change the way you respond to him when he takes initiative.

Giving Your Spouse Grace

If you’re married and your spouse has disappointed you again, don’t despair. Couple’s often have different ideas of what a marriage ought to be. Sit down today and make a list of the things you wish your spouse would do. Then, make a list of the things you appreciate about your spouse. Thank God for each of these positive traits. Then thank your spouse. Speak your spouse’s love language at least once a week. Then once a month share with your spouse one thing you would like for them to do. Make sure it is a request, not a demand. For example, “Do you think it would be possible for you to vacuum my car one evening this week?” If they respond positively, then express appreciation. Don’t worry about the 10 things he did not do. Thank him for the one thing he did.

A Thank You

A husband: Gary, I recently discovered The 5 Love Languages concept and have tried to speak them all to my wife. I just wanted you to know that it has had an amazing impact on our lives. Thanks.

Gary: I’m so encouraged by the way The 5 Love Languages has helped so many couples connect on a deeper level with each other. I had a soldier from Afghanistan write an email to me. He said, “The 5 Love Languages is the simplest and most profound book I’ve ever read.” I like that. It’s a simple concept that we have different love languages and to be effective we have to speak the other person’s. And it doesn’t hurt to sprinkle in the other four for extra credit. I hope other couples who haven’t read The 5 Love Languages will do so also.

Q&A: A Man Distracted by Other Women

Q: How can a man say “I love you” but still seem to be distracted by other women?

Gary: Let’s face it; the words “I love you” can be cheap. If a man is involved with someone else but still says these words to his wife, he’s fooling himself. Love does not violate a covenant. Marriage is commitment to each other. Saying “I love you” while having interest in someone else is not love. Our hearts get divided; we are all sinners. The hope is always that a person will repent, come back, and truly affirm their love, having made the hard decision to reconcile.

Words of Affirmation

When is the last time you gave your spouse a card, flowers, candy, or some other gift? If you don’t have any money, you can make a card. Get the paper out of the trash can where you work. Cut out a heart. Write the words, “I love you.” Be creative. You don’t have to have money to keep romance alive in your marriage. But you do have to be thoughtful. The husband who doesn’t believe in giving gifts is digging his own marital grave. Marriages are kept alive by expressions of love. Why not write a love letter to your spouse today. Tomorrow, you can give it to her or you can read it to her. Or, you can do both. Words of affirmation is one way of keeping romance alive in a marriage. Look for opportunities to express love to your spouse.

Q&A: Learning to Give Words of Affirmation

Q: How do I give Words of Affirmation to my spouse when it doesn’t come naturally?

Gary: When we don’t speak a language by nature, it is certainly a challenge. If you did not receive affirming words growing up, it will probably be more difficult to speak those words. You have to learn to speak another language. I suggest you write down some statements you’ve heard other people say and say them to yourself in the mirror. Then go to your spouse and just say one of them. Each subsequent time will be easier. You have to practice learning a new language.

Your Spouse’s Dreams

Is there something your spouse has expressed a desire to do? Such as: loose weight, write an article, go back to school, or learn to ski? Then why not encourage their dream? Many dreams are killed by a spouse or friend who says, “It’s not realistic.” “We can’t afford it.” “You won’t follow through.” Why be a dream killer? Learn to speak encouraging words such as: “I know you can do it because you are an excellent writer.” “If you want to go back to school, we’ll find the money.” “If you decide to go on a diet, I’ll be happy to join you.” One encouraging statement can be the difference between success and failure. Remember, we give life or death to people’s dreams by what we say.

Serving One Another in Love

When I was writing my Bible Study The Marriage you’ve Always Wanted, I discovered these words in Galatians chapter 5: “Serve one another in love.” Then Paul warned, “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” He was writing to the church, but the same applies in marriage. How many marriages have been destroyed by harsh and condemning words? When we put each other down, we are co-operating with Satan in destroying our marriages. Nothing pleases him more. God’s way is “Serve one another in love.” Service creates a positive emotional climate where we can talk freely about our struggles and find answers to our problems. Serve your spouse today and watch the climate change.