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Single or Married, Learn to Love (3)

By Pastor Sam Adeyemi

Philippians 2:3-4

We have previously established that people perceive love differently and generally, if we’ll be successful in our relationships and particularly in our marriages, we’ll have to be sensitive to this. With reference to Gary Chapman’s book; the ‘Five Love Languages’ we established that some perceive love by meaningful physical touch, others by words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and giving of gifts. It is important that when we come into relationships we should try finding out what our partner’s love language is because sometimes, it is very frustrating when you try expressing love to others in your own way and they are not impressed. That can be really hurtful. These love languages as we established previously are equally applicable to God and it is out of our overflow of love for God that such love reaches out to man as well. Love can be sensed and perceived, it is recognizable; 1 John 3:16.

In the event that you are married and you are not aware of your spouse’s love language, it is time to ask. The big question to ask is how do you want me to love you? Our default mode for expressing love is our own love language. For instance, the person whose love language is acts of service is always trying to do things for you and one whose love language is quality time is always trying to hold you in a conversation. Sadly, this is where most of the problems stem from because both partners are speaking different love languages and they aren’t understanding each other. In this process, our love tanks are not filled. Hence, it is important to know how our spouses want to be loved.

Sometimes the way a man wants love expressed to him is different from the way a woman wants love expressed to her. Gender difference sometimes matters, yet a man will operate in the default mode of a man’s way of thinking and similarly a woman. However, it is important to check what it is that makes an impact on the other person. Generally, men score acts of love differently from women; for men, the more powerful the act, the bigger the point you score. For a woman, every act is seemingly commensurate to one point whether they are big or small. Hence, increasing the number of points whether doing things big or small becomes important as it relates to the female. Some people like surprises but others don’t. Communication is the food of love and people communicate in different ways.

Temperaments also play a part in the way people recognize and appreciate love. If you are married to an introvert or extrovert, for instance, you have to be sensitive to them. If the personality of the other starts getting you pissed off and you start reacting in negative ways, then be aware that you have missed it big because you’re getting to hit the core of the other person’s being because no one created themselves. Complaining that the other is talking too much for instance; you are hitting the core of the person’s being while you should bear in mind that the person didn’t create himself/herself. Know that you can’t stop the person from talking, in fact, if the person is designed to talk but you so batter the person emotionally and get the person to the point of not talking anymore then be careful because the day person will talk it may be disastrous because you can’t shut down the core of a person’s being. To communicate with an extrovert, you need to be cheerful and you need to be thoughtful while communicating with an introvert. Being married to an introvert, you’ll need to learn to give the introvert space because constant communication and people drain the energy of an introvert. Being married to an extrovert, you can’t afford to isolate them from people because that’s where they derive energy.

Sex is one of the things that brings bonding in marriage but there are differences here as well; men are visually stimulated while women are stimulated by a show of affection. Knowing that men are generally visually stimulated then it is wisdom as a wife to stimulate him and keep him satisfied at home similarly; men should show affection to their wives continuously and even long before sex is needed.

The guiding principle can be seen in our scriptural text; there are two major factors that will destroy a marital relationship quickly; selfishness and pride. Selfishness or not being sensitive to the other person’s need will destroy a relationship, whether courtship or marriage. Also, you have missed it once you begin to compare yourself to the person you are supposed to love. In a marriage relationship, we have to keep learning about what works and what doesn’t and the more we fill the love tanks of our partners, the more peaceful and beautiful our marriage relationships will be. Matthew 7:12 summarizes it that we do to others what we want them to do in return. Hence, let’s be proactive and take the initiative. Know that when you choose to do it God’s way you’ll look stupid to the world but you won’t fail and He will highly exalt you ultimately.

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