The other night two things happened. I had my favorite salad at a cute little candlelit wine bar with friends, and John and I needed a do-over.
In the salad is sweet potatoes, spinach, pomegranate seeds, apples, golden raisins, goat cheese, bacon, and sunflower seeds. I would never have thought to put all that different stuff together, but it’s awesome!
And that’s the kind of marriage John and I have. We’re really different, but we naturally go together well. I think we have a super strong marriage and although there have been seasons when I thought we could use a little less goat cheese in our salad, all in all we’ve had it pretty easy..
Which actually can be a negative because we can get lulled into complacency.
Maybe, it’s because it’s usually easy that it was a little surprising when John and I hit a little hiccup the other day…a misunderstanding in how to love each other well and we ended up hurting each other instead of helping each other.
It was an opportunity for us to say “How can we grow stronger in our marriage?”
What that question really means is, “How can we love each other better?”
And THAT really means, “How can I love my spouse the way THEY want to be loved instead of the way I want to love them?”
One challenge is knowing and speaking each other’s love language in order to love the other as THEY want to be loved.
Last week I was out of town, and John thoughtfully filled up the gas tank in my car and had it washed. The problem was, I didn’t even notice the washing til 3 days later. It was really nice of him, but it’s not some thing I care about.
So one thing we’ve gotten in the habit of doing if we’re unsure is asking, “How can I love you the way you’d like to be loved in this situation?”
But, the thing is, I’m greedy! I want John to NATURALLY want to love me the way I want to be loved! I don’t want to feel like it’s a discipline for him.
Call me a romantic, but in my mind often it’s not “legal” for John to say “How do you want me to love you?” He should KNOW I want to snuggle and when I want to snuggle and he should naturally WANT to snuggle as much as I do for Pete’s sake!
The problem is that this side of Eden, none of us are NATURALLY world-class lovers. Loving well takes discipline and communication whether it’s in a marriage or a dating relationship or a friendship.
Loving stronger is not natural. So we sat down at Starbucks and laughed at ourselves and assured each other of how much we love each other even when we don’t do it well. As much as I wish it wasn’t necessary, we talked about how we each would like to be loved so we can do it better in the future.
Is there someone you need to talk to about loving well and stronger?