H. A. Shirin Samuel (with Gary Chapman)
I would like to share some tips to spice up marriage from Gary Chapman and my own experiences. With the promiscuous modern day trend, some people wonder how to stay married to one person for the rest of their life. I feel thrilled to have Sam (my husband) to fall in love with, over and over again, for the rest of my life. We are being renewed and transformed by the Holy Spirit every single day. So we are actually living out not ‘50 first dates’ but many more.
Gary Chapman, an acclaimed marriage counselor, speaks of the five love languages. In a marriage, it is important to speak in a language of love that the spouse understands and appreciates.
There are five basic love languages. They are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch.
Words of Affirmation: If your spouse's primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.
When I want Sam to do something, calling him ‘Sweetheart’ helps.
Have you appreciated your spouse today? If not, try it and see what difference it makes to your marriage.
Acts of Service: If acts of service is your spouse's primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.
I heard a lady say, "I don't understand my husband. Every day he tells me that he loves me, but he never does anything to help me. He just sits on the couch watching TV while I wash the dishes, and the thought never crosses his mind to help me. I'm sick of hearing 'I love you.' If he loved me, he would do something to help me."
Sam has been picking me up after work, almost every single day since we got married 17 years ago. This is ‘Acts of Service.’
Receiving Gifts: If your spouse's primary love language is receiving gifts, you can make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and "no occasion" days.
Sam and I love giving each other gifts. He loves electronic gadgets. So when I want to give him a gift, I know what to get him.
The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it's the thought that counts.
Quality Time: If your spouse's love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. Some men pride themselves on being able to watch television, read a magazine, and listen to their wives, all at the same time. Instead, you must turn off the TV, lay the magazine down, look into your spouse's eyes, and listen and interact.
One Valentine’s Day, Sam took me out for lunch and got busy on his phone. I told him to keep the phone aside and look into my eyes.
Physical Touch: Long before an infant understands the meaning of the word ‘love’, he or she feels loved by physical touch.
In marriage also, the love language of physical touch includes everything from a simple touch to help your spouse out of the car or a hand offered to steady her when walking through a crowd to a goodbye kiss when leaving home or on coming back.
Sam is embarrassed by Public Displays of Affection (PDA) but I think he secretly loves it. When I hold his hand in public, he tries to pull away. But I hold on and tell him that his is the only hand I want to hold.
Married or single, when we feel loved by people significant to us, life is beautiful. Otherwise, we struggle emotionally. For us married people, the person we would most like to have love us is our spouse. If we feel loved by our spouse, the world looks bright. Learning to speak your partner's love language will enhance your communication and strengthen your relationship.
Although unconditional love is difficult, it is the kind of love that God has for us. Romans 5:8 says that God loved us "while we were still sinners" and sent Christ to die for us. 1 John 4:19 says that we love God "because he first loved us" Therefore, when you choose to love your spouse unconditionally, you are following God's example. And if you ask God, He will give you the ability to do it.
In Romans 5:5 the apostle Paul says, "God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit." Likewise, when you pour out your love by speaking your spouse's love language, you are doing the most emotionally powerful thing you can do. Love is the most powerful weapon in the world for good. It can thaw the coldest of winters and bring the blossoms of spring to your marriage.
Here’s to speaking your spouse’s love language and enriching your marriage.
About H. A. Shirin Samuel: Daughter of Sury and Ivy Sigamany, married to a versatile musician, Samuel Samson, and mother to two rambunctious teenagers, Santosh (16) and Sanjana (14). Journalist turned corporate communicator. Deputy General Manager (Corporate Communication) at Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore.