Someone asked recently what we thought about love, how would we define it. My mind came up with this idea – I have delight in thinking of ways that will give pleasure to the person I love. The thrill is in making the loved one happy. Over the years, I have had a chance to observe numbers of differing relationships. I have seen that some people are natural givers of delight, and others are natural takers of it. I recall an aunt and uncle – she was rather plain and a little older than her husband, he was handsome, the youngest of his family, and had been quite a lot spoiled. She gave delightedly and endlessly, he took with equal delight, and as far as I am aware they were happy until death them did part! Because there is delight in simply giving when you really love.
It is a surprising thing to some folk who have lived with the “I’ll look after myself and no-one else” philosophy to discover that there is a real buzz in helping someone who needs help. You see evidences of it regularly as you hear reports of natural disasters – those who have put there own lives at risk and have managed to save someone else are not only feted as heroes, they are blessed within themselves.
Most of us, I imagine, are a mixture of give and take. We need to be actively thinking about ways to please those we love – that’s giving. We need to be aware of the effort of our loved ones when we take – that’s receiving with thanks. I personally learned more about the dynamics of this when I learned about the five languages of love. I think there is another section on this, but briefly, they are, affirming words, deeds of kindness, quality time, gift-giving and hugs and kisses. One of these five is probably your primary language. Some of us speak all of them fairly well, and others of us are blind to the value of some of them. We very much need to know which of these gives pleasure to our partners, and which pleasures us. It is also important to know where our children fit in these languages, or they can be misunderstood or even deprived. One father told of his two daughters, one of whom loved giving and receiving gifts, the other loved quality time. When he brought them home gifts from his travels, his older daughter was rapt and thrilled, his second daughter would glance and give a perfunctory thanks for the gifts – she wanted to tell her Dad what had gone on in his absence, and it was not until he understood this that he could appreciate their reactions for what they really were.
It can be that those of us who speak several of the languages, miss the one we rarely see. We can learn to compensate for this by understanding that some people we love may not be able to speak our favorite languages, yet it does not mean that we are not loved. I know well a couple, one of whom wanted affirming words, and the other felt deeds of kindness was the only way to show love. Their language of love was so limited that they lived a life of misunderstanding each other. One worked extremely hard and felt their love was spurned, the other looked elsewhere for affirming words and thought the partner was cold and unloving. They were both wrong.
To total it up – communication – learn that quality time language. As a couple – learn that kiss and cuddle language, that’s the time to bring up with diplomacy and tenderness any little thing you feel would make a change for the better, but any criticism needs to be seasoned with a whole lot of affirmation. Count to ten before offering anything like criticism, and do it ONLY when you are alone. Ask yourself how you would feel if the circumstances were reversed. There’s a proverb that says ‘A wise woman builds her house, a foolish one tears it down with her hands.’ I would put husband in the place of house in that saying, and I think you will find it easier to understand. May your “building” be blessed.