A few years ago, I was doing a study on the book of John; I was shocked to learn that many of the people of Jesus’s time observed the miracles that He performed and yet did not believe He was the Messiah. All of the signs were there; the miracles, wonders, and fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy, yet they didn’t believe. I found it difficult to comprehend this, but through study I learned the reason for their unbelief.
The people of Jesus’s time weren’t getting what they expected. They expected the Messiah to be a conquering king, a mighty warrior who would avenge them, not a kind, soft-spoken man. They missed out, big time, on the wonderful gift that He was giving because they were still looking for the Messiah when He was right in front of them.
What does this have to do with marriage? Everything.
For eight years, I felt unloved most of the time... not that my husband wasn't loving me, because he was. He was saying it and showing it; but it never felt like enough to me, because I was looking for it in to come in different ways. One day, after yet another argument, I turned to him and asked why our marriage seemed to be falling apart. He gave me an answer that I was not expecting, an answer that stumped me- my husband felt as though he was sacrificing everything for me, and I wasn't appreciating it. The words hit me like a million tons of bricks; all this time I’d felt that him working more was an escape from me, but instead it was a sacrifice he was making to try to make me happy. I looked around our home- the furniture, computers, a new van, even my clothes- every single material comfort surrounding me changed before my eyes. All I could see all around me was "18 hour workday... sacrifice.... sore knees... giving up on dreams.... headaches.... working holidays.... late nights again...." written in the sweat and blood and precious time of the man that I loved with all of my heart. How did I miss this? How in the world did I not see that everything he ever said 'yes' to was an expression of his love for me?
I’m not comparing our spouses to Jesus; but like those people who failed to see the signs before them and connect the dots, sometimes we go into our marriages expecting to see something that fits into a box we have created. In the end, we miss what was right in front of us.
Have there been times that you have tried to show your love to someone, and it seemed it was rejected, or not fully understood?
Read about the “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. As you study each one, try to identify ways that your spouse may have been showing you their love in different ways.
Take the quiz to discover your own love language. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/