Marriage and relationships can be difficult for the fact you have two people from different backgrounds, with different perspectives on things. What can make things worse is when we flat out just don’t know how to love very well.
Laugh if you want, but I’ve been watching the show Once Upon A Time with my wife. In a recent episode I heard Regina, the evil queen, make a statement that I believe affects countless marriages across the globe.
Henry, her son, said something to her about how bad she was and her response was,
I don’t know how to love very well.
Wow! I know this is a made up story on TV, but this is such a powerful statement that I believe affects countless homes today.
How many of us can be brave enough to admit this?
When I first got married I can say I did not know how to love very well. I looked at marriage from the perspective of, “what can I get out of this?” I loved my wife dearly, but in all honesty I didn’t know how to love her very well.
- I didn’t know how to speak her love language.
- I had my own mental and emotional baggage that expressed itself in our relationship.
- I had never lived with a woman outside of my family.
- And, I too committed the greatest sin of Fathers, Husbands, and Men.
It has taken me years to learn how to love better, and I continue to learn how to this day. I struggle just like the next person, but I continue to press forward in loving my wife better.
The amazing thing is if you keep watching the show, from that moment on, Regina begins to change her character. Once she was aware of the problem she began to work on loving better.
So how can you learn to love better?
The dynamic of every relationship will vary tremendously, but here are three things you can do to begin to teach yourself to love better.
- Learn to speak your spouse’s love language.
This is one of the first things I typically have couples do. The easiest way to know you are loving someone properly is to speak a language they understand. Go HERE to take the test.
- Be intentional about loving.
The second surefire way to love better is to be intentional about loving your spouse. Make it an intentional effort every day to love and serve them. Choose in your mind to be happy in your marriage, and make it your daily objective to love and serve your spouse.
- Realize you can’t love your spouse
I’ve written on this elsewhere, and I know this sounds like I’m going in the wrong direction, but hear what I really mean. To love your spouse as Christ loves the church, you must allow Christ to love your spouse through you. Allow him to love your spouse because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Would you be willing to admit you may not know how to love very well? Would you be more willing to take the steps, and make the necessary changes that need to be done to love your spouse and build a thriving marriage?
It may be you have taught each other to act this way. It may be from your own baggage from your raising or previous relationships. Above any of those reasons, may you take intentional steps today to learn to love your spouse better.