In wine-making a varietal wine is so named when the main grape consists of at least 75% of the wine. The other 25% can be from another type of grape.
Our post today is a varietal of sorts. Lisa Graf, with Mom Blog, asked if I would like to join with her each week for her Wedded Bliss Wednesday post. I was honored to be asked to take part in encouraging young moms to pursue their husbands even through the busy child-training years. She is the brain-child behind the topics we discuss and the direction each post will take. You could say she is the 75% and I’m the 25%, but we both believe it’s a good wine.
Since I’m on Nana Duty once again – this time in Atlanta while my daughter and her husband are visiting one of our favorite regions of America – The Napa Valley, I was quite happy to collaborate with Lisa on this idea. We hope you will be encouraged in your marriage. And we welcome your thoughts!
Following is the post we’ve written:
The latest series at the Mom Blog is Wedded Bliss Wednesday, a post dedicated to encouraging each of you in your marriage. My wonderful friend, Debi, from The Romantic Vineyard has partnered up with me, and we are both going to tackle the same topic in one post with the hope that we speak to those who are early on in their marriage as well as those ‘more seasoned’ couples. I will write in purple & Debi will write in red. Feel free to comment with topics you’d like us to tackle.
Disclaimer: Adjusting priorities, focus and looking to God’s Word will result in dramatic changes for the better in your marriage, Lisa & Debi are not liable, thank the good Lord 🙂
Wedded Bliss Wednesday: Are You Talking To Me?
Have you ever just wished your husband would compliment something you’ve accomplished – like folding/putting away eight loads of laundry all while keeping all four kids alive & fed through out a day? (No worries, Jacob rocks at recognizing me when I manage to accomplish this.) Can’t figure out why your husband can’t keep his hands off you when all you want is to not be touched after a long day of being touched just about every second of every minute by at least 2 of 8 different hands? I can’t take credit for this awesome list, but The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman has really helped me through various stages. There is also a great website devoted to this book that is worth a click over. We will only briefly touch on the languages and our experiences with them. We strongly encourage you to purchase this book and keep it on your reading list. As life changes so does your love language, and Gary Chapman does a wonderful job completely covering each of the languages. If you are not married, please check out the site anyway – you can apply these Love Love Languages to just about any relationship.
I, (Lisa), am guessing I am not the only over touched, over talked to, over everything-ed Mom who struggles with figuring out how to best please her husband or how to best communicate her needs to her husband.
And I, (Debi), am certain we never fully arrive at knowing how to please or talk to our husbands about what we need. But it does get easier. After being married for 32 years, I know what it takes to “make Tom’s day.” I know how to please him in lots of ways, not just the obvious. But I’m still a sinner who struggles with selfishness and the like. Just because I know how to do something doesn’t guarantee I’ll do it. So this series of posts are as much for our readers as it is for us. No preaching going on here!
Love Language: Words of Affirmation
Some days my clothes are covered in baby spit up, baby food, big kid food smears, my own food smears, dirt, grass stains, & various other bodily fluids. As much as I try to look half way put together for my hubby, some days it just isn’t happening. I am so grateful that even in my frumpiest of post babybirthing days my husband knows how to say just the right thing to lift me up. Words of Affirmation are not necessarily about looks, but maybe about an accomplishment of some sorts. (“Yeah, you managed to shower today!”) For someone who struggles between a perfectionist & people pleaser, words of affirmation can build me up like nothing else!
My days are filled with interruptions of all kinds. I used to think this stage of life would be carefree and easy. What was I thinking? I often have days where I don’t get one thing accomplished on my to-do list, and I stayed busy all day! Having Tom understand this about me in this season of life as we talk it over builds up my spirit in a way no one else can. He constantly speaks words of affirmation – kind words that build me up. He has become my biggest fan no matter what I am doing – writing, baking, cooking or showing hospitality. There is more time in our season of life to think, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Thinking too much can lean towards inward focus and thinking about “poor me.” It is good to have a partner who is willing to speak the Truth when you’re having a hard time hearing it yourself. These words are affirming as well – affirming the TRUTH, not just what I want to hear.
Love Language: Quality Time
You think having 4 children 5 years and younger would completely zap ‘quality’ & ‘time’ from my vocabulary. Because this is such a rare commodity in my home, I truly value quality time with my husband (as well as each of my children). I really look forward to our bi-weekly date nights, even if it’s just grabbing a quick sub from Jimmy Johns, at least we can sit down together and have uninterrupted conversation, eat food at the intended temperature & even rekindle a bit of romance.
It is important to have quality time regularly while raising your family, so when you reach our age you will still want it. We have witnessed far too many couples who successfully raise their children only to call it quits. How sad. To have shared so much of life together, and then walk away. Quality time for us is all the time now. We value our dinner conversations as well as our date nights. Even though any night of the week could be considered a date night, it is still fun to have one night on the calendar where I know Tom is anticipating it as much as I am. So no matter how hectic the work week becomes, Monday is still MY time with Tom. Our biggest challenge is turning off the cell phone. We used to have children who interrupted every conversation. Now it has become the cell phone. We’re never completely unplugged, but something we’re working on together.
Love Language: Physical Touch
Yeah, I’m at a loss on this one. I sure hope Debi has some profound thoughts to add! Okay, in all honesty physical touch has been, and probably will always be, the last on my language list – this is like those crazy Chinese symbols kind of language for me. However, it is more than likely to rank up there for your husband. If you want to speak his language and meet his needs sometimes you just bite the bullet and do it. (pun intended) So implement the Nike slogan here and Just Do It!
I was joking with Tom how I think all the love languages pertain to me. <sigh>. I apologized for being such a complicated wife. He smiled. Physical touch for me is different than it is for Tom. He can melt my heart by gently rubbing my feet. I love when he scratches my back or plays with my hair. These are simple ways he has learned to communicate his love for me. Sometimes I make it impossible for him to refuse – touching him the way he likes to be touched. 🙂 While I agree with Lisa’s use of the Nike slogan; (when I was raising small children this was about the only motivation I had too.) But to leave it at that would be sad. Recognizing this isn’t your primary love language is fine, being content to stay there isn’t. We must strive to “out do one another in showing acts of kindness.” This includes touching our spouse, loving on them physically in a way that blesses them. If this completely sounds foreign to you, then I encourage you to ask God to help change your perspective. You may not realize what you’re missing, not to mention the love you’re communicating to your spouse will help them love you more.
Love Language: Receiving Gifts
Flowers every few days: yes please. A little bling bling here and there: yes please. A spa day: oh sweet Jesus, I am in heaven. Not many people turn down receiving gifts, however; if you were raised staunch German like I was receiving gifts gets awkward. You don’t want to get too excited as that may be seen as selfish & you definitely don’t want to completely blow it off as that would be rude. Although, I’m a fan of gifts, I like/need them to be practical. You know you are a mom when a new bottle of Caress Bath Soap totally floats your boat. Jacob has really helped out in doing Target & Woodman runs since the arrival of Addy and that has been a huge burden off my shoulders that I greatly appreciate.
Yes, I love to receive gifts, but I enjoy giving them just as much. I esp. love planning a special date to totally surprise and bless Tom. This is one of the reasons we started The Romantic Vineyard. We realized there are many couples who want to excel in giving to their spouse, but lack the ideas or creativity. Gifts don’t have to be a material possession. It can be the receiving end of your gifting. If you’re gifted at baking, be sure your spouse enjoys the first fruits of your labor. If you’re gifted at planning parties, then your spouse’s 35th birthday party should be one to show your love in a creative way. If you’re gifted in __________________(you fill in the blank), be sure you’re spouse knows it is primarily for them that you do these things, everyone else gets the overflow.
But there is another aspect of this I want to address. As you grow older together and money isn’t as much of an issue as it was while raising a family, it is easy to go and buy whatever it is you’re wanting. The holidays can come along and it’s easy to say, “let’s not get each other anything this year.” While I understand this thought process, think of the rich part of romance that is being excluded here. No more surprises. No more pretty packaged gifts with your name on it. No more special moments of surprise. Gifts don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Simply thoughtful. If this isn’t your love language, don’t throw the whole idea out. You’ll be missing a key element of romance if you do.
Love Language: Acts of Service
Oh yeah, now you are talking MY language! Running the grocery/Target kind of errands makes my day. Help out with dishes, oh yeah! What’s that saying about a man in the kitchen?! Laundry, cleaning, organizing, kid duty … any little bit of help is so appreciated. I feel stretched so thin sometimes and am extremely thankful my husband really helps out a lot around the house and with typical ‘wife’ kind of duties. I m sure one day when I can again do grocery and errand runs without 4 little helpers this language might take a back seat, but until then acts of service are what really encourages & uplifts me!
Oh my husband excels in this area. He serves me in so many countless ways because he wants to. He loves me, and this is his gifting. He regularly goes out of his way to do things for me that leave me…spoiled. I have mentioned this to him, when I’ve struggled with such attention. His answer is, “that’s my job!” Not all husbands are like this. Not all wives want them to be. BUT, your husband is exactly who God joined you with as one flesh. Ask God for ways to serve your husband that will bless him. Be sure to check your motives while doing so – to do something for them, hoping – praying – and maybe dreaming he’ll get the hint and do the same for you, is only setting yourself up for great disappointment. Let your serving be done without grumbling or complaining. Do it because Christ has served you. Do it because it reflects God’s love for you – who came not to be served, but to serve.
This is post #5 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in October.