Your wife screams, “You never say you love me.” You answer, “That’s not true. I told you I loved you in our marriage vow and if it ever changes, I’ll let you know.”
OK, in this example both parties are getting it wrong. For the wife, it would have been better if she could have said, “I feel starved for love and affection. Can you please show you love me by …?”
This lets the husband know there is an ache in her heart, a void that needs to be filled, and a specific action he should take to help fill that void.
Now for the husband, he should have been listening with his heart and asking, “Lord, what is my wife’s heart really saying?” If he does that and tunes to flow, the Holy Spirit will drop thoughts into his mind that his wife’s heart is starving for MORE affection, and he is responsible to provide that to her. If he is not sure how to do that, then when things settle down a bit, he should ask her, “What specific things could I do to show you how much I love you? Would you write down for me the top three specific things I can do, that are meaningful forms of affection for you, and I will get busy doing them?”
Rules for the road when it comes to listening to another’s heart
- Never respond hastily to harsh words spoken. Take a moment and ask the Lord what the real heart issue is that needs to be addressed. Tune to flow, hear from Him.
- Speak only words edifying for the need of the moment. If you don’t have something kind and encouraging to say, then say nothing. Go in prayer and get something kind to say, and then come back and say it. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear (Eph. 4:29).
- Never answer in anger. A gentle answer turns away wrath (Prov. 15:1).
- These three principles should be enough to get things on the right track.
How to restore your first love
If you have lost your first love, the Bible has a clear solution for that.
You have left your first love. 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first (Rev. 2:4-5).
- Remember by picturing what it used to be like when you were romantically in love
- Repent for letting your heart grow cold
- Do again what you did when you first fell in love
We each have our stories of what we did when we first fell in love. I remember what it was like when I first fell in love with Patti. We were at Roberts Wesleyan College. We just wanted to be together all the time, to share every moment together. We scheduled classes together, had morning devotions together, ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together, and did homework together in the library in the evenings. We read through the New Testament aloud together, we partnered as youth pastors for the Avon Wesleyan youth group, and during summer vacations, when we were separated, we wrote love letters to each other EVERY single day (and I was a guy who hated writing… but love changes everything)!
What were your first days of being in love like? Remember, repent and begin again doing the things you once did, so the flames of love burn brightly in your marriage. Pretty easy solutions, don’t you think?
Additional resources for enhancing love and understanding
- Enriching My Marriage: How to express honor and fill up your “Marriage Love Bank” (Blog)
- 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice: Discover how easy it is to hear the voice of your Wonderful Counselor, and let Him counsel your marriage (DVD training course with book and workbook)
- Prayers That Heal the Heart: Get rid of the baggage you bring with you into the marriage. By starting with a clean slate, you don’t drag a load of garbage into your marriage (DVD training course with book and workbook)
- Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul (Book)
- Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul (Book)
- The Treasure Chest: “Spirit-Led Prayer Organizer Devotionals to Meet Your Specific Needs.” Containing 40 prayer approaches which provide tools for achieving spiritual victory.