Have you heard of the Five Love Languages? Before my husband moved to Missouri, we spent several weeks having a ‘date night’ over the phone, once a week, and read through the book on the subject. We learned a lot about how to show one another love, and how we, ourselves, received love. We learned the phrase “My love tank is full/empty”.
Did you know that your love tank can be overflowing?! Did you know that it can overflow, EVEN IF HE ISN’T SPEAKING YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE?!?!
As a mom of three, three and under, and with a husband who is gone more than he is at home (due to his commitment to his calling and his financial responsibilities) there is a new category to Love Languages for me. It encompasses all things family, as well as being seen, respected, and appreciated.
You see, my husband is an amazing dad who loves his kids more than anyone could ever know. He stops to look at them, to listen to them, to ask them what THEY want to do in his tiny windows of time between school, work, homework, and church. He plays games with his daughter, chases and tickles his oldest son, and makes the silliest of faces at his baby boy from as far away as the end of the hall. He holds them, snuggles them, carries them, tackles them, tickles them, plays with them, teaches them, disciplines them, encourages them, praises them, and loves them with everything inside himself.
You know what else? He’s an even more amazing husband. He sees me. He notices when I’m tired, worn out, at my wits end. He knows when I’ve had an amazing day, by the tone in my voice and the expression on my face and even the way I don’t look dishevelled. He knows when I’ve worked hard with nothing to show for it. He can see when I work hard and the evidence is everywhere. He loves when I get things accomplished, and understands when I don’t. He revisits the division of duties, responsibilities and tasks frequently, in order to make sure he is doing his part and I, mine. He holds me accountable when I’m struggling. He encourages me when I’m unsure. He praises me when he sees me overcome a great obstacle (even if it is only the dishes). This man has a love for God that is fiercer than any love I can ever describe in words.
This week, this man decided that he was going to help me get the house back in order. He decided to TELL me he was going to help, not ask me if I needed it. After waking up and sipping his coffee, my husband began cleaning and immediately and graciously sought out the help of our overly excited daughter. He cleaned alongside me, with her help, for a good part of the morning. Then, he gave the kids a bath for me. And if you know anything about my skin condition, you know how important and amazing this simple gesture is. He didn’t stop after lunch, even when his motivation dwindled. He didn’t criticize how bad things had gotten as he continued to clean and clean and find more and more to clean. He didn’t shame me for how far behind I had fallen. He helped me get caught up. He didn’t just give me encouraging and understanding words of love; he acted. No one in the world gets to see him acting like this, but us. And so, I want to share it with the world! The WORLD! My husband is an amazing man, and I couldn’t be more blessed and thankful to God for giving me the pleasure of growing older alongside him!
My husband is not perfect, and we have our slumps, valleys, and hardships. But perfect wasn’t what I was looking for. In fact, what I was looking for doesn’t hold a torch to what this man has done for me. I want him to know how loved and appreciated he is, every single day. I fail to do that for him some days. But he puts his whole self into everything that he does. I’m just thankful and grateful that one of those things is life with me and our kids!