Seven from Seven (part 6)
If you missed part 1 and are wondering what this is all about you can read it here. If you want to read the parts in order, click here for part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5 also. Basically in the year that Lucy and I are celebrating seven years of marriage I’m sharing seven things we’ve learned in those years. Not to brag, not to show off, not to pretend we’re perfect, just to talk about some things that have helped us and that will help to build our marriage further in the years to come. I’ve broken it into 7 parts so it’s not too much to read at any one time. Parts 1-5 have already been published, and here is part 6. The series concludes tomorrow night with part 7.
The first lesson was: we’re not perfect and that we shouldn’t expect too much of each other.
The second lesson was: we’re not God.
The third lesson was: not to go to bed angry.
The fourth lesson was: love is sacrificial.
The fifth lesson was: speak in each other’s love languages.
The sixth lesson is: we’ve learnt to keep each other’s love tank full. The concept of a love tank comes from a marriage devotional book by Gary Thomas. Like the fuel tank in a car, it can either be empty, when a person feels very low and unappreciated, or full, when a person is basking in the full knowledge that they’re loved. Neglect, hurtful actions and unfulfilled requests all drain the love tank; whereas time, attention and thoughtfulness fill it up as surely as a petrol hose plugged into a car. With the best will in the world, that tank will often run low, you can’t always keep it brimming at the surface (unless you’re some kind of super-husband/super-wife), but the important thing is to remember to fill it up before it drains down to the bottom. That’s when the car stops working/marriage starts seizing up. Learn to spot the symptoms of a low tank, those signals given by your spouse like the flashing fuel gauge on the dashboard, and act quickly to put it right. Again it goes back to those love languages. For Lucy’s tank to run dry I don’t necessarily need to do anything really bad or hurtful (although those things are rapid tank-drainers), it may just be that I’ve been speaking in the wrong love language. I might be really affirming her or being physically affectionate in passing, but all the while her gauge is getting lower. I know that what I need to do is spend time with her, put other things aside and give her my undivided attention. That’s like filling up at the petrol station for her. Learn what fills your spouse’s tank, get an accurate gauge, and keep it topped up as much as you can.
Come back tomorrow for the finale in part 7…