The following is a true story, shared by one of our readers. I have changed a few details to protect her identity. We’ll refer to her as, “She.”
There are several parts to this story. We’ll pick up the next section tomorrow.
“What do you want? I don’t know what you want…” he said, discouraged.
“I want to feel loved by you…” she said, tears in her eyes.
“But I DO love you,” he replied.
“How on earth would I ever know that?” she asked incredulously. “You have gobs of criticism and judgment for me, but never a kind word or a compliment.”
“That’s not true…” he said, uncertainly.
And before things escalated, wisdom kicked in. She stifled the urge to argue with him.
That had been done in the past.
And it didn’t work.
The pain was real, and had been there for years. She’d worked hard learning what his love language was, doing things that spoke respect and love into his life. She had begun the work years ago because she wanted to feel loved by the man she married. She wanted her kids to see something other than dysfunction and unhappiness. She was tired of feeling empty and alone in her marriage. She made mistakes, but learned to speak his language, and as she had, out of her obedience to God’s word in Ephesians 5:33 (and the wife must respect her husband) she found her relationship with God had grown.
There had been a transition within her, also.
While she still daily, intentionally demonstrated respect for her husband, gone were the days where the effort was an attempt at purchasing his loving behavior towards her. Her heart still ached for his affection to be communicated in a way she could experience deeply, but she did what God asked her to do because she knew it was what God wanted. And she wasn’t perfect – and she apologized when she made mistakes. He still seemed somewhat clueless about how to love her well, even though she had been specific with what she felt would make her feel important to him.
The tears welled. She didn’t try to stop them. She noticed, however, the absence of anger and resentment. She prayed briefly and the tears spilled over onto her cheeks.
“Help him understand,” Love spoke to her heart.
“All I want,” she began, “is for you to touch me when you don’t want sex. Like daily, maybe pull my hair out my eyes and put your hand on my cheek. And I want you to say something affirming to me about once a day, something other than, ‘Thanks for dinner,’ something romantic, like, ‘How’d I marry such a pretty girl?’ or, ‘I wish I didn’t have to go to work and could just hang out with you all day.’ I want to feel like I am important to you, special.”
He did try for a while.
And then he seemed to forget again, little by little.
She clung to God daily, and brought it up again several months later, feeling led.
“I know,” he said. “It just doesn’t come naturally to me.”
There was no apology, no empathy for her hurt feelings. “Help him learn to love you,” came the Voice in her heart. “Gently restore,” came More. The verses from Matthew 18 on conflict scrolled through her mind.
Dare you to read the verses – there are literally volumes of Truth in that one chapter that apply to every single relationship in your life. Dare you to ask Him for eyes to SEE today.
More tomorrow on what she actually did.
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Love to you,