By Cindee Johnson
Have you ever run out of gas? It was just a year ago when my husband Dave and I did. We had a lot of life happening. Between buying a house during a worldwide pandemic, caring for critical needs of an aging parent, and managing my own health concerns, we failed one day to notice just how low our gas tank had dropped. Once we did, it was too late. As we pulled to the side of the Interstate, realizing our mistake, we had a good laugh. So did our daughter and son in law when they came to rescue the parents.
But, that wasn’t the first time in our relationship we dangerously were running on empty. And, then, it was no laughing matter.
Did you realize we all have an emotional love tank that needs regularly filled? It’s true. When my Jeep was running on empty, the evidence on the gas gauge was glaringly clear. We ignored it. Yet, ignoring the signs in marriage leads to much more serious consequences. We know.
Author Dr. Gary Chapman identifies five love languages as Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. Dave and I had it all wrong the first 10 years of our marriage. He needs Words of Affirmation. I do not. So I offered few. I thrive on Acts of Service. That’s not important to Dave. It wasn’t happening.
God rescued us on the side of a lonely highway when we were invited to a Bible Study on the 5 Love Languages. It changed how we love each other which changed our marriage. We aren’t the only ones, as we have seen it restore and resurrect the marriages of many others.
Is your marriage running on empty? There’s hope for you, too! Not sure? Just take a simple quiz at 5lovelanguages.com. And, have fun, filling each other’s emotional love tanks!
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.