My dear friend,

May the peace of God, that surpasses all reason, be with you.

May I ask you a personal question? Please think deeply before you reply to it.

How ‘healthy’ is your marriage? Have you ever wondered what have become of the dreams that you had as an engaged couple?

Dreams like:  our relationship is special and will not follow on the same course as others;

we will not hide anything from each other;

we will discuss our differences before they become problems;

our love will conquer anything bad that comes our way,

and so many others.

Then, one day, the reality of everything suddenly appears to you!

We have driven apart and do not have anything more to say to each other.

I still love my spouse but we seem to live our separate lives.

To me it feels as if I stand alone in this situation and that I have lost my husband/wife and my children.

We live as strangers in the same house.

Then the question arises: ‘Should we not call it a day, live our separate lives and divorce?’

Did you struggle with this idea? It might just be that your marriage has already collapsed or is on the point of collapse and you are ready to let go.

Would you like to rectify what went wrong, but you do not know how?

God says to the husbands in Colossians.3:19: “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” And in verse 18: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the LORD.”

Why do we fail to do just this? Is it because it is too difficult to do?

No my dear friend, if you believe this you are believing the lie from Satan.

Let us look at how GOD created each one of us and how we act under various circumstances.

Each one of us has our own set way of thinking, acting under various situations, overcoming pressure and of what our look-out on life is. This is how God has made you and you cannot change this. What you however, can change, is how others experience you.

Do you know that only 20% of what you say consist of words? The balance is said by your posture, tone of voice, the expression in your eyes, etc. How often did it happen to you, that you say something and somebody understands it as something else?   

Do you not agree that everything will improve if we can just improve or control this?

Everyone falls under one of four mail categories or groups. We firstly have to find out in which group you are and why you act like you do.

Please remember: Not one of these categories is better than the others. Each one has its own strong and weak points. You cannot change yourself for that is how God created you. You can however, change the way that others experience you and derive positive results from it..

Let us look at the first group. These people know what they expect from life. The end result is that they succeed to get it and do not care about how they have reached it. They become annoyed with detail. Everything they like to say or listen to concerns facts. They easily become bored and irritated with ordinary conversation.

To them, time is very important and their time is planned. They have strong personalities and thus they appear as dominating.

Because they work according to a plan, they regulate and arrange their environment as they want it. They like to be right and will take sudden action although it may contain a certain amount of risk. Their posture appears to be aggressive. Gestures with the hands are contained and will mostly be direct, like pointing a finger, etc

In serious talk or argument, they lean forward, with hands mostly before them on the desk or table, if they sit at a desk or table.

They want to be in control and are very competitive. We call them: Drivers.”

The people in our second group are serious about always being right and like to be formal. They are also purpose driven but they need detail and time to come to a decision. They do not take chances. If, for instance, you discuss financial matters with them, they would want the amount, explained to them, to the last cent. Time, to them, is important and they work according a worked out plan. Their faces do not easily show emotion and they talk in a monotonous tone. They are not very communicative, but will give their full co-operation if being asked.

Their postures are, like those of the drivers, forward with little or no hand gestures. If hand gestures are used, it will also be direct.

This group is called the: Analysts.”

The third group is called the: Amiable group. They are ‘people-people’. They need security in every situation. They look for security for themselves or for the group around them. They will not make a decision if they feel insecure.

They vary from both the drivers and the analysts and have a relaxed posture and are not so strict on discipline. It is easy to speak to these people.

They lean backwards, use their hands and their hands are usually open. Their faces show emotion and one can almost ‘see’ what they think. You really feel at home with them. They are careful about taking a risk.

Our last group is the Expressive group. The name alone tells us much about them. They know what they want from life. They are relaxed and have an open posture. What others think about them, is to them very important and they will use their own achievements to influence people. They are easy to communicate with. They like to compete for it gives them the opportunity to prove themselves as good or best. They eagerly listen to the opinion of others and they are also willing to take chances. Time is not very important to them for they live to enjoy the day. They use their hands willingly and are fairly ‘noisy’.

I have only touched on a few aspects for each group. Do remember that almost 90% of us fall into a second group as a sub-group with the first group dominating. I also may have used extreme examples. Please look past that and identify yourself first and then your spouse. Make certain what the wishes and needs of your spouse are and change your behavior and actions accordingly to please and not to irritate.

I stress again that no single group is better than another one. God created us all as we are.

Circumstances sometimes change us into what we do not want to be. It is possible to change your circumstances to obtain victory once you know yourself as who you really are. It will also be easier to handle situations if you know the thoughts of someone else beforehand.

Now that we know a little more about how we are and also how our spouses are, let us have a look at how we and the people around us, do experience love and also what we look upon as love.

God states in 1 Peter 4:8: “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” To fervently love each other, we have to look at our own perceptions and experience of love.

How we grew up and what we have experienced as love, influenced our opinion of what love is. If I grew up in a house where hugs and smiles were plentiful as part of life, or still is, I will have a different perception of love than someone who did not grow up under circumstances like that.

Now we marry someone who grew up under other circumstances than we did and who did not experience love, the way that I did. I, who experienced love as hugging and touching, am shocked when my partner pushes me away when I want to give him/her a hug or want to hold hands while walking in the street. I feel rejected and crawl into my ‘shell’.

My partner now experiences the same and also draws away from me. Before we realize it, we have driven apart and each of us does his/her thing.

This all happens just because we do not understand our partner’s idea of love. It’s like speaking to a Japanese person, not knowing the language. We do not understand each other.

Do you perhaps speak Japanese while your wife speaks English in your marriage? My wife and I did.  

Let me quickly explain something to you. Each of us has a ‘love tank’ standing on a high stand in the winds of life (almost like a water tank). If this tank is empty and a gust of wind comes, the tank will topple down easily. If, however, the tank is full, the strong wind will not even move it. It is the same with our “tanks of love”. Full tanks can withstand the strong winds of life and stay on top.

How are these tanks filled? I have to see to it that my partner’s tank stays full and he/she has to see that my tank remains full. This is impossible if I speak Japanese and my spouse speaks English.

Let us therefore learn each other’s language and understand what is being said. Then it will be easy to keep our tanks full.

There are five ways of expressing what you say, so called love languages:

Physical contact.  This does not just mean sexual contact which is only part of it. It is much more than that. It is touching whenever you pass by, holding hands when walking, or whatever you feel like doing. One feels and experiences love in every contact.

Constructive words. Anyone likes it when your efforts are being seen, appreciated and spoken about. You not only feel that you as person are being seen and feel important. When words like that are spoken, you can assault a superior force and conquer it.

Quality time. Your partner just comes to sit next to you and words are not even necessary. He or she just wants to be with you, or sometimes just phone you to say he/she misses you, are thinking of you or long for you.

Gifts. Your spouse brings flowers, a card or a chocolate and gives it to you. Gifts do not have to be expensive. The gesture counts.

Serviceability. He or she does tasks for you without being asked, like a cup of coffee or tea, washing the dishes, or things like that.

Dear friend, firstly identify your own love language. Then identify that of your partner. If you are able to discuss it, so much the better. Do it. Explain to each other and ask what their language is. Discussing this together, will be so much faster and results will appear so much sooner.

If your partner is stubborn and is not interested in talking in this trend, do not feel disheartened. Identify his/her love language as well as you can. Concentrate on filling his/her tank. At first it will not be easy but just realize that: Phllipians 4:13  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Love conquers everything.

The heart of our Father, is: RESTORED RELATIONSHIPS.

The heart of Satan is: Ruined relationships.

Please do not believe the lie of Satan that you marriage is doomed to fail and that you and your spouse are not compatible. God instituted the marriage and made it a Holy institution.

He did it for the purpose of letting us have a taste of what our marriage to Jesus will one day be like. The devil knows it and will do his best to break it up.

The Word of God says in James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Take up your authority and cast him out of your life and out of your marriage. You are more than a conqueror in Jesus.

Cobus van Heerden