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Danger Signs of an Unhealthy Dating Relationship
October 12, 2016

I expect we have all seen dating relationships go wrong. We have all seen people move from unwise and unhealthy dating relationships into turbulent, difficult, or even doomed marriages. How can we help people avoid this? What are some danger signs of an unhealthy dating relationship? Lou Priolo’s books have often been helpful to me and this has proven the case once more with a little booklet he’s written on this very subject. He offers a long list of danger signs, but I want to focus on just 6 of them, on the ones I’ve seen most often.

Persistent doubts about the relationship. The first warning sign is the existence of persistent doubts about the relationship. There are many reasons people may experience such doubts. Some of these may be legitimate and some may ridiculous, and the difficulty comes in knowing which is which. Priolo warns, “The Bible teaches that, as a follower of Jesus Christ, you should not move forward until you are confident that what you are about to do is not sin” (see Romans 14:5, 23). We can draw from the Bible a “holding principle” that warns us not to act until we are confident that it will not be sinful to proceed. “If you can’t proceed in doing what you would like to do without having the faith (the scripturally based assurance) that you can do it to the glory of God, it’s best to wait until your conscience has been informed by the Word of God.” If you are having serious, nagging doubts about the wisdom of proceeding toward marriage, make time and effort to resolve those doubts biblically.

Subjects that are off-limits. Another warning sign of an unhealthy dating relationship is the existence of subjects that are off-limits. Are there certain subjects that your boyfriend or girlfriend refuses to discuss? Are there subjects you avoid bringing up out of fear of anger or hurt feelings? There are at least two warning signs wrapped up in such a situation: “These kinds of thought patterns may indicate an inability to biblically resolve conflicts on the part of your partner or an inordinate desire for approval on your part.” It could also be fear—fear of the other person’s emotional or even physical response. Either way, a marriage cannot thrive where a couple has subjects that remain off-limits, where relational intimacy can exist only if certain subjects never come up. Learn to talk to your future spouse about anything and everything and be concerned if subjects remain off-bounds.

Increased physical intimacy. A very serious warning sign within a dating relationship is an increase in physical intimacy—intimacy that is appropriate only within marriage. Of course the cultural expectation is that a couple will quickly ramp up the physical component of their relationship until they are sure they are sexually compatible. Only then will they be convinced that they can have a healthy marriage. But the Bible offers many and repeated warnings about sexual intimacy outside of marriage (which includes, of course, sexual intimacy prior to marriage). In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4 goes so far as to call such sexual activity “defrauding” another person, exploiting them for your own pleasure. Be concerned if your boyfriend or girlfriend ramps up the intimacy or pressures you to ramp it up. Take this lack of self-control and lack of desire for sexual purity as a warning sign and seek out help and counsel from others.

Strong opposition from family and friends. It is wise to be concerned about your relationship if it is opposed by family and trusted friends—especially Christian family and friends. The Bible often teaches the importance of seeking out and heeding wisdom from others. Their wisdom is not inerrant, but it may still be valuable. They may see things you do not. They may have the wisdom and insight you lack. “In the multitude of godly counselors there is wisdom. … If the objections are biblical (if there are valid biblical reasons to consider waiting to get married or to reconsider getting married at all), then wait until the issues are resolved before you move ahead. Let the Scriptures be your guide in all matters of faith and practice.” Ask trusted counselors about your relationship and carefully consider their concerns.

Lack of spiritual harmony. The Bible forbids Christians from marrying non-Christians, so the most important spiritual harmony comes by ensuring your future spouse is a true believer. I have spoken to many brokenhearted husbands and wives who have realized too late that they married an unbeliever. Be convinced! Another kind of spiritual disharmony is when major doctrinal differences divide spouses—issues like disagreements on the roles of husbands and wives or on the way God guides his people, whether through Scripture or through other kinds of revelation. Discuss and decide what you believe about infant baptism and about church attendance and membership. There is nothing more important to a dating relationship than communication, so take time to talk about everything. Talk, listen, and pursue harmony.

Inability to resolve conflicts. Another serious warning sign is an inability to resolve conflict. We could go so far as to say that the two essential qualities for a spouse are a shared Christian faith and an ability to resolve conflict in God’s way through God’s Word. If these are in place, everything else can follow. “The difference between a good marriage and a bad marriage is not necessarily that in the former there is little to no conflict and in the latter there is much conflict. The difference is that in a good marriage the conflicts are resolved biblically, quickly, and with a minimum amount of sin.” You will have conflicts and must learn to resolve them in a healthy manner. You also need to understand that conflict is not necessarily bad and, in fact, is often necessary to resolve issues that inevitably arise between sinful human beings. But a healthy marriage depends on a couple learning to work out their issues in a constructive way.

These are just 6 warning signs. For more, and for a workbook approach to identifying and dealing with them, consider picking up Lou Priolo’s booklet Danger Signs of an Unhealthy Dating Relationship.

October 12, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include three from Christian Focus: A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Sin by Iain D. Campbell, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Suffering by Brian Cosby, and A Clearing of the Mists by Martin Haworth.

4 Reasons Spurgeon Died Poor

This article tells just how much money Spurgeon made while he was alive (a LOT!) and what he did with it all (also a lot!).

Why It’s Pivotal to Make Room for Reading

Jen Thorn: “The amazing thing about studying God’s word and reading theologically rich books is that it makes me long for more. The more I study God, the more I want to know him. So the more I read, the more I want to read.”

How I Found Freedom from Gender Confusion

“I think I always had the desire to cross-dress. Some of my very earliest memories are of a dress-up box that my brother and I played with. It was probably filled with pirate outfits and funny hats, but there were also a couple of old dresses. I only dimly remember wearing them, but I more clearly remember the disappointment of finding that they’d been removed one day—presumably by my concerned parents….” 

Driving From Duty to Delight

“Let’s cut right to it. Sometimes we don’t feel like reading our Bible, praying, going to church or other things that God tells us are good for us to do. It may not be any one thing, for any number of reasons we just don’t want to do it. So what do we do?”

This Day in 1518. 498 years ago today Martin Luther was summoned before Cardinal Thomas Cajetan to whom he refused to recant the 95 theses he had posted in Wittenberg. *

Why Definite Atonement Must Be True

Geoffrey Kirkland offers 9 reasons that it must be true.

Rose Reading Room

This video is neat. It shows the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library being re-stocked and re-opened after repairs.

Why Does Friendship At Times Feel One-Sided?

I’ve spoken to a number of people over the years who are discouraged by friendships that seem weighted to one side. Christine Hoover writes about it.

Flashback: Positive Purity

Sexual purity has two components to it: the turning away and the turning toward, the stopping of one kind of behavior and the beginning of another.

The Bible exhorts us to weep with those who weep. It doesn’t tell us to judge whether they should be weeping.H.B. Charles Jr.

Sexual Morality in a Christless World
October 11, 2016

The times are changing. Sexual morality is undergoing nothing less than a revolution as traditional morality gives way to something radically different. The former morality, based on the Christian scriptures, is being shoved aside by a new one that not only departs from the Bible, but outright rejects it. Meanwhile, Christians who abide by those traditional sexual morals are increasingly seen as outcasts, backward people dangerously hung up on ancient, oppressive principles. It is all very disconcerting.

Into the fray steps Matthew Rueger with his book Sexual Morality in a Christless World. Though the last few years have brought us no shortage of books on how to live on this side of the sexual revolution, Rueger offers something unique in examining and explaining the historical and cultural backdrop to the New Testament’s teaching on sexual morality. In this way he shows that Christian sexual morality has not always been traditional but was at one time its own revolution. In other words, Christians have been here before, and there is much we can learn from our own history.

Rueger turns first to the Roman context in which the early Christians lived and into which the Bible was written. Here he offers a fascinating, disturbing examination of what Roman culture considered good and normal. “Rome’s sexual climate is a model of the utopia for which today’s sexual ‘progressives’ are striving.” Yet it was hardly utopian. He shows that “In the Roman mind, man was the conqueror who dominated on the battlefield as well as in the bedroom. He was strong, muscular, and hard in both body and spirit. Society looked down on him only when he appeared weak or soft.” Respectable men were permitted to have sexual relations with just about anyone, provided they were the aggressors rather than receivers of such sexual acts.

Marriage existed, of course, but was not first about mutual love, but about the provision of an heir. A far purer form of love was the love of a man for a boy, so a culture of pederasty arose in which adult men carried on overt sexual relationships with adolescent boys. Prostitution was rampant. Rape was widespread and accepted, provided a man raped someone of a lower status. In so many ways Roman sexual morality was abhorrent and one of its most prominent features was the strong dominating the weak.

And then Christians showed up. Christians began to teach that men were to be chaste, that homosexuality and pederasty were sinful, that men were to love and honor their wives, that wives and husbands had equal authority over one another’s bodies. Such teaching was not only seen as repressive, but as full-out destabilizing to the Roman system. No wonder, then, that the whole culture turned against Christians. “Though Christian morality promoted genuine self-emptying love and was positive for society, it nonetheless set Christ’s people against the prevailing culture. Romans did not like being told that some of their favorite activities were displeasing to the Christian God, and they pushed back.” And here is where we can draw important lessons for our day, for today, too, Christian sexual morality is seen as destabilizing to the culture around us, as a serious societal sin.

And so far we have only discussed the first chapter. In chapter 2 Rueger sets the Jewish context, showing that Christian morality was almost as opposed to contemporary Judaism as it was to Rome. This was especially true in according equal rights to men and women, in protecting women from divorce, and in putting away notions of sexual purity that harmed women. Again, Christianity offered a sexual morality that was kind and equitable and that protected the weak and marginalized.

And with all of that in place, Rueger now works through the New Testament texts on sexuality. With all of that context, he is able to show how these Christian teachings were full-out counter-cultural, how they were radical, not traditional. He shows how Christian sexual morality helped individuals, it helped the marginalized, it helped society—it was a tremendous blessing to everyone. Yet Christians suffered because their views were seen as destabilizing and harmful. Though today we see that their morality was actually a blessing, at that time it was considered a curse. And Christians suffered terribly for it.

The rest of the book turns from the roots of Christian sexual morality to modern sexual morality, offering the biblical alternative to society’s revolution. Rueger says “My desire in writing this book is to help Christians engage the world around them in reasoned discussion.” He does so very well. And his greatest contribution is helping us understand that this is not the first time that Christians have been at odds with the culture. This is not the first time the biblical understanding of sex and sexuality has caused the culture to turn on Christians, to consider them disloyal, to push them to the margins. For that reason we need books like this one to interpret the times and equip us for today and the days to come. I thoroughly enjoyed this work and highly recommend it.

October 11, 2016

Today’s Kindle deals include: Called Together by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson, Sent Together by Jonathan Dodson & Brad Watson, and The Religions Next Door by Marvin Olasky. New from GLH Publishing, and 50% off to start, is The Loveliness of Christ by Samuel Rutherford. 

A Transatlantic Elegy For An American Hillbilly

Mez McConnell has written a very interesting review of Hillbilly Elegy. He writes from a Scottish perspective and shares just how much the book has in common with his context.

The Patriarchy Movement: Five Areas of Grave Concern

I’m glad to see this article at Reformation21 expressing areas of concern over the patriarchy movement.

Planet Earth 2

This is exciting news: Planet Earth 2 is on the way. Watch the trailer at the link.

A Gospeled Church

“You cannot grow in holiness and holier-than-thou-ness at the same time. So a church that makes its main thing the gospel, and when faced with sin in its ranks doesn’t simply crack the whip of the law but says ‘remember the gospel,’ should gradually be seeing grace coming to bear.”

R.C. Sproul’s Warning Concerning Prayer

R.C. Sproul offers a warning about prayer: “The idea seems to be that we have the capacity to coerce God Almighty into doing for us whatever it is we want Him to do, but God is not a celestial bellhop who is on call every time we press the button, just waiting to serve us our every request.”

This Day in 1531. 485 years ago today Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli died in the Battle of Kappel. *

7 Tips on How to Survive Your Ordination Exam

Michael Kruger offers helpful counsel on surviving that ordination exam. Though he writes from a PCA perspective, the advice has wider application.

5 Ways Persecution in Iran Has Backfired

This was an encouraging article to read. “Scripture is clear that God often uses his people’s suffering to advance his kingdom. In his providence, the Islamic regime’s strategies to stamp out the Persian-speaking church in Iran have backfired—resulting in further church growth. Here are five examples.”

Flashback: Why I Am a Six-Day Creationist

These are my reasons why I haven’t budged from this position.

Most of us go through life worrying people will think too little of us. Paul worried people would think too much of him.D.A. Carson

10 Reasons I'm Thankful To Be a Dad
October 10, 2016

It does me good to consider what I am thankful for, especially since today is Thanksgiving up here in Canada. There are so many things for which I owe gratitude to God, but near the top of the list, and on my mind today, is my children. I’m thankful to be a dad for these reasons and many more:


I am thankful to be a dad for the cuddles. My sixteen-year-old son doesn’t cuddle me anymore, but my girls still do, and I love them for it. I love to hold them close, I love to tell them they are loved, I love to let them know that they are safe, protected, provided for. I cuddle them gently to know that I treasure them. I gather them in my arms and carry them up to bed to let them know I’m strong. And they cuddle me to let me know I’m loved in return. I think I might need their cuddles just as much as they need mine.


I am thankful for the eyes of a daughter for her father. There is something about the way a girl looks at her daddy, something in her eyes that is pure and sweet and deep and maybe even fierce. Her eyes show love, trust…and is it admiration? It’s not like the love of friend to friend or husband to wife or father to son. It’s not better or worse, but different, unique. It’s a love any good daddy wants to treasure.


I am thankful to be a dad because my children push me to grow in holiness. They push me to grow in holiness by exposing my lack of holiness. They don’t mean to—it just happens as we live life together. They expose my impatience, my irritability, my selfishness, my pride. I know they need a dad who doesn’t just demand holiness but who also displays it. So in their own way they’ve pushed me to grow in the noblest traits while putting to death the ugliest.


I am thankful to be a dad to feel protection toward my children. And as a father I do feel fiercely protective toward them. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect them from harm, to prevent them from experiencing pain. Sometimes I read in the news or the history books of a father who has sacrificed his life for his children. I am moved but not surprised. What father wouldn’t trade his life for his child’s? What father wouldn’t throw himself in front of a predator, bus, or bullet to protect his child?


I am thankful to be a dad so I can feel pride in my children. Yes, I know that pride is the chief of sins and that pride comes before a fall. But not this pride. This is the kind of pride God has in his Son, that God has in us, his children. It is a good pride, a pride that desires to give to those children all that they need, a pride that delights in their accomplishments no matter how big or small. This is a pride that seeks the good of the other, that delights in the good of the other. In this way I’m proud of my children, proud to be their dad.


I am thankful to be a dad to grow in humility. Yes, being a dad generates pride (good pride!) but it also generates humility. I see the good traits of my children and know: I can’t take the credit for this. I see their accomplishments and know: They are capable in ways I’m a failure. I see all that they are, all that they do, all that they have become and are becoming, and I have to be humbled, I have to give humble thanks to God for his goodness.


I am thankful to be a dad as it allows me to become a friend. One of the great joys of parenting is experiencing that slow transition through which your children become your friends. What a joy it is to realize that you aren’t only spending time with them because you have to and you aren’t spending time with them just because it’s your parental duty. No, you’re spending time with them because you just plain love them, you love to be with them. Your children have become your friends.


I am thankful to be a dad for the hope my children give. In my children I see hope—hope for the church, hope for humanity. I see children who are kind and moral and growing in godliness. I see children who have been raised in a way that stands out from the world around them. I see children who know that they need to be heavenly-minded if they are to be of any earthly good. I see my children and feel hope.


I am thankful to be a dad to appreciate beauty. What dad isn’t convinced that his daughters are the most beautiful creatures in all the earth? What dad doesn’t love to hear the question, “Daddy, how do I look?” She approaches with her dress on, she does a twirl, her hair flies, her dress puffs. “How do I look?” There is only one appropriate answer: “You look perfect. You look beautiful.” And she does.


I am thankful to be a dad so I can better appreciate the fatherhood of God. God reveals himself to us as Father—Father to the Son and Father to all those whom he adopts into his family. Being a father to my children has given me glimpses—vague and fleeting glimpses, perhaps—of what it means for God to be Father. Seeing God as Father challenges me to love like God loves, to parent like God parents. Seeing God as Father allows me to rest secure, knowing that my children have a bigger, better Father who will provide for their every need.

October 10, 2016

First off, happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. We have much to be thankful for, don’t we? I trust that you will be able to enjoy the day with friends or family.

And now here are today’s Kindle deals. They include: ESV Men’s Devotional Bible, ESV Women’s Devotional Bible (both of which are excellent), Nothing but the Truth by John MacArthur, and In Light of Eternity by Randy Alcorn. There are a whole more as well, including solid books on prayer and on guidance. Get them all here.

How the Berenstain Bears Found Salvation

I’ve only ever found them moralistic, but still, here’s how the Berenstain bears found salvation, so to speak. “As a parent, I took it for granted that the moral framework of contemporary children’s books, when it made an appearance, would remain disengaged from any actual dogma. So, when had the Berenstain Bears found Christ? And why?”

Trump’s Moral Character and the Election

I haven’t said or shared much of anything on the election (I’m Canadian, after all. Plus, it’s not like the blogosphere has been silent on the subject). However, I did think it worthwhile to share that Wayne Grudem has withdrawn his endorsement of Donald Trump.

The World’s Worst Flavor

What’s the worst flavor in the world? “The world’s worst flavor was developed in a lab by accident. You’ve probably never tasted Bitrex, but it’s all over your home.”

Scotch Tape and Popsicle Sticks

Here’s an article about ministries that are (apparently) held together by scotch tape and popsicle sticks.

Understanding the Gospel of Nat Turner

I was interested in reading this article from Smithsonian. “Turner’s views on private revelation were not unlike those of his contemporaries Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and William Miller, the father of the Adventist movement. Turner’s views were clearly unacceptable to the whites who controlled Southampton’s interracial churches.”

This Day in 2003. 13 years ago today Desiring God held its very first National Conference on the life and legacy of Jonathan Edwards. 

God Is Not the Author of Uncertainty

John MacArthur has at it.

N. T. Wright Reconsiders the Meaning of Jesus’s Death

Michael Horton reviews N.T. Wright’s latest work. “I agree with a lot in this book. I agree with the basic gist of Wright’s critique and with much of his own proposal. That response might surprise some, including the author, with whom I’ve enjoyed spirited and edifying discussions of the manuscript. My differences lie at the point of certain details. That said, they are significant.”

Flashback: Busy, Lazy, and the Space In Between

We have a word for doing too little: lazy. We have a word for doing too much: busy. But we don’t have a word for whatever comes in between. Not a good one, anyway.

A sheep in the midst of wolves is safe compared with a Christian in the midst of ungodly men.C.H. Spurgeon

October 09, 2016

One of the great joys of blogging is receiving feedback from those who read what I write. Every week or two I like to collect some of the letters to the editor that I receive and share them here. What I share today represents the best of the week that was.

Letters on Jesus Always, the Sequel to Jesus Calling

Tim: These really are the best of what I received this week on the subjects of Jesus Always and Jesus Calling.

First of all, EVERYONE HAS A GIFT!! Sarah has a gift of hearing from the Lord! She brings us closer to him! I feel like all you’re doing is wanting publicity in downing someone else. How do you think GOD feels about that?! Sarah is doing what GOD told her to do and you’re against it; meaning you’re going against GODs will! He does NOT like ugly and that is everything that you are being. YOU NEED TO PRAY! Pray & figure out what GOD wants for you instead of going against what He wants for someone else. Sarah has a life to live and message to send. Ask GOD what YOUR calling is…let Sarah’s relationship with GOD be her own. Shes helping people and you’re tearing them down. Im praying for you.
—Cameron C, Knoxville, TN


Stop being a hater because nobody wants to ready your crap. Have a blessed day.
—Aven P, Cheraw, SC

Letters on No One Else Is Coming

Thank you for writing the article about 20Schemes, and specifically about the Petes in Barlanark. I wanted to add a hearty “amen” to what you have written and add another personal vouching for the lads.

Our church has supported the Petes for some time now. This past summer I had the privilege of taking a small team to Barlanark to see the ministry firsthand. It isn’t dazzling. It isn’t showy. It isn’t glamorous. We weren’t expecting that though. What we expected and saw was that it is hard, it is necessary, and it is good.

I remember being in a conversation with David Murray (of PRTS and a native Scot himself) a few years ago where he commented offhand that he thinks 20Schemes may be Scotland’s last hope. Indeed, what we personally saw in Barlanark was a people that are hopeless. But the reason why 20Schemes can be characterized as the “last hope” is because they bring the gospel of hope to the hopeless. Hope Community Church Barlanark is the perfect name to describe the church that is being planted.

I would encourage both individual Christians and churches to come alongside the work happening in Scotland. Pray, give, go, and send. The Lord of the Harvest is planting and gathering. What a privilege to be part of His work.
—Bryan W, Rothbury, MI

Letters on Why Does the Universe Look So Old?

Tim: Not surprisingly, the majority of responses to this article were opposed to what I wrote. Still, many of the responses were both kind and reasonable.

Both suggested reasons for the universe looking old have problems. “The universe looks old because the Creator made it whole” misses the fact that the universe does not merely look old, but it looks like it has a complete history. It’s reasonable to suggest that an instantly created Adam would have looked a few decades old, but Adam would not need growth rings in his bones, a navel, scars, memories, or other evidence of a nonexistent series of events. But when we look at the earth, or at the universe, we see clear evidence of a lengthy series of events. The wine at Cana resembled the product of a year’s work by a vine, but it didn’t have a fictional label crediting it to a particular vineyard or genuine bits of bugs and dirt to give the appearance of normal winemaking techniques.

Likewise, identifying looking old as due to sin is problematic on many counts. God said it was good; this says it looked bad. Although human aging as we know it is marred by sin, the idea that looking old is because of sin sounds more like a modernistic cult of youth than Biblical appreciation for maturity.

The modern young-earth interpretation is not all that traditional. Non-24 hour interpretations of the days of creation were common in the early church. By the early 1800’s, the geologic evidence for a vast age of the earth was not only firmly scientifically established but also widely accepted in the church, with young-earth positions regaining popularity only in the past half-century as a result of the popularity of the erroneous scientific claims of creation science.

Not that science should dictate our exegesis, but it may indicate places where our exegesis is off, as Augustine suggested. And we must be honest in reporting what science indicates, whether or not it fits what we want. Both theology and science must rigidly stick to the evidence, rather than “here’s how I think it should work”.
—David C, Boiling Springs, NC


It is very unfortunate that respected Christian spokesmen like John MacArthur and Albert Mohler insist on continuing to promote the totally unnecessary false choice of either the facts of nature or one particular interpretation of the Bible. It is obvious that the book of Genesis was not intended to teach science and that there are many passages in the Bible that are not intended to be taken in a rigidly literal manner. If these men were to publically allow for the possibility of other ways to interpret Genesis, Christianity might not be losing so many young people. Equating Christianity with Young Earth Creationism hasn’t saved anyone, but it has caused many to be lost. I grant that there are theological issues that need to be worked out and then disseminated, but this is being done, on the internet and in the literature. We need to get to the point where creation and evolution becomes just another one of those secondary issues on which Christians graciously agree that alternative views are possible.
—Paul B, New Kensington, PA


I see the lens of the creation camera as on the earth and focused on the earth and viewing the heavens from an earthly perspective. The universe declares the glory of God, but earth is the stage of God’s creative, providential and redemptive work in and for man. The Cosmos manifests the divine grandeur but does so in a way that is anthropocentric. This is illustrated by the greater and lesser lights being created for the benefit of man on the earth. Then God made the stars also. Given the anthropocentric nature of the universe this statement cannot really mean anything unless these stars were immediately visible with the radiated light created with them reaching earth at the very moment of their creation. We are, each of us, behind the lens as the drama unfolds. The camera sees each stage as it unfolds from the perspective of the stage. The stars are the backdrop to the stage, the universe the theatre. we watch and observe the immediacy of each unfolding act of God’s unveiling of Himself in the His creation. We see it’s all immediately as Adam would had He been created first.
—Donald M, Glasgow, Scotland

Letters on Those Exquisite Forms of Love That Do Not Speak Your Language

First, I want to say that I agree with much of what you say here. And obviously, the Bible offers so much more than the love languages concept. However, I think you are perhaps a bit too cynical about the benefits of understanding love languages. I don’t think it has to be this dark and greedy thing that you paint it to be.

I don’t think most people learn about love languages for their own benefit. I don’t think everyone is reading about love languages to hold over their spouse’s head, “see, this is my love languages and you aren’t meeting that.”

Instead, there are 2 very beneficial things that we can learn:

  1. My spouse’s love language. In learning about love languages, I can choose to learn how I can best love him. I think that is why most people learn about love languages—to love their spouse better, and not in a selfish way. It’s important that we understand how our spouse’s love language differs from our own because our nature is to do what we understand. For example, if my love language is affection, I might be very affectionate toward my spouse. Not that it’s a bad thing, but if his love language is acts of service then I need to do that too. Why? Because I want him to feel loved, so I want to learn about what makes him most feel loved.
  2. The second reason is somewhat related to the first. If I learn about my husband’s love language, then I can better appreciate the ways that he shows me love, even if they aren’t necessarily speaking my love language. You mention the dark and greedy growl and making your own love language the ultimate and only acceptable expression of love. I would disagree here. I think we are naturally prone to do that, without anyone telling us to. I think learning about love languages helps us do the opposite because instead of saying, “hey you aren’t showing me affection, so you don’t love me.” I can step back and look at the ways he is showing me love through his own love language and learn to better appreciate those things.

I think we should all look for the ways our spouses show us love anyway, but I do think that learning about love languages can assist with that and doesn’t have to be the negative thing that you ascribe to it.
—Crystal B, Marion, KY