Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Love Jar
A few weeks ago I read about how my friend Rachel and her husband implemented "The Love Jar" in their house. I loved the idea but wasn't sure I could get Daniel on board so I pushed it to the side for awhile and thought on how I could present it. A couple weeks went by and Daniel was preparing a lesson series for our young marrieds class on The Five Love Languages. And it's funny, while he was preparing for this lesson, I was feeling like things were "off" with us. He didn't think so but I could feel it. You know how us girls are with all that stuff. I was tired from caring for babies and the housework that never seemed to end, plus cooking every night. I was exhausted and I felt like I was taking my frustrations out on him, which I was. After we got things worked out I mentioned the love jars to him. And he went for the idea. I was so excited.
I got to work on the jars and it didn't cost me a thing. I had 2 mason jars sitting in the cabinet so I tied some raffia around them, punched a hole in some colored paper and put our names on them. And that's how we got our love jars. We each took a few minutes and wrote 3 items on 3 pieces of paper and put them in our jars (since there were 3 Sundays left in April). We then drew from each other's jars to see what we needed to do for one another. We decided we'd draw on Sunday evenings so we'd have all week to take on the challenge, plus we needed those few days to get it worked out on our schedule. It's really interesting to see what the other person wrote; not only because we want to fulfill that person's wishes but to see where we've been lacking in the relationship department. A couple of my slips of paper said, "Cook dinner and clean up the kitchen one night this week" and "Dinner and a movie out with you." I'm a "quality time" person and an "acts of service" person (lingo from the Five Languages book) and my two items hit both those needs for me. One of his was, "Leave a note in my lunch bag this week." (That's "words of affirmation"). And you know what? That one opened my eyes and made me sad. I used to be good about that. Two to three times a week I'd write a love note and put it in his lunch bag for him to find the next day. I hadn't done it in months. And he brought that to my attention. It made me sad that it was something I let slip away. But because he wrote that I've made it a priority to get that done more than once a week. He needs that affirmation and I want to give it to him.
It's tough speaking each other's language, especially if that's not your language. And that's the point. Find out what your spouse needs from you and make it happen. Maybe the love jar isn't for you. Find something else that will work for you and make it happen. I don't want one day to pass where Daniel doesn't hear "I love you" and "Thanks for all you do for us." I really feel those things for him, but he needs to hear them from me. I let my everyday household chores, caring for the kids and cooking dinner take top priority some days. It happens when you have young kids but it doesn't need to happen everyday. Our girls need to know our marriage is strong and they need to feel confident that we will always be married. It's important. That's why the love jars are important to us.