Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Learning How to Love Each Other

Here are some of the questions Russell and I got asked in our latest premarital counseling session:
  1. What is your definition of marriage?
  2. What is your definition of love?
  3. How do you know you are in love with each other?
Our assignment is to write a couple paragraphs on the questions our pastor gives us after every session. But, we can't discuss it with each other until the next time we meet with him. Then during the next session, we read out loud what we wrote.

We learned a few things in our last counseling. For example, we discussed each other's primary and least love languages (Katrina: Quality Time and Acts of Kindness with the least being Verbal compared to Russell who is: Touch and Verbal with the least being Gifts). We kind of had an idea of each other's primary love language but our pastor made sure we knew it and will remember it. I had to make a mental note of to stop joking to Russell that I don't think he loves me enough...I guess that communicates to him that I don't think he loves me? (Sorry Russ!) Since Verbal isn't a love language I utilize often, I need to watch what I say to Russelleven if it's a slight jokein case it might be hurting his feelings. And when I realized that Gifts was Russell's least love language, it all made sense why he never gets as excited as I do when I buy him a shirt or something random (It's 'cause I love you okay? Not just because I like buying things). 

With Quality Time and Acts of Kindness/Service, I like spending lots of time with Russell (like, ALL the time) and packing him lunch in the morning and dropping it off his car before I head to work. Russell likes being hugged all the time and is a cuddler. When we first started dating, I realized all his family members were big time huggers and I always attributed this characteristic to their long arms. As in, they have long arms so they feel the need to give bear hugs. Nope, it's a love language...combined with long arms. Russell is also very verbal with his I love you's  which honestly freaked me out at the beginning of our relationship.

We also discussed the different kinds of love. One of the questions our pastor asked was: What makes your love for your future spouse any different than the love you have for your mother, friend, etc.? The three loves our pastor emphasized was Agape (the greatest love, God's love, unconditional love), Phileo (brotherly love), and Eros (passionate and romantic love). All three are required in a marriage. When agape love is nurtured and healthy, the other two loves will follow. Eros and phileo feed off agape. When you get down to it, we need God's love in order to fully love our spouse. 

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