How To Best Show Your L.o.v.e.
by Les Parrott, Ph.D. & Leslie Parrot, Ed.D.
We’ve got two simple questions for you. First, are you more inclined to rush through your day with urgency or meander through it taking your time? In other words, are you fast-paced or slow-paced? One is not better than the other. Just different.
Here’s the second question: Do you get more energized from completing a big and important task or from winning another’s approval? In other words, are you more oriented toward projects or people?
Answer each question as honestly as you can, because your answers place you in one of the following four groups:
And it’s these four groups—the Leader, the Optimist, the Validator, and the Evaluator (L.O.V.E.)—that help us understand our God-given and personal “love styles” (see chart). As you can see, if you are Fast-Paced and
Project-Oriented, you fall into the “Leader” quadrant, making you a “Take-Charge Spouse.” And so on.
Of course, the point is not to put you or your spouse in a box. Neither of you are likely to fit neatly and completely into one of these quadrants all of the time. But if you will acknowledge where you spend much of your time, we can give you a specific action to help you better love your spouse and take a significant step along what Paul calls “the most excellent way” (I Cor. 13). In other words, we can help you love like you mean it. Starting today!
If You Are a Take-Charge Spouse…
Every spouse needs to get a lock on patience, but this quality seems to be especially challenging for the Take-Charge Spouse. Relative to the other three groups, you have a low tolerance for frustration. And if you boil patience down to its essence, it is the loving response to frustration.
For you, especially, love is patient whenever you give up your compulsion to be in control, or calmly endure inconvenience without complaint, or stifle a critical comment by biting your tongue.
If You Are an Encouraging Spouse…
Moderate the Verbiage
You have a tendency to take a simple question like, “How was your day?” or “What happened at the meeting?” and answer it with every detail. Maybe you’ve even heard your spouse complain about it. Are you cringing?
For you, love is learning to curb your conversations to avoid “Information Overload.”
If You Are a Devoted Spouse…
Modify Your Plan
Because you place a high value on slow and steady consistency, this can be a tough pill for you to swallow. But it is guaranteed to make your spouse feel loved. Why? Because you seldom do this. You like to stick to your
plan for a vacation, or for what time to meet, or for where you’re having dinner. You don’t like your plans to change. It jolts your spirit and gets your well-being out of alignment.
For you, gracefully modifying your plan to accommodate something your spouse desires is the loving thing for you to do.
If You Are a Careful Spouse…
Let’s face it. You can be pretty serious. Striving for perfection will do that to a person. Your inclination to be analytical, orderly, precise, detailed, and purposeful—whew!—can take a bit of a toll on even the
most agreeable spouse.
Consider what a little more laughter might do for your marriage. Few things are more endearing than a sense of humor. Jay Leno says, “You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.” Bringing more laughter into your marriage will not only make your spouse feel more loved, it will help you, too.
There you have it. One practical action you can take, based on your personality, that will help you better love your spouse. Ask God to help you take this personalized step today.