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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The First Love Language

In 1995, Gary Chapman wrote the splendid book The Five Love languages.

Buy it. Read it. Live it.

But he left one out. It's the one I call Love Language #0.


You may think it's a given, but look around you. How many men and women do you know who have undermined their wives or husbands in casual conversation, to vent...or, worst, to try to be funny?

And look in a mirror.

Have you ever complained about your spouse to a friend or acquaintance? (Talking to a counselor doesn't count, obviously. Real problems require professional help. Friends and family are not professionals. Period.)

I have. And in so doing, I was disloyal, and am taking this moment, in this blog, to apologize.

It was dishonorable. It was taking advantage of an opportunity to deny my wife the telling of 'her side of the story'. Even though I made the 'noble effort' to be evenhanded - my aim was to elevate myself, and put her down. Put her down in the eyes of others.

Totally wrong. An affront to fair play, and I think an affront to God.

Does loyalty mean swallowing hurts, and putting up with what is sometimes unbearable?


Does loyalty mean "my spouse, right or wrong"?


Does loyalty mean saying to yourself, "I will hold my tongue because I might be wrong"?


Marriages today are rarely forced. We have the option to go into them with eyes open, and when while we eagerly look at the benefits, we rarely count the cost...and that may mean living a season,. or several, in a marriage that's not working.

And not complaining about it..

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information.


  1. Ouch. This is so, so good, Andrew. I see this happening all the time, and when I dip into it myself--talking negatively about my husband--I know even as I do it, that it's being disloyal to him, and it feels ugly. Thanks for calling us out on this.

    1. It was hard to write, because I've done it. It does feel ugly.

      C.S. Lewis said that if there are rats in the cellar, you've got to turn on all the lights. He never said it would be fun, though.

      Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate y'all.

  2. Thanks for calling it what it is, Andrew—disloyal. I've done it. Every time with a niggling of conviction, knowing it's wrong. Thanks for speaking truth and reminding me it's much more important to hold my tongue and honor my husband than to dishonor him in the eyes of others. Great post.

    1. Jeanne, I apologize for the delayed reply.

      Maintaining a strong foundation of loyalty is hard, because the rebellion against God that's writ large in our fallen nature is writ small in our marriages. But it's still there, a noxious weed that we need to pull every time it pokes its head above the ground.