It has been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I can testify it’s true at my house. At least, it has been up until now.

Like most men, my husband Ted loves a well-crafted meal. He appreciates everything from a bowl of slow-cooked beef bourguignon to a German bratwurst with sauerkraut and stoneground mustard. In fact, I’ve found that if he’s having a particularly rough day, my suggestion to order in favorites like chicken wings or Thai green curry after the kids are in bed goes a long way in lightening his mood.

That is until recently.

Lately, he’s battling what’s medically termed as dysgeusia. That would be a distortion of his sense of taste. Food tastes okay near the front of his tongue, but once it hits the back, it might as well have been sitting in the fridge expired for six weeks. Think of it as everything he eats having a flavor profile of “rancid” or “rusty metal.” As I write this, he’s into month two of this unpalatable ailment. Yeah, yuck. And I do mean, quite literally.

The good news is that, as much as food speaks love to Ted, I know a more direct — not to mention less labor-intensive — way to his heart. One that isn’t related to his taste buds and doesn’t, like that beef bourguignon, take hours to make.

It’s affirmation. Those spoken or written words of mine that praise him and his efforts. Whether it be for the hard work he puts in to provide for us, for the time he spends each evening reading N.D. Wilson books to our daughters, or for his prompt destruction of that pesky — and potentially dangerous — wasp nest outside our garage door.

[Read the rest of the article at For the Family]

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Ashleigh Slater is the author of the books, Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard and Team Us: The Unifying Power of Grace, Commitment, and Cooperation in Marriage. She loves to combine the power of a good story with practical application to encourage and inspire readers.