Many years ago, our Pastor spoke of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book on the 5 Love Languages. We were intrigued and discussed what we thought our “love languages” were, but never really pursued it beyond that. However, with our busy schedules and Eden becoming so much more difficult to “read”, I thought it was time to read the book and really delve into the love languages of each of our family members. Learning the love languages of your spouse and children has literally saved thousands of marriages and restored many broken family relationships. Effective communication is the key to every relationship, so why not invest the time and learn the language of those you love! If you go to Dr. Chapman’s website, you can complete an online profile to figure out your own love language as well as the languages of your family members.
What are the Five Love Languages?
- Words of Affirmation ~ verbal compliments or words of appreciation
- Quality Time ~ giving a loved one your undivided attention
- Receiving Gifts ~ for some receiving a gift speaks volumes
- Acts of Service ~ actions speak louder than words
- Physical Touch ~ to this person nothing communicates more deeply than appropriate physical touch
For each of the love languages above, there are different “dialects” within the language, so it is not always as straight forward as giving a compliment. You not only need to discover the love language of your loved ones, but the dialect of the language they speak. If you can ascertain, their love language, you will be able to consistently communicate your love effectively. Although everyone appreciates certain aspects of all of the love lanuages, one of the languages generally speaks “love” much more deeply than others. The difficulty in relationships is that individuals often speak different languages and thus are not able to communicate their love in a way that is understood by their partner or children. Dr. Chapman gives many examples in his book that help one to gain a better understanding of the languages, but here is a quick example. If your husband showers you with gifts as an expression of his love, but your love language is Quality Time ~ there is no amount of gifts that will ever make you feel loved in the way you need, to keep your “love tank” full. Like wise, if his language is Receiving Gifts and you rarely give him specials gifts to demonstrate your love, his tank will be empty as well. The key is recognizing each others primary language and choosing to communicate in that language.
Put To the Test
In an effort to communicate my love for my husband more effectively, my daughter suggested I get the van washed today. My husband regularly complains that I never wash the vehicles. Occasionally, I will take the car to the Mid Town Car Wash where I get to step-out of the vehicle and wait inside while they thoroughly clean my vehicle. I never go through the “drive through” car washes. Of course, there is a reason for this. I get very anxious and worry that I won’t know what to do when I get in line. My husband finds this completely ridiculous, despite the fact, that my last attempt ended in an “epic fail”. About 15 years ago, I did take the car through the wash, but when I got home, my husband asked what I did as the car was completely covered with water spots and still covered in dirt in some areas. I said I wasn’t sure what went wrong, but suspected the car wash wasn’t working right. He had me describe what I did and he couldn’t believe it when I said that I put in my code and then slowly drove through the car wash. I explained I was nervous and didn’t want to hold up the car behind me. He made it very clear to me that you do not DRIVE through the car wash. Oops! Anyways, I have never washed the car since. Until today that is. With Eden’s support and encouragement, I bought gas and a car wash. I thought I might hyper-ventilate when I had to get my tires in the narrow channel at the entrance, but noticed a mirror that helped me to guide them in without a problem. I was also very appreciative of the lady’s voice on the speaker that welcomed me and gave me the verbal instructions I needed to proceed. Eden thought it was all quite hilarious, but I didn’t care. I know it is pretty silly, but I felt pretty good about stepping out of my comfort zone in the name of love. Ha! Ha! The good news is, I made it through without pressing the gas pedal and the van came out pretty clean. (Not as good as the “hands-on” treatment at the Mid Town, but good.)
If you are interested in learning more about he 5 Love Languages, there are books written for marraige, children, teens and even the work place. They are easy reads and well worth the time!
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