Saturday, August 24, 2013

Love Languages

Some of you may have heard already about the 5 love languages. The concept is based off a book by Dr. Gary Chapman about the different ways that love is expressed and accepted. Have I read the book? No. But I have done my own research on the 5 love languages and even incorporated it into my life. They have made a very huge difference in how I relate to others and how I serve those I love.

So what are these 5 love languages and why do they matter? Think about this old argument: a husband works all the time. When his wife confronts him about working too much and says she doesn't feel loved, he is baffled. Here he has been dragging himself off to work (a clear sign of love in his mind), and she is complaining that he doesn't love her?

THIS is where the 5 love languages step in.

Because the fact of the matter is that you and I and everyone we know accept and give love in different ways. What you might deem as a serious act of service and love, your spouse may just think is a very nice gesture. This can result in your feeling under-appreciated and unloved. This goes for every kind of love-based relationship, whether it is a spouse, a child, a relative, a friend, etc. We need to become more aware of the fact that those we love may not be seeing our love in the way that we express it, and we might be neglecting to show love in ways someone craves.

The 5 Love Languages are:
-Words of Affirmation -- Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.
-Acts of Service -- Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.
-Receiving Gifts -- The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
-Quality Time -- Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention
-Physical Touch -- Touching and physical presence are crucial and foster a sense of security and belonging.

If you would like to find out your love language, you can take the test HERE. Simply click on the link below the "Discover your love language" words in the middle of the page. I recommend you also have your spouse take this test, and do it with your kids if you can to help understand them a bit better.

Let me tell you, I am SO happy my husband and I took this test when we first got married. I thought it was just a silly fun thing to do, but it has ended up really changing our marriage. I knew before I took the test that my love language would be Quality Time, and it was. My husband learned that I crave meaningful, distraction-free, one-on-one time with him, and he really strives to give that to me.

But I was thrown for a loop when I found out my husband's love language was Physical Touch. Why was I thrown for a loop? Because I am not a touchy person. Sure I love a good hug and a little cuddle here and there, but I do not desire to be velcroed to my husband (or anyone else for that matter) any time soon. But I realized that the way I usually show love (words of affirmation) was dead last for him in his love language test. That doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate my words and feel loved, but it means I was not showing love to him in the way he most craved it.

So I purposed over two years ago to be the most touchy-feely wife EVER! And I try my best to make sure that every day my husband feels as loved as possible. It has not been easy for me! I've had to constantly remind myself to take my husband's hand, or rub his shoulders, or stop what I'm doing to give him a hug.

Learning each other's love languages has also been a great way to open-up to each other. I don't feel shy in reminding my husband that I crave quality time when our lives are getting too hectic. And my husband doesn't feel shy to ask me for a hug or a cuddle.

Mothers and Fathers, this is also a great tool to use with your children. I know that Michelle Duggar keeps a list of all of her children's love languages in her phone and makes an effort to show each of them the unique brand of love they crave.

I try to be aware of these 5 love languages in every interaction I have with a loved one. It can be fun sometimes to try to figure out what love language someone is. I've learned some great lessons in being more aware of the needs of those I love, and showing them love in a way they will definitely understand.

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I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!