Just this past week, Amy and I both read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Many people are recommending this book, and now I understand why. In our 22 years of marriage (08.12.1989 to the present) some of our friends’ marriages struggled to live in love and some of those never found love again and ended the marriages. We shed tears with and for those who suffered. Looking back, many of those failed marriages might still be a unit if I would have known what Dr. Chapman calls the Five Love Languages. I will not go into detail, because I cannot give these languages the space they deserve (you need to read the book), but here are those languages. One or two of them are how you feel loved, and how you communicate love. Your spouse or children might have a different love language that you need to learn to demonstrate your love for them.
- Words of Affirmation. Some people need to regularly hear the words, “I love you” along with positive reinforcement that they are appreciated for who they are.
- Quality Time. For some nothing says I love you like being there with them in what they are doing and listening to what they have to say.
- Receiving Gifts. Although the Beatles were right is singing, “Money can’t buy me love,” there are many who know they are loved because you shower them with gifts. These gifts can be simple,p expensive, free, or homemade, but when they come from you it shouts to them of your love.
- Acts of Service. Other people do not need gifts as a sign of love, they simple want help. Help around the house or in the yard. Help with a project or a warm meal. Paul Overstreet sang about “Sowin’ Love” I think this is what he had in mind.
- Physical Touch. A hug, holding hands, a brush on the cheek, a kiss, playing “footsies” under the kitchen table can fill up what Dr. Chapman calls the “love tank” for those who are touchers.
Take time to get to know your spouse’s love language and take the time to learn to speak that language. You will be glad you did.