Five Love Languages

If you read last months blog with my suggested challenge of trying to come up with an “over-the-top” way of serving your spouse and are having some trouble coming up with an idea, I would like to suggest that you read or reread Dr. Chapman’s book “the Five Love Languages”.

For your convenience I have summarized it below.

If you only spoke English and your spouse only spoke German would you be able to effectively communicate with each other? Of course not, your communications would be limited to gestures and a few shared words. In the same way, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are actually five different emotional love languages. In his book, “The Five Love Languages” (Northfield Publishing), he details his thoughts about how we express our love to others. Dr. Chapman has been counseling couples for the last twenty years. During that time he has come to the conclusion that there are basically five primary ways that people express and understand emotional love. When both spouses express their love in the same way, then both are fulfilled and happy. Unfortunately, most couples speak different love languages or a different dialect of the same one and thus have trouble truly feeling loved.

We normally try to express our love with words. However, Dr. Chapman says that this is often like trying to speak a foreign language. We all have a primary love language, unfortunately, our spouse typically has a different love language. If we want to effectively communicate our love to our spouse, then we must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language. So what are the five love languages? According to Dr. Chapman they are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Giving/Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch.

Words of Affirmation let your spouse know that you think they are special and that what they do makes a positive difference in your life. It indicates that you appreciate them for who they are and how they affect you. Too often, we only criticize or complain about our spouse or what they do or don’t do. But. if our spouse’s love language is Words of Affirmation then they yearn for the positive words and are really hurt by the negative. If you feel that this is your spouse’s love language, then try offering verbal compliments whenever your spouse does something good or helpful.

Spending Quality Time with your spouse means spending time with them and giving them your undivided attention. This doesn’t mean the both of you sitting in front of the TV. It could be sitting on the couch LOOKING at each other and talking together, or taking a walk together, playing a friendly game together or going out to eat. When I go walking with my wife for twenty minutes and we talk we are giving each other twenty minutes of our life. We will never have those twenty minutes again. we are giving our lives to each other. What a powerful emotional communication of love this can be.

Giving/Receiving Gifts shows in a tangible way that we are loved. A gift is something you can hold in your hands and say, “Look, they were thinking of me.” Visual symbols of love are more important to some people than to others. Gifts come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Some are expensive, and others are free. The cost usually doesn’t matter, as long as it isn’t out of line with what you can afford. If receiving gifts is your spouse’s primary love language then almost anything you give will be received as an expression of love.

Acts of Service is doing things that you know your spouse would like you to do. Such actions include helping do household chores, or taking a more active part in caring for the children or in helping with special projects that they are involved in. It could be ironing shirts or washing the car, or helping with yard work. Unfortunately, this is one area where all too often we demand our spouses help instead of requesting it. Requests however, give direction to love, while demands stop the flow of love.

Physical Touch has long been known as a way of expressing emotional love. Just watch any baby, young child or any teenage couple. They are always touching, holding hands, kissing, or embracing. The touching assures them that they are loved and accepted. Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love. However, to the person whose primary love language is Physical Touch, the message will be felt much louder than any words.

If you are not sure what your spouse’s love language is, then you should take some time to discover it and learn how to speak it. The happiness, and well-being of your spouse depends on it. Dr. Chapman’s book is a good starting place for helping in this process and you will be glad you made the effort. There is an inventory in the back that you will take to help you figure out your “Love Language” if you haven’t figured it out already.

May God bless you abundantly,
Mark and Jan Frink

One Response to “Five Love Languages”

  1. Kevin and Lyn Evans says:

    Thank you mr Mark for this marriage advice of the love languages. I’m practicing some of these already, but I know I can do better in being more upbeat and positive concerning my love for Lyn and affirming my love for her.
    God gave us a gift today in the snowstorm . I got time off work and had meals and conversation with my wife today which was so much fun.
    Blessings, Kevin and Lyn

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