- Introduction of each love language
- How to discover
- How understanding this improves relationships
Gary Chapman wrote a book titled The 5 Love Languages which was a New York Times bestseller. In his book he talks about 5 different ways that people feel loved.
1. Words of Affirmation:
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love is even better. Insults and yelling at these people really hurt.
2. Quality Time:
If you spend quality time with them they feel loved. Look them in the eye and be very present when you are with them. Missing an appointment with them or being distracted when you are with them hurts a lot.
3. Receiving Gifts
This person thrives when receiving gifts, especially thoughtful gifts. They realize the sacrifice and effort that goes into perfect gifts are also part of the gift. Things that hurt someone with this love language would be to forget to give them a gift for their birthday or anniversary, or give them a gift that was hasty and thoughtless. Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. They do appreciate the thought and effort behind the gift just as much as the gift itself.
4. Acts of Service
Vacuuming floors can express love to someone who performs this chore on a regular basis. Not following through on a promise to help would be hurtful as well as providing the service grumbling and complaining as you do so.
5. Physical Touch
This encompasses a wide range like hugs, high fives, rubbing their back, holding hands, etc. Kids with this love language appreciate high fives or knuckles as well as just being touched on the head or shoulders as you walk by. A spouse would love a kiss or a hug when you get home from work. Physical abuse or spanking would be very damaging to people with this love language.
Discovering your love language
You can take a test that can be found on the internet. There are several variations when you search for “5 Love Languages Tests”. They have tests for couples, teenagers, children, coworkers, etc. where they change the phrases to fit the situations of the ones being tested.
Observing. How do they express love the most? We often express love the mostin our own love language. Yellow child loves to write love notes to family members and after taking the children’s quiz, Mitchells discovered her love language was words of affirmation. Two of their other children tested with a dominate love language for physical touch, and that made sense, because they were the kids who love to hold mom’s hand or sit on her lap or right next to her all the time.
Taking the test ranks the love languages from most dominate to least dominate, and some might have one or two pretty closely ranked love languages that mean a lot to them.
Though most of your effort can go towards loving someone in their dominate love language, try to express love in all 5 languages.
Understanding these love languages helps improve relationships
This helps us express our love in a way that means the most to the individual receiving it.
Scenario: Husband is working overtime and gone a lot in order to earn the money to buy his wife nice things that he thinks she deserves. Wife receives it as he doesn’t love her because he is never with her. The problem is his love language may be gifts, but hers is quality time, and though he is loving her as he would like to be loved, he is not speaking her love language.
It’s easy to express love in our own love language, but we need to learn the language of our spouse and children and express it individually in the language they prefer.
Motivating kids to do chores using their love language
Quality Time – suggest doing chores together.
Service – do one of their chores for them and that boost will motivate them to do their other chores.
Words of Affirmation – leave a little note on their pillow expressing thanks for all their help that day. Be specific in your words of affirmation.
Physical touch – give them a big hug or touch them on the shoulder as you walk by while they are working.
Receiving Gifts – buy them an ice cream cone after they accomplish so many chores or tasks.
Love languages shift over the years for some people
When Dave and Amy were first married Dave’s love language was receiving gifts, but five kids later with limited time, his love language shifted to needing quality time from Amy.
Amy’s love language was words of affirmation when they were first married. 10 years later with a house full of kids, acts of service from Dave spoke love like nothing else.
20 years after they were first married they took the test again, and their dominate love languages have shifted again.
Be aware that this may happen so you can always speak the language that means the most to your loved one.
Don’t forget – by speaking all five love languages, you can’t go wrong.
Our goal is to raise kids who feel loved, founded on strong family relationships, and understanding each other’s love languages will help strengthen those relationships.
This week’s photo is titled ‘love’ and is by ‘Jonny Lai’. You can find it on flickr.