A few years ago my hubby and I attended a marriage class at our church entitled, The Five Love Languages based off the New York Times Bestseller book with same title by Dr. Gary Chapman. The book, and class were designed to tell you how to express heartfelt commitment to your mate. We enjoyed the class and book tremendously and what we have learned from that class continues to be prominent in our marriage today.
Chapman explains that there are 5 love languages, or ways of communicating and receiving love with someone else and everyone falls into one of the 5 categories. Here is a crude representation of the different languages.
- Words of Affirmation: Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation.
- Quality Time: Giving someone your undivided attention
- Receiving Gifts: Something you can hold in your hand and say, ‘Look, they were thinking of me (remembered me).’ It is a symbol of thought, not value (how much did they spend).
- Acts of Service: Conducting different actions around the home environment for nothing in return. They require thought, planning, time, effort, energy and intention.
- Physical Touch: Hugs, back rubs, messages, kissess, etc.,
Each person feels more love from either one of these categories. Now it doesn’t mean that you can only like one, it just means you have one dominate languages that speaks louder then the others. Dr. Chapman provides a profile section in the back of the book, a multiple choice questionnaire that you can use to help you determine what your main love language is.
In our home, my hubby’s primary love language happens to be receiving gifts. I love that one. It makes him an easy person to please. I just have to be real attentive to his currents interests, what he talks about, what he looks up on-line, different clues as to what is the latest video game or gadget he wants. If it is something we can fit in our budget at the time, you bet I will find a way to surprise him with it. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion or holiday just a gift to say I Love You! I will also just randomly go out and get him a love card, or make a card and give it to him over one of his favorite dinners … again just because. Works wonders and I can feel assured he feels loved.
Meanwhile, I am very big on physical touch. I could be fumming mad or really sad and all hubby would have to do is come rub my shoulders and I melt. I am not a huge fan of just sitting on the couch and watching tv, but if we are there and his arms are around me or he’s rubbing my legs, I could be there all night.
What’s awesome about the love languages is that it is not just for spouses but you can use this to express love to all your family members. Learning your children’s love language, and share your love language with them and let them begin practicing sharing their love with you.
Basically this book is a wonderful investment that I would recommend to everyone. If you are interested, he also wrote the love languages for children, singles and teens.