Enjoy this excerpt from the February issue of The Family Forum newsletter.
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 sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
– From 5lovelanguages.com. Gary Chapman has written several books (including The 5 Love Languages of Children). Free study guides & assessments are also available!
Let the idea of Love Languages really settle into your marriage. Read the book if at all possible. Observe and learn your spouse’s love language, and then start speaking that language! If this is new territory, be patient with each other. Even small steps are much appreciated if they are moving in the right direction. New habits will form if practiced consistently.
Lord, thank You for love. Thank you for the different ways you gave us to show love for one other. Help us learn how to show our love to each other so that we KNOW beyond a doubt we are loved. Help us build each other up in love and enjoy all ways of showing love. Let our differences bring us closer together instead of keeping us apart.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.