LEARN TO SPEAK YOUR SPOUSE'S LOVE LANGUAGE
What is a love language? It's the way that people show and understand emotional love. According to Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, we must be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.
The five love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. These are the ways that people express love and the things that make them feel loved. And since everyone's love languae is different, you must express love in the language that your spouse understands in order for him to feel loved and vice versa.
For example, Steve's love language is acts of service. He feels loved when his wife, Cindy, does things for him like cook his favorite meal. As long as she continues displaying loving acts of service, Steve's "emotional love tank" stays full and he feels secure in her love. But if Cindy fails to speak his love language, her husband will feel used, not loved.
On the other hand, Cindy's primary love language is physical touch. She also has two secondary love languages: words of affirmation and quality time. If Steve neglects to touch his wife as they go about their daily routines, if he forgets to kiss her goodnight, hug her when he gets home, or just touch her as she walks by, she will begin to feel lonely and unloved. If he spends most of his free time with friends and doesn't plan time alone with Cindy, she will feel unimportant. And if weeks go by without a single compliment from the man she loves, she will feel unappreciated.
People express and receive love in different ways, yet so many couples don't have a clue what each other's love language is. I could buy my husband a gift every day, thinking that I'm expressing my love, but receiving gifts isn't his love language, so it wouldn't make him feel loved at all.
Have you ever heard a man say, "I give that woman everything she wants and she's still not happy"? His idea of "everything" is material things like a new car or a new wardrobe. But what if his wife's love language is quality time? A workaholic husband with a wife who feels loved when he makes time for her, now there's a divorce in the making.
Don't underestimate the importance of knowing your spouse's love language. Talk about it. Let him know what you need to really feel loved and appreciated. Ask him what he needs from you. Then write it down and post it on the refrigerator as a reminder.
Something else to keep in mind, children have love languages too. Chapman also has written, The Five Love Languages of Children. It's a must read for every parent. But if you don't have the book, you can learn your child's love language by observing the way that she expresses love to others. This will give you a clue. If your child is always creating gifts and cards for people, then she probably feels most loved when she receives gifts and tokens of appreciation.
Once you understand love languages and begin speaking them to the ones you love, you can literally change the atmosphere of your home. It's that powerful! We all long to feel loved and appreciated, so we must learn to express love in a language that's understood. Learn the love language of every member of your family. It's a valuable thing to know and a powerful tool to put into action.