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Now that we have talked about learning to love and communicating with our spouses, we need to talk about love languages. Loving someone is more than just a feeling. It’s learning about them and how best to love them. But that’s not as easy as it sounds.
If you’ve never read the book, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, it’s a must read. For those who haven’t, let me give you a brief overview. Basically Chapman believes (and so do I) that there are 5 ways we as humans know and feel love. Not everyone feels true love and intimacy the same way and it’s important to know your spouses love language – what makes them feel, for lack of a better term, the most loved.
- Gifts – These people love to be given gifts. Spontaneous gifts. Thoughtful gifts. Gifts from the heart. Homemade gifts. Gifts.
- Acts of Service – These people feel the most loved and appreciated when others do things for them. Doing the dishes or laundry without being asked. Cleaning the kitchen for them. Changing the oil in the car. Filling their car up with gas.
- Words of Affirmation – These people feel the most loved when they are praised for their accomplishments and efforts. But don’t wait for a special event to give them praise – they need to hear it on a daily basis. “I so appreciate you for working so hard to provide for our family,” is a perfect example.
- Quality Time – These people love to spend time with you. Whether just sitting on the couch watching your favorite shows, going out on a date or spending hours talking – it doesn’t matter. They just want to spend time with those they love.
- Physical Touch – These people feel the most loved through actual touch. Hugs, kisses, holding hands – anything physical makes them feel loved and appreciated more than anything.
So how can you find out your spouses love language? Sometimes it’s as easy as watching and paying attention to what they do. Most often people express their own love for others via their love language, because they feel loved that way. While it is okay to do this, it is also important to know the love language of your spouse. If you’re only loving them how you feel loved, you might not be communicating your love clearly to them.
One way to find out their love language is to read the book!! Chapman gives great insight into each love language that will likely help you determine your spouses love language. But, in the meantime, another way to figure it out is to watch and listen to them. Since people tend to show their own love for someone in how they most feel loved, over time you will see your spouses love language.
For instance, if they are always writing you notes of encouragement and love, their love language is most likely Words of Affirmation and/or Gifts. And if they are continually reaching to hold your hand or giving you hugs throughout the day, their love language is physical touch. Some love languages are easier to figure out than others though. So that’s when listening to your spouse becomes especially important.
For example, my first love language is gifts – which my husband actually considers a spiritual gift! But, I also equally crave quality time – another easy one to figure out – and acts of service. I feel so loved and appreciated when my husband does the dishes or the laundry that has piled up on the couch. It has taken him 10 years to figure that love language out and he’s still learning. Not because I didn’t tell him, but because laundry and dishes are part of my homemaking duties that I did them everyday regardless. It wasn’t until I got very sick the past few years that God has opened up that opportunity for my husband to help me and love me in this area.
So take some time. Listen to your spouse.
Watch your spouse.
And learn to really love your spouse…in their language.
Read the next post in this series: Day 4 ~ Loving through the Hard Times