I also feel that this is a perfect month to talk about love and our relationships. How can we make them better?
Each person has a different way they express and receive love. And since each person is so different, we may have problems not understanding what our loved ones need or want.
Gary Chapman has written a superb book to help with this dilemma: The Five Love Languages. In his book, he explains how each person speaks a different emotional love language and if we learn, understand and know how to speak the particular love language of our spouse and they learn to speak ours, then we can achieve that special intimacy and connectedness.
This is vital for our marriages and for our relationships with our children. For when we understand and learn to speak the primary love language of your spouse, you may radically change your marriage. People behave differently when their emotional love tanks are full!
The 5 Love Languages are:
– Words of Affirmation
– Quality Time
– Receiving Gifts
– Acts of Service
– Physical Touch
We will discuss one love language each week.
The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. When we use compliments and kind words, we are building up the other person which is extremely important.
Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” I think we all like to hear something good about us for a change!
Words of Affirmation
- These can be verbal compliments as words of appreciation. Examples are: “You look so nice in that suit”; “I really appreciate you washing the dishes tonight”; Thanks for always keeping up with the bills. What a huge weight that takes off of me!”; You are the best handyman”.
- Encouraging words. These inspire courage. Perhaps your spouse has a silent dream of being a writer or a lawyer or a musician or a painter or something that they haven’t tried to do but is important to them. When you encourage their aspirations, you are giving them the courage to try.
- Kind words. And words of justice or forgiveness. “Love is kind” says First Corinthians 13. When we keep our words kind, we are allowing our spouse to stay close and keep the lines open. When we used hateful words, our loved ones will close off emotionally. And when we decide to not to bring up past wrongs but instead make the choice to forgive, we keep intimacy in our relationship.
- Humble words and actions. Remember, love makes requests not demands. When we demand things from our spouse, we become a parent and they the child. In marriage, we are equal, adult partners. We are not perfect but we need to be able to express what we want and to be able to listen to what they want.
Remember, that in all languages, there are different dialects. And it takes time to learn your spouse’s particular one. But all of the dialects have in common the use of words to affirm one’s spouse. Remember that the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated.
“Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.” Proverbs 15:1-2