Friday, March 30, 2012

The Five Love Languages

I remember reading Gary Chapman's book 'The Five Love Languages' early in my marriage and not only enjoyed the contents, but I also learned a little more about myself and hubby.  For those not familiar with Mr. Chapman, the idea surrounding the five love languages is that all people show love in five basic ways - see below.  Also, each individual will exhibit a primary 'love language' a majority of the time and possibly a secondary 'language'. . . . though at times we may show someone a blending/combination of all five. 

For example, when taking the assessment quiz - my primary love language is Quality Time with Words of Affirmation as my secondary. S-Money$'s primary love language is Touch and Quality Time as his secondary (though Words of Affirmation was close for 2nd place).  The assessment quiz coined us to a 'T' as we both fit the results 100%. 

Those five Love Languages are (excerpts from the website):

Words of Affirmation - 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.

Quality Time -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. 

Gifts - Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. . . . 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 - 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.

Touch - This language isn’t all about the bedroom. . . . 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.

Recently pondering the concept again, I put Mr. Chapman's book on hold at our library, 'The Five Love Languages of Children'.  I was familiar with what the five languages are so surely it shouldn't be too hard to guess which 'languages' my kids speak.  But it's funny how years later I'm learning all over again!  This time I'm learning the love languages of my children; more specifically - The Bigs aka Spillz & C-Funk; who are 13 yrs. old and almost 9 yrs. old respectively.  I must say that I was even surprised by the results . . . . well not completely surprised but there was one that threw me for a loop!

Spillz's primary love language turned out to be Quality Time.  Now that didn't surprise me since even from a young age, she's always been ready to hang out, get in the car and go somewhere with me or anyone!  She likes her friend time and definitely recharges being around other people. ♥

C-Funk's primary love language was Gifts.  I don't know why it wasn't more clear to me - I guess because he is usually so much more reserved and tends to recharge by having time to himself either reading, building, creating.  He's much more 'internally' focused and deep - meaning, you never know what could be rumbling under the surface.  So gifts?  Wow - it all started to make sense!  Each time he is into a new 'thing' - be it Beyblades, Lego building sets, Ninjago's, Nerf dart guns, etc. - it is all he talks about even to the point of minor obsession.  But beneath the surface I now see a much deeper gratitude from an individual that when he receives a gift, it is the best prize in the world and his outpouring of 'Thanks' towards the giver is clearly heard/expressed.  He's such a sweet little man and S-Money$ reminded me of his 'language' when I was quick to point out about not being greedy/making our stuff or desires our idols when he kept going on about which Nerf gun may be best for his birthday. . . . . Maybe that's why I missed this ever so obvious language in him.  I've been so focused on teaching that I forgot Jesus' biggest command we are to live out. . . . that is LOVE.


*Parental lesson in humility learned thanks to Dr. Chapman's book, the Holy Spirit & the hubby working on my heart!*

If you'd like to take the quiz and find out your Love Language - here's the link!
Love Language Assessment

p.s. if you take it, feel free to share - I love seeing the diff. mix of love languages!!

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