how do you “love”?

During marital counseling (highly recommend this), Sean and I read a book by Dr. Gary Chapman.  It talked about the different ways in which people feel love.  I really wasn’t aware that people “felt” love in different ways…I suppose that I assumed if I told someone, “I love you”, that they got it and we all moved on.  

I began to learn that people feel and receive love in different “languages”, which makes perfect sense, considering that each person is different (duh).  AT FIRST I was pretty put off by the book…”mumbo love jumbo” were my words, i believe.  Another “do what I say and you will achieve ultimate marriage perfection” book.

The more I got into it, the more I realized that I fit directly into one or more “language” categories and so does EVERYONE I know.  

Chapman outlines the 5 Love Languages as this:

Words Of Affirmation

Quality Time

Receiving Gifts

Acts of Service

Physical Touch

When I was reading the book I realized that while I appreciate EACH of these “languages” separately and at certain time, there was a specific “language” that truly translated to me as a person.  Because of who I am, where I have come from, what my personality is like and what I “need” in a marriage.  The same for Sean.  

It was a “lightbulb” moment for us.  It was eye opening because I could truly show/tell Sean how I felt in a way that would maximize how I felt because it would minister to Sean “THE PERSON” and not just be comfortable because it was “my” way of feeling or giving love.

Do you know what Im sayin’?  There are people you could sit and chat with for hours and tell them up, down, all around that you love them and think they are the best EVER….but what would really meet them where they are at, is an act of service.  If you went out and picked them up dinner and brought it to their house….THAT would be the bees knees.  

I have been thinking about this lately because my friend and I deliberately talked to one another about our “love languages” in order to better understand each other and reach out to one another in times of trials and heartache.  By understanding what “speaks” to her (and vice versa) we are able to really be there for each other in the way that is needed. It was enlightening, because we had only been reaching out to one another in the way that WE would want to be reached out to.

Whoops.

Her and I were laughing and decided that it wouldn’t be a bad idea if every friend, spouse and family member went over this and explained their “language” to each other…but then we slowed down.  We tend to want to solve the world.  

Perhaps just starting with ourselves….

 

**********

 

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “how do you “love”?

  1. Michelle Eastman

    Amen and amen!

  2. Jen McConnell

    I love this book! I recommend it to all my friends who are getting/are married. I never thought about having my girlfriends go over the 5 languages and let me know how they feel loved. Great idea! I will have to see if they are up for it….

    Jen

  3. My husband and I read that book this winter and it has completely changed our marriage. Probably because we found out we’re polar opposites of each other…my top two love languages are his bottom two, and vice-versa! Yet somehow we ended up together I suppose! It’s helped us in relating to each other soooo much.

    By the way, I have a friend who uses the expression “bees knees” and I’ve never heard anyone else say that until you just did! I thought it was just her line, but apparently not! 🙂

  4. Yep, big fans of that book here! Definitely changed the way we “love” each other. Did you know they have that book only about kids’ love languages? It’s pretty good too!

  5. Good idea! I also think it is important for couples to revisit these languages as a marriage goes on. I feel that these can change over time. Even though ours are different, I know that my languages have acquired some of your flavor as time has gone on.

    Even reading that list, I can just see how things have changed over 7 years…

  6. Kat

    I loved this book. I loved how it explained the difference between being “in love” and real love. That “in love” is a feeling and real love is an action word, a choice.

    I haven’t read the kids one, but I think I have my kids pegged. Serena is a gift giver. She loves to give gifts (ask Nicole, when we brought her dinner after Eli was born, Serena wrapped up her rubber duckies to give to Ezekiel and Josh…pretty funny, huh). Chloe is a words of affirmation (ie potty training needed only the reinforcement of me saying good girl and her calling Daddy and Pappa to share her joy)

    Do you think you know what Kensingtons might be?

  7. Dad

    After 32 years of marriage, I have come to the realization that all of my languages are the correct ones, that everyone needs to understand that, speak my lingo only or basically not “feel” the love!! How do you like me now!!:):) HAHA

  8. Amber

    I love this book! I wish Eric and I would have read it much sooner. In the book there is a quiz that you take that tells you what percentage of each love language we were, we were POLAR opposites. That is why when I made him lunch and bought him clothes or ran errands for him he didn’t really get gooey about it. And when he sat there and told me how fantastic I was, I would just shrug. So… needless to say, we are now speaking each others language…. and we have never had it so good.

    Amber V

  9. shanna

    I love that John and I can just say “love language!” and we immediately know what the other person needs at that moment. Great book…but takes lots of practice. ♥

  10. that is one book i just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. i have heard great things about it. i think i’ll put that on my must read list.

  11. i think i may need to borrow this book!!!! or pick it up from my local library!
    i think this will be very helpful in communicating our needs to each other. excellent recommendation!
    thanks!
    ohh and i think on here I will be Ambs cuz everytime i see the other Amber comment i think- did i already reply to this?? lol!

  12. Mary L.

    J and I started reading this book, but never finished it! I feel inspired to look for it and read it again!! Thanks!

  13. What a great concept. Must check out this book!

  14. It’s a great book. Gary Chapman also wrote The Five Love Languages of Children. The love languages are the same, but he applies them to how we show our children that we love them, and how they can easily feel unloved in a loving home because their parents aren’t recognizing their love language. Also, if you want to read another marriage self-help book, I highly, highly, highly recommend Women Men Love Women Men Leave.

  15. Do you know, when I read that book years ago, after I finished it and put it down, I had the saddest feeling because I thought,”I don’t have a love language.” Maybe I should read it again. Ever since college, love has been hard for me. Anyway, speaking of love, I love your posts…

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