Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Speaking of Love...

Photo Courtesy of Mark Aplet

Victor gazed into my eyes. "You're beautiful. Have I told you that I love you today?"

My body sighed beneath his gentle touch. I responded with a smile and a tear in my eye.
"Well, you are," he reassured me. Then he took the children to the playground so I could have time to myself.
One of the reasons our marriage has survived its up and downs is because we've learned to speak each others Love Language
Dr. Gary Chapman has written multiple books covering the Love Languages, explaining how to speak them to the different generations. Vic and I have used his book, The 5 Love Languages, to minister to members of our home group and to improve our marriage, as well. 

The gist of the book is that there are 5 Love Languages. They are:
1. Words of Affirmation: You love compliments, hearing "I Love You," and why you are loved.

2. Quality Time: Undivided attention is the key.

3. Receiving Gifts: You love the thoughtfulness behind the gifts. 

4. Acts of Service: Cooking dinner, stopping for take-out, cleaning the dishes afterward. An act of service eases the burden on the recipient, speaking volumes of your love for them. 

5. Physical Touch: Hugs, pats on the back, head rubbing...these are physical touches.

You should be able to recognize in one of these five languages how you receive love. Do you like to receive a dozen roses once a month? Do you melt when your husband whispers words of affirmation in your ear? Do you love it when your children come to you for hugs and want you to hold them on your lap? Or do you enjoy time alone with your hubby, with nothing to distract you (like the television or the computer)? Whichever of these speaks loudest to you, that's your love language. 
Now, consider your spouse. What does he/she most respond to? Does he like playing board games with the kids? Does he like to hear how much you appreciate his hard work and devotion to you and the children? Would he love to come home from a business trip to find his car washed inside and out? Is he constantly seeking you out for a warm embrace, a quick kiss, or enjoy holding hands in public? Do you notice new items on his office desk that he's received as appreciation gifts from his employees? Take notice to what he responds to most
I love it when my husband tells me to go to the bookstore for a few hours, he'll watch the kids. I also love it when he reminds me of his love or shares interest in something I'm working on. My love languages are Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation.

At eight o'clock at night, you can find my husband laying on the couch with his head in my lap. I'll be the one scratching his head. His primary love language is Physical Touch. Quality Time would be his close second. He's always saying, "Hey, let's take the kids and go do something." Or, "Let's shut off the television and play a board game."
Love Languages don't discount the rest of the important things necessary to keep a marriage running smoothly, but they will accentuate those things. It's important to understand how we receive love from one another. Applying these to your bank of marriage builders can only help to improve your intimacy with one another.

What is your love language? Your spouse's? If you'd like to share an example, please feel free to do so! I look forward to hearing your responses! 

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