Almost ten years ago, Bill and I went through a very trying time in our marriage. I don’t talk about it often, but I do think about it often, and am thankful we worked through that time and are where we are at today. God brought so much good out of a situation that was so bad. When I think about that time in our lives, I’m reminded of the hymm “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The chorus says…
The Five Love Languages
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
God was so faithful to me and to us during that time.
It was also during that time that Bill and I went to a marriage conference in Wisconsin put on by Dr. Gary Chapman, based on his book, The Five Love Languages. Learning this Five Love Language information and techniques was life changing for me, and for us as a couple. We felt so strong about what he taught and what we learned that we purchased the teaching materials, went home and began to teach other couples in our church this information.
Since then, I’ve taken this material and have taught it to the women I work with, to other churches, to women’s groups, and to some of my customers. I’ve applied the information to my relationships with my co-workers, customers, friends and children. It is applicable to ALL relationships, not just for couples.
Basically we all have a “love language.” We all have ways in which we feel the most loved. We most naturally speak our own love language to others, and often times we don’t know that the people in our lives rarely have the same love language as us. That is why often couples and other relationships just can’t connect…the two people are speaking different “languages.”
For example, I feel very loved when someone makes one-on-one time with me possible…the longer the time, the better for me. My primary love language is Quality Time. I also feel loved when someone gives me a gift…it can be anything, even a flower from our garden. My secondary love language is Receiving Gifts. Dr. Gary Chapman says most people have a primary language and a secondary language…but I also think I have a third language which ranks close to Receiving Gifts…Acts of Service. When someone does something for me that I don’t expect, I feel a lot of love from that as well.
Bill feels loved when I compliment him, when I affirm him and say kind words to him. His primary love language is Words of Affirmation. His secondary love language Physical Touch, which ranks pretty close to Words of Affirmation for him. He’s almost “bilingual.”
So, in our instance, the ways I feel loved and the ways Bill feels loved are not the same…NONE of them are the same. So even though we each were trying to make the other feel loved at the time, we were each speaking our own language, which is not what the other needed…we needed to learn to speak each other’s language. Make sense?
Lately this book has been on my mind so much…I think I need a refresher course in making those around me feel more loved. So I thought, why not share this on my blog? I believe it’s so valuable to every relationship and can be used in so many ways. So, each day this week I will share a little about each of The Five Love Languages…Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
You can find more information on Gary Chapman’s website: http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/. You can even take a 30 second quiz to find out what your or a loved one’s language is! The next book I will be reading of his will be The Five Languages of Apology, which I stumbled upon yesterday on his site. (I need to brush up in that area too in my relationships!) 🙂 I hope you’ll find this information helpful to your life!