While concluding one of my posts last year ( Safe Havens), I mentioned about the Joyce Meyer podcast i listen to in which Joyce had Dr. Gary Chapman as guest.
In the program Dr. Chapman talked about the 5 love languages & how knowing yours & speaking your spouse’s can help reduce tension & stress at home. I’ve also read his book –The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. I highly recommend the book.
Finally, I got a feedback from one of my siblings as regards my last post & I felt that I needed to share more information about it so as to make it a bit clearer & to further help someone out there in line with my commitments this year to share more about family life.
This post is aimed at explaining a bit deeper on these languages as well as using instances in my marriage as practical examples.
There are 5 LOVE languages as classified by Dr. Chapman & they are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
But before we delve into the details, there are a couple of fundamental questions to ask; What happens after the wedding ceremony? What happens when the marriage starts?
A lot of couples start out fresh, madly in love & plan so well for the ceremony,but forget to plan for the marriage. Leading up to the wedding ceremony our spouses are the best & can’t do no wrong as we float in the air just thinking about them, but the answers to the questions above is LIFE.
LIFE happens after the ceremony (including the honeymoon) is over, the band & their wagons have all gone & it’s just the 2 of you. Some couples are fine all through until the baby comes & the dynamic in the home changes, for others it might be stress at work, or a challenging situation & it seems that the person you loved & married has changed.
You see at the start marriage is a box, an empty box & as a couple you need to both put into it what you would like to draw out from it in the future. It must have LOVE & all of its manifestation as seen in Gal5:22-23. Marriage is work, it requires discipline, consistency & a lot of pedaling action below the surface while grace & elegance shows on top.It’s the ultimate relationship a man & a woman can have, practically heaven on earth ( if handled well). Living single is great, but being married is just on a different level.(Ecc 4:9-12)
LOVE is the most important ( & could be the most confusing) thing in any marriage & the onus is on the couple to learn about love so as to build a lasting & loving marriage. The need to be loved is the primary human need as highlighted by psychologists. Apostle Paul mentioned that LOVE is the greatest of all ( 1Cor13:13), it stands tall above Faith & Hope.
Marriage was designed by God to meet that need of intimacy & love. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche & that’s why God said “It’s not good for man to be alone” Gen2:18. You see in each & everyone of us, lies that desire to be loved by someone else & material things cant replace that need ( it can only provide a temporal fix).
Just like a car has a tank that needs to be filled with gas, we all have our “love tanks“that needs to be filled with love. The analogy with the car is very apt in that just the same way we “fall in love” at the beginning of a relationship is the same way a car’s tank is filled with gas to the full at the beginning of a long journey, but as we progress the gas begins to reduce from full to half to a quarter & then empty ( if we don’t stop by a station to refill).
The love languages are like gas stations along your marital life that helps to ensure that your primary human needs are met & a right climate is set in your home. Just like gas to a car, love is both important & elusive, the love tank needs to be full at all times. Love is both a noun & a verb, the bible says God is love ( 1John4:8) & God loved so much he gave ( John3:16). Just like God we must in our marriage stand as love personified & also give love.
Your LOVE language is what makes you feel loved as an individual, not what you speak to others. You are meant to learn & speak the language of your spouse so as to fill his/her love tank & the same must be done to you. If your love tanks are both full, that home will radiate love across board & it will show without you talking. If one or both parties in the marriage constantly run on empty, then there is bound to be a problem & this will reflect in all areas as well.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
This is actually my love language. I’m super excited & highly motivated when I hear these words from my wife, I can do anything ( break through a wall, leap over a fence, etc) once I hear her support & encouragement. A simple statements like ” This shirt looks good on you” or “I have faith in you dear you can do it“or “you’ve been a great help, I appreciate you washing the dishes” can make my day, month & year! I can live on it for so long & my love tank is super full!! The opposite will be the effect if she says “I am totally disappointed in you” or something that tears me down.
That word can keep ringing in my mind for ages, words carry a lot of weight with me. I know we all love to hear encouraging words & hate the negative ones, but for someone whose primary love language is words of affirmation, words are weightier. It’s a known fact that anytime we receive words of affirmation, we are more likely to be motivated to reciprocate.
Just like any man, I hate nagging & because of my love language I hate it more, if my wife nags about something, the more she nags, the more I wont do it. But when she starts to give me words of affirmations about something else I did for her & she continues with that pass-code, I end up doing all she wanted & much more. It works like a charm, she knows that verbal compliments are better & greater motivators than nagging words. Most issues we have can be ultimately traced to what she said & how she said it.
In areas of my weakness & fear, her encouraging words always sees me through. It’s like a shot of adrenaline to me. For a long time I held the fear of water ( particularly swimming pool) & height, but with her encouragement I am now a decent swimmer & can climb heights with no fear whatsoever. Now that is LOVE!
Words of affirmation is a language that has many dialects like verbal compliments, encouraging, kind & humble words. I have shared my experiences from a perspective of my wife speaking my language to me. The same applies in the reverse, if as a man your wife speaks words of affirmation as a language then you have to go the extra mile to compliment her.
Statements like ” This meal is super delicious”, “You take care of our kids well”, “Your boss should know you are the best at your job” “You are the most consistent person I know” etc will boost her so much & fill her love tank. It might sound strange at first if you’ve not been doing it before, but with consistency you will see her radiating. You can also drop cute notes in her purse, in her pockets, in the car, love letters in some places in the kitchen or bathroom that you know she will see (say in her shower cap) etc. Tell your kids how awesome your spouse is ( both in their presence & absence).
It might not be natural doing all of these, but for the sake of our spouse’s love we must learn to do it & the reward is amazing.
In the next post I will be sharing about Quality Time.
Is the love tank in your marriage ( you & your spouse) full? What is the climate over your home?
This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!