If you have never heard about the Five Love Languages, then you absolutely HAVE to read the book. Gary Chapman has done an excellent job explaining how people best receive and give love.
The five love languages that he describes are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. They are all pretty self-explanatory.
You feel the most love based on how people show you love using your primary love language. I found it very insightful to read because it shows how someone whose primary love language is Acts of Service may show love to their wife (whose primary love language is Quality Time) by getting her car serviced or washing the dishes or making the bed. The problem is that since his wife’s primary love language is Quality Time, she spends most of her time hurt because her husband doesn’t spend any time with her. She doesn’t even recognize that he is showing love the way that HE best feels loved.
I took the test years ago and recently took it again. Both times I took the test it showed that I am pretty much an even split between two – Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.
So basically to feel loved, I need my husband to hug me and tell me how wonderful I am!
The great part about my marriage is that I have found a man who is ALSO split between Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation, so it’s very easy for us to show our love for each other. We were both previously with Acts of Service people, so although we try to do stuff for each other to show our love, at the end of the day we just want to hug and tell each other how much we appreciate each other. It makes it very easy to understand what the other person needs when you know how they feel.
For people like us, the biggest punishment you can give is to withdraw physically (and for the record, physical touch encompasses ALL physical touch, it is NOT just about sex) and/or criticize us. That’s why saying, “I appreciate you” is so important to us.
Yesterday in church I had such an overwhelming joy in my heart, even more than usual. I realized that it was because my love languages are completely nurtured and my love tank is filled while in church.
Only in church do my children fight to be pressed right up next to me. I couldn’t sit next to Joe because they both wanted to be able to lean on me. Throughout the service they were holding my hands, playing with my rings, laying their heads on my shoulder, putting their arms around me. Even while singing songs, they were touching me and hugging on me – which equates to me as “LOVING ME.” Even Joe had his arm around the back of my son’s chair and he was rubbing my shoulder. So my need for Physical Touch was getting absolutely filled.
Church is also the perfect place for someone whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation, because think about every sermon you hear??? HOPE, LOVE, GOD FILLING YOUR NEEDS, TRUST, DEPENDING ON HIM, etc. Think about it… every church sermon (at least in our Methodist Church) is basically affirming that God is Good and that He will take care of us. It’s the words spoken by the Pastor that say, “YOU ARE WORTHY.”
Joe and I had only been dating for a few weeks when he stopped by my office for one of his daily visits. We had some serious discussions prior to the visit about how he felt a little “less than” in an area of his life that was a struggle for him. It involved treatment of him by another person so there was absolutely nothing I could do to help him. So right before he came for his visit, I wrote “You are worthy!!!” on a sticky note and stuck it on the side of my desk next to the chair where he sat whenever he came by. It pretty much brought him to tears and he showed me that sticky note recently… he has kept it all this time! Those three simple words affirmed him and made him know my love.
God knows our love language and so He knew that I was having a tough weekend this past weekend. There have been some troubling situations in my life recently that have been hard on my heart. Plus my children witnessed an interaction I had with someone over the weekend and actually asked me why I continued to be nice to someone who doesn’t want to be nice to me (a hard thing to hear your child ask you but a good learning lesson for them about how we should love everyone no matter what). So I absolutely NEEDED to get my love tank filled yesterday. My love thermometer was dangerously low due to the outside forces attacking me.
After getting my love tank filled up at church and then going to my step-daughter’s soccer game, I made my grocery list and went to work in the kitchen. I poured a glass of wine and turned up the music and just CREATED. I took a lot of pics and I will publish my creation on Thursday. It was absolutely amazing and I know that I would not have had the emotional energy to even do what I love best if I had not gotten filled with love at church.
So go take the test!! It could really help you better understand what YOU NEED to feel loved and it can also help you to understand how your spouse shows and receives love. It’s a great asset with children also because it can help you more effectively discipline them if you know their primary love language. I try my best to understand all of my family and best friends’ love languages so that I can show them (like they NEED to be shown) how much I love them each and every day.