How would you try to communicate with someone who didn’t speak English? Your temptation might be to speak slower or louder, but if they don’t understand English that wouldn’t help. If you knew their language, you could use it. Not knowing their language you might try pointing, gesturing, drawing, finding pictures, etc.
In his book Five Love Languages Gary Chapman explains that we sometimes struggle in our relationships because we don’t realize that there are at least five love languages. A love language is simply a way of giving and receiving love, and each of us has a preferred love language, the way we are accustomed to expressing and experiencing love. Chapman suggests that if we really want to communicate love, we need to learn and use the preferred love language of the other person instead of just using our preferred love language. The love languages he identifies are:
Physical Touch– hugs, kisses, holding hand, pat on the back, back rub, etc.
Words of Affirmation – I love you, thanks, good job, I’m proud of you
Quality Time – undivided attention, doing things together
Giving Gifts –shows you thought of them, not necessarily big or expensive
Acts of Service– doing something for or instead of the other person
With Mother’s Day coming up this month and Father’s Day next month, it might be a good time to think about love languages. If you’re a mother or father, what’s the love language of each of your children? If you have a mother or father, what is their love language? How can you show love to each of these persons in a way they’ll understand and appreciate? You can ask the same questions about your spouse and close friends. I invite you think about, talk about, and start using your loved ones’ love languages.
Grace and Peace,