Love is a complicated entity. What we “speak” may not be exactly what someone “understands.” Upon entering our marriage covenant we desire to love our spouse more than anything. Problem is, as humans we understand and express love in different ways. Let’s take a look at The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Just as a man from China, may not understand a person from France, and a person from Russia may not understand a person from Brazil; we have to understand that just as we communicate differently through various languages in everyday life, the way we communicate and understand love in our relationships can take on various forms.
In his book “The 5 Love Languages,” Gary Chapman breaks down the understanding that people have 5 main love languages that they “speak” or express.
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
A key to unlocking a greater relationship with your spouse is to understand their specific “Love Language.” You may continually express love to your spouse, and yet they still feel unloved. Why? It’s because their love language is different than the one that you are expressing to them. (i.e. You are speaking French and they understand Portuguese.)
The problem first comes by not properly understanding what your spouse’s love language is. It then comes from the wrong expression of it. But, we must fully understand the concept of love languages, and know that a person may have two primary love languages, or two that are very close. And, while we speak to our spouse’s primary love language, we must not fully neglect the others simply because they are not the primary. Rather, we speak primarily to the primary language, while still incorporating the others.
How to remedy this –
The first step is to find out what YOUR primary love language is. You then must find out what YOUR SPOUSE’S primary love language is. If you do not know what language to speak, how can you effectively communicate? Once you have discovered your personal as well as your spouses love language, you can then begin to understand how to clearly communicate love to each other.
But, what if you’re not good at spending quality time, but that is your spouse’s primary love language? This is where it comes down to compromising, and making a decision to love your spouse. Make a choice to set aside time to spend with them. I know for myself, that my wife’s primary language is words of affirmation and quality time.
I am horrible with giving those words of affirmation and compliments. I have to make it a personal choice to give her those words of affirmation, and I can literally see her face light up when I do. My wife is my best friend, and I love spending time with her, so the quality time is not a stretch.
I believe God put us together, so that it would challenge me to rely on him more to get out of my comfort zone (giving words of affirmation/compliments) so that I can love her more.
Gary Chapman has numerous resources covering the 5 love languages outside of the book presenting the general understanding of them, including a men’s edition, military edition, children’s edition, teenager edition, and numerous others.
If you want to take a test to find out what your love language is you can go HERE. Look right below the 5 icons, where it says discover your love language.
And you can find a link to the book HERE.