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Just like people verbally speak different languages, love has it’s own language(s).
I had to refer to Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages to remind myself of the other love languages out there. So, according to Mr. Chapman, the five love languages can be grouped into these basic categories:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Let’s jump into the first love language, “Words of Affirmation”.
These come in the form of verbal compliments, words of appreciation, encouraging words (words to inspire courage), kind words, humble words, and other various dialects. Does your spouse speak words that build you up? Do they tell you how wonderful you are? Do they encourage you when you fall? How about when you do something you love? If they do, consider this one of their love languages. This is one of my love languages. Mechanic wasn’t used to hearing encouragement (not that he was never encouraged, it was just a new concept for him in a relationship) and it kind of caught him off guard to hear positive words all the time from me, but he loves to hear them.
The second love language is “Quality Time”
This is giving your spouse your undivided attention. Mr. Chapman says “a central aspect of quality time is togetherness” (page 60). Being together without electronics or any other distractions is quality time. Quality conversation creates quality time.
What do I mean? Talk to your spouse about more than just the weather or how their drive to work was that day. Go deeper in your conversation. Ask them what they are struggling with. Ask them how you can pray for them. I have found fun questions designed for married couples to ask each other to create deeper conversation and create a sense of togetherness. When you speak to your spouse, maintain eye contact. This shows you genuinely care about what they have to say. Listen to what they say. Listen for feelings. Watch their body language. Don’t speak until they are finished talking.
When it’s your turn to talk, maintain eye contact as well. It leaves you vulnerable and enhances trust in marriage. This is another one of my love languages. I love spending time with Joel. It was a lot easier before we had kids, but I find time for us to spend quality time together. This is when date night comes in handy (more on that in the coming days)!
The third love language is “Receiving Gifts”
“A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, ‘look, he was thinking of me’ or ‘he remembered me'” (Chapman, 75). Almost every female I know, loves to receive a gift from her man. Joel always catches me off guard when he brings home a gift for me from some random venture he went on. I love it because I never really expect it. I used to be a gift giver when Joel and I were dating/engaged. After we got married, that kind of fizzled. Now that we have to be careful with our budget, I don’t give many gifts unless it’s a special occasion.
The fourth love language is “Acts of Service”
This is “doing things you know your spouse would like you to do” (Chapman, 87). Joel, being a working man, practices this love language all the time. Usually it is in the form of fixing things or doing projects I need done around the house. I love that he is so handy and has so many skills. He works full time throughout the week and then on the weekends, he helps at his family’s farm. He is tired all the time because he works to hard to take care of me and our kids.
I love him for that. I am so overjoyed when he approaches me on some random day whether he works or not and asks me about a project I wanted to build, like a bookshelf or some type of storage idea I wanted to bring to life. It catches me off guard, but I get so giddy when he wants to help me out! He will sit down with me and draw up some plans and measure the space we want to fill, then he heads out to the garage to make the drawing come to life. The biggest act of service he does currently, is keeping my vehicle maintained and safe for me to drive and transport our kids. I am so blessed that he is so skilled.
The last love language is “Physical Touch”
I’m sure you can make your own assumptions here, so I will be brief. Physical touch involves kissing, holding hands, hugging, tender touches, sex, etc. Mr. Chapman makes a very important point in his book saying that “physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love” (page 105).
God created marriage to be a holy and sacred union between man and woman. Marriage is designed to be a union for two to become on flesh. When was the last time you and your spouse held hands? When was the last time you kissed? These things tend to stop after you reach a certain time period in marriage. DO NOT LET IT STOP!
Food for thought from Mr. Chapman, “If your spouse’s primary love language is physical touch, nothing is more important than holding her as she cries” (page 109). Your touch speaks volumes to your spouse. How loud are you speaking?
My challenge for you…
Look over these love languages and determine what category you fit into. You may fit in more than one and that’s fine! Identify your love language and then go through and identify your spouse’s love language. Talk about it together. While you’re at it, pray together. Pray that your love language communicates love and not hate.
If you need additional assistance at finding out what your love language is, please visit Mr. Chapman’s website, The 5 Love Languages