May 2, 2010

The 5 Love Languages

This week we will be on a five day exploration of Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages.  This book has been on the market for quite some time now, but continues to have a deep impact on marriages, including mine.  The premise of this book reveals that every person interprets love in a different way.  Therefore, if you have a different love language than your spouse, chances are you may be having trouble communicating your love for each other.  It would be like speaking Chinese to an English speaker.  It just can't be understood.  This will make much more sense once you get involved in the book.

Over first three chapters, Chapman explains the difficulties that many couples experience in their marriage.  Don't skip over these chapters, as they are essential in understanding the love languages.

Our first love language for examination today is:   
Words of Affirmation

If this is your love language, you are a lover of words!  You thrive on compliments and words of encouragement.  These life giving words and phrases can carry you for weeks on a natural high!  These are verbal communicators of love.  There are many pieces to this language:

1.  Encouraging words.  These are words that spur your spouse on to try new things or expand on an area of interest.  You are showing them that you believe in them and their abilities.
2.  Kind words.  These are words spoken in gentleness and kindness, not dripping in sarcasm or in accusation.
3.  Humble words.  In humbleness we make requests, not demands of our spouse.  Demands only create hostility within the marriage.

It is so important to realize that if this is your spouse's love language and not your own, you still need to use HIS love language to communicate with him!  If he needs to hear words of affirmation from you, like "thank you for working so hard to provide for our family",  giving him a gift to show your appreciation will not have the same effect on him.  Learning your spouse's love language is crucial!!  Your marriage could go for years on rocky terrain simply because you and your spouse are not feeling and receiving love in your own love language.  I urge you to continue reading in the book so you know how to put this into practice!

Living It!

This is my love language! (although it didn't used to be, more on that later!)  I love to receive encouragement from others!  Words of thankfulness, compliments, and affirmation can carry me a long way.  This is also why, as a blogger, I LOVE comments.  It affirms that I am connecting to people.  It translates that readers like me and want to hear more from me.

On the flip side, negative comments or critical words from friends or family cut me to the quick and are hard to recover from. They create loads of self-doubt.  For those with this love language, be cautious that Satan does not use this against you!  I have found that he likes to twist the words of others in my mind to offend me, causing a rift in relationships where there ought not be one.

From my husband, it means that I thrive when he encourages me.  If I haven't taken time to scrapbook in a long time, like this weekend, he encourages me with words to take some time to enjoy this hobby.  He then backs that up with making sure he is available to take care of the kids all day.  When I expressed an interest in returning to college to study graphic design, he was 100% behind me.  He continued encouraging me every step of the way!

I asked my husband to share how he shows me love through words of affirmation.

Hello all, Husband here!  Here's how I found out my wife gets so much out of Words of Affirmation.  When I was younger, my mom made my lunches and EVERY NOW AND THEN wrote a little note on my napkin.  And I liked it.  So when I started making lunches for our 1st daughter, I would occasionally write notes to her. 

But what I wasn't prepared for was my wife declaring that she felt left out and that she would like notes too!  So, when my oldest got a note, Cherie got a note left at home.  Well, our daughter is now off at college but I'm still writing notes now EACH DAY to bless my wife while I'm off to work.  It may be a phrase, a quick doodle, a sentence or two reminding her how much I love her and how it shows in our lives.  So, I'm glad to keep nurturing our marriage by reminding my wife in these notes and with spoken words of all the ways I love her and what she means to me.  It's an easy and CHEAP ( :) ) way to make my marriage stronger.  And to make my bride smile another day!

Thanks Husband!!

These notes have such a profound effect on me each and every day.  So much so that I have kept hundreds of these notes over the years and I keep them in a scrapbook!
Speaking the correct love language to your spouse will change your marriage.  I GUARANTEE IT!

Likewise, ignoring your spouse's love language can DESTROY your marriage.  I can guarantee that from experience as well!


These languages apply to your children as well.  If you consciously observe them through this lens, you should be able to decifer their language.  Words of affirmation can be gold to a child.  You will see their eyes light up and their heart burst when hearing encouraging words from you.  Likewise, harsh and critical words will last a lifetime in their minds.  It can create low self-esteem and a life time of self doubt!  Be sure to guard your words with your children.

Curious to know what your love language is?  Check out The 5 Love Languages website for a quick quiz!

Join us again tomorrow when we discuss language #2, Quality Time.


Barbie said...

I think both my husband and I benefit from words of encouragement. I think sometimes we both need it so much that we forget about the other one. I am looking forward to reviewing the Love Languages!

Teri Lynne Underwood said...

Love this ... currently our church is doing a series called "Desperate Households" and one of the main considerations has been communication. The 5 Love Language books are must reads in my opinion! Looking forward to the rest of your series.

S Club Mama said...

this is also one of my love languages (one of my two primary ones, I should say). My husband used to write me love letters in college; we wrote back and forth for a summer, too. He still writes me notes but they are fewer and farther between. But I know he loves me and he encourages me verbally now more. I love that.

Mandy said...

Cherie, I love this book! And I also love the other books for the rest of the family - for teens and for children! :) We have them all! What an awesome idea for a series! And yay for husband joining in on the post! :)

thedomesticfringe said...

This is great! I love how you save your notes in a scrapbook. It seems you've been blessed with a good man.

Chele said...

Okay I'm catching up Cherie! LOL. I have got to go get this book!!! I love that the hubby joined you in your post! :)

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