Last year I shared much of this post with the people who read my e-devotion. For years the book The 5 Love Languages has been part of the counseling that I have provided to couples before they married as well as those who were struggling within marriage.
In a marriage class that Julie and I attended a couple years ago this was also part of the things shared. Personally we have found great value in what Dr. Chapman shares in his book, but I’ve also seen God use it in the lives of other people who are seeking help. No, it is not a magic ticket to a better marriage or greater relationships. Yet if we apply the truth of what it taught, things will improve.
When we value other people and seek to learn what others need, we will prefer them or place a higher value on their needs than we will our own needs. This week I ran into a pastor friend who shared this truth with me as a living illustration. It really was incredible, and that is why I want to share this again.
Romans 13:8 NLT
Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.
That verse requires movement on the person who follows it. We can life happen around us and not make plans for success. Or look the other direction and make a plan for success in the relationships that matter to you.
Hebrews 10:24 NLT
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
Look for ways to make your relationships great. This book opens our thinking and even the possibilities for greater days. The 5 Love Languages is a great book from Gary Chapman that guides the reader to love others without saying the words “I love you”. Learn more about this book, about the awesome concepts of the books and even take an online test by going to this website www.5lovelanguages.com.
It is almost impossible to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak the same language that you do. Often you have to use an interpreter or a tool that allows you to talk to that person. This book is a tool like that.
Here are the concepts that The 5 Love Languages teaches and what they are about:
Words of Affirmation — This is defined as unsolicited encouragement and compliments. Hearing the reasons behind your love lifts your heart and mind. Insults leave you broken and are not easily forgotten.
Quality Time — This quality is be described by undivided attention. Being there for another person is critical. Turn off the TV, put down the cell phone… make your special someone feel special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be very hurtful.
Receiving Gifts — Often people thrive on receiving gifts that say “I love you” as well as being thoughtful. The effort behind the gift helps says that you care. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift can be disastrous.
Acts of Service — Anything you do to ease the burden of another person speaks volumes. Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them, tell those with this love language that their feelings don’t matter.
Physical Touch — This is not just about what is to happen in the bedroom. These people are the touchy, feely kind of person. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
By learning a person’s love language you break through their exterior or through a their pain to where they feel or are sensitive. Let me use my relationship with my wife Julie as an example, and I must say that she is an incredible person. Her love languages are “quality time” and “acts of service”. When I chose to spend time with her or do things to serve her, she knows that I really love her. Sitting on the couch together or just saying “I love you” isn’t enough. Married people have to connect on other levels as well. Relationships have to go deeper than surface level to be successful.
Zig Ziglar said, “to get what you want help someone else get what they want.” By serving others we learn how relationships really work. Marriage is the same. Study the person you care about. Get to know what they like, what makes them happy and what they need. Taking the time to learn and applying what you learn will make a difference in your relationship.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.