Ever wanted to learn how to improve your relationships? Being a Christian, love is at the core of everything we do. Loving God and loving people is our mission. The question is – are we loving people in the way they would feel most loved?
Some people feel more loved when their spouse/children speak words of encouragement than when he/she has given them a gift. There’s are reason for that! It’s easy to think people like to be loved the same ways we like to receive love. But that’s not always the case! Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The 5 Love Languages”, it’s extremely popular in both the Christian world and the secular world. It’s highly recognised and has proven to actually work. He believes that people have different love languages. You can find the book at your nearest Koorong or order online here.
Curious to see what your love language is? Take the quiz here.
The 5 love languages applies to everyone! This doesn’t just include your spouse – you can apply it to your family members, classmates, or even churchmates.
Discovering the 5 love languages and identifying which ones apply to your loved ones will help you create healthy, loving relationships. Here are the 5 love languages:
Loving your spouse/children through spoken words of affection, praise or appreciation. Did you know the “tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21)”? Your words carry a lot of weight to people whose love language is words of affirmation. People with this love language absolutely adore it when you verbally affirm them.
Here are examples of words of affirmation:
Sounds a bit cheesy? Maybe so, but these actually can mean a lot to your spouse/friends/family – especially when it’s their love language. Communicating these compliments or words of appreciation will make them feel most loved by you.
Usually, when people’s love language is words of affirmation – the absence of verbal affirmation can make them feel not-so-loved. When you don’t compliment them or use words of gratitude, they can feel taken for granted or unloved.
Go all out, and love your spouse, family or friends with as much words of affirmation – you could probably never run out!
Giving your spouse/children your undivided attention. No, I don’t mean sitting down on a couch and watching a movie together. Why? Because your attention is on the movie and not that person. People who love quality time actually want to talk, connect and have your undistracted attention. Be alone together, be present and enjoy each other’s company.
Put down the phone (and don’t pick it up for a while), take your spouse out for a date (just the 2 of you) and give him/her your time. Time is precious and they love it when you make spend valuable time with them – that’s when they feel most loved.
When you don’t spend time with your spouse they can feel undervalued or unloved. This also includes spending time together but picking up your phone every 2 minutes.
Make them feel special by spending time together and creating moments – without the distractions.
Want to find out your love language? Take the quiz here.
A willingness to take action and serve your spouse and/or children. To put it simply, what can you do for your spouse, family or friends that you know they’d like you to do? Seek to please them by serving them and expressing your love by doing things for them.
For instance, cooking a meal, doing the errands, driving the kids to school, are all actions of service that express love for them. They love the planning, thought, effort and care put into doing these actions for them. This is when they feel most loved. Especially, when they are done with a cheerful heart and positive spirit!
When you forget or don’t even think about serving your spouse, family or friends – they don’t feel special or loved.
Your “actions speak louder than words” and it makes them feel loved when you continuously seek to serve them.
Expressing affection through giving gifts that are thoughtful and meaningful. All 5 love languages have us give in some way. For people whose love language is receiving gifts, they love it when they have visual symbols of love and affection. A gift speaks the loudest form of love for them – something they can see, hold, and touch.
They may feel unloved or unappreciated when you don’t give them any gifts. Because this is their love language, it’s important that you take the time to plan and think of gifts to give on a regular basis.
The gift itself represents thought, care, energy and time – that’s why they love receiving them!
To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than physical touch. This can be everyday connections like holding hands when you walk together, kisses, hugs, etc. Even sitting close together when watching TV can express your love to them.
This one is probably obvious, the moment you stop showing affection physically – your spouse family or friends are likely to feel unloved. Absolutely avoid neglect and physical abuse of any kind.
A hug/kiss goes a long way.
The linguistics of language have different dialects and variations – so does the 5 love languages! For example, your primary love language may be Physical Touch, but you can also be loved through Quality Time – to some extent.
Find out your love language: Take the quiz here.
Take the quiz with your spouse or children and find out what their love language is. Try to challenge yourself to love them through their primary and secondary love language. Your relationship can only improve from this point as you continue to love each other well.