Wednesday, August 28

on loving well

Last night the hubs and I finished a four week book study at our church on the 5 Love Languages. I know a lot of people are familiar with the love language concept, but if you're not let me give you a brief overview. Essentially, there are five basic ways in which people give and receive love. Although the study we did was for married couples, this is not specific for marriage necessarily, so don't think that if you're not married that this doesn't apply to you. Because it does. Anyway, the five different languages are
  • words of affirmation
  • physical touch
  • quality time
  • acts of service
  • gifts
People tend to have a primary love language and often a secondary. This is how one feels loved by others. The book uses the term "love tank" to use as a way of measuring how loved your feel. There isn't a right way or a wrong way to receive love. There are just different ways. And, I think, once you understand how a person feels loved, it really helps you understand them in a new way. I really could go on for awhile about this topic but I'll spare you, so if you are interested in learning more check out the website or the book. I really enjoy Gary Chapman and his books and I think this is a pretty quick and easy read.

I had read this book before I started dating J so I was very familiar with my love language: quality time. I knew that was how I best feel loved by others and often is my ideal way to spend my time with people I care about. However, reading this book now after being married a year was insightful in a new way. Even though we're relatively new to the marriage train, it is still helpful to understand how I can show my husband how that I love him.

The hubs love language is words of affirmation, which is my lowest love language. And it is pretty common for you and your spouse to not have the same primary love language. So that isn't a big surprise. What has come as a surprise to me over the past year is how poorly I am with that specific language. As soon as I learned (thanks to my mom) which was j's love language, I knew why God had brought us together. While I love to write and love to talk, I am not so good with expressing myself verbally with words of affirmation. I always thought that I was awesome at pretty much anything to do with talking because, frankly, I do it a lot. But come to find out, I stink at telling my husband (or anyone else for that matter) how I appreciate them. And when that is the primary way your husband feels loved, it can be a bit of an issue.

I have worked some at trying to improve my skills in this area. Now after taking this class, I realized that just trying a little isn't good enough. My husband deserves to know how much he is loved in a way that speaks loudest to him. And while it is uncomfortable and somewhat awkward for me to express myself this way, it is something that I must learn to do and try to do well. Thankfully, I have learned this early in our marriage and hopefully I can continue to get better at it because my husband is great. He deserves to know that each and every day.

So if this is a new concept to you, I encourage you to check it out. It could really make a big impact in all your relationships.

1 comment:

Caitlin Schanaker said...

Great post!
I remember being surprised at how my love languages shifted after being married for a while. But still, words of affirmation are at the top!
It can be tricky because just like words can lift up and encourage, they can also devastate. When we were first married my husband would be shocked at how much I remembered things he had said, and how much I treasured them or (potentially) how much they hurt me.
It's a wonderful thing to discover what speaks to the other person, and learning each other's love languages is definitely one of the best places to start!