This was the topic of discussion at our Family Night activity this week. Not being a bilingual family the languages we were speaking of were not languages of verbal expression but rather ones of emotional expression.
We were talking about Love Languages.
Many years ago I discovered a book entitled, The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. The concept was enlightening and the content was live changing for our marriage. The entire idea of each one of us having a certain love language we use to express our love to others was insightful. As soon as I began reading I had a “Ah-ha” light bulb appear above my head, and as a young wife I felt like I was receiving marriage-changing…marriage-blessing council.
By taking the quiz in the book I soon discovered my love language was Acts of Service. This meant I showed my love for others not through words, or hugs, or gifts, but by serving them. My love is shown through meals cooked, babysitting, volunteering to plan parties or coming to the aid of others. My family often jokes that I don’t know the word “No” when it comes to being asked to do things (and while that might be a little true) my primary motivation in saying “Yes” comes from love, and my desire to make others feel loved by lightening their burden,
because that is how I feel most loved.
Through this quiz we learned that Toby’s primary love language was Physical Touch. He felt most loved when his shoulders were rubbed, or when I held his hand while we were out shopping, or when I sat next to him on the couch while watching TV.
There lay our issue. Both of us were trying so hard to make the other feel loved but we were speaking two different languages. I was trying to make Toby feel loved and cared for by making sure there were no dishes in the sink or baby toys on the floor. While I spent the evenings showing my love by making our house a home for him all he wanted was for me to sit with him and watch a game on TV. He, on the other hand, was trying to show love to me in the way he likes to receive it by telling me to sit down so he could rub my shoulders,
when I wanted to say, “If you really loved me you’d quit telling me to sit down and you’d help me get these dishes done so I can relax.”
Both of us we trying so hard to show our love but since we were speaking two different love languages we both felt more frustrated than loved. 🙂
This book was such a blessing to our marriage.
Recently I was talking with girlfriends about this book and thought to myself, “We really out to have the kids take the quiz (They have one geared toward kids and teens on the website) and see what love languages our children speak so that we can better express our love to them in a language they will understand.
On Monday night we told the kids what we were doing. They were fascinated by the idea that we each speak different love languages. Each of them took the quiz online, revealing their scores and their love language.
The results were enlightening, although not completely surprising. I can look at the way my children show love to others and gain insight into how they feel most loved.
Here were the results of our 5 Love Languages quiz:
Physical Touch: Toby
Acts of Service: Katie
Quality Time: Grace, Rusty, and Tyler
Words of Affirmation: Molly and Ozzie
After discovering what love language we each speak, we talked about the importance of showing love in the language of the person you are expressing love to and then went over what each of those love languages looks like, in a practical sense.
This led to a great discussion as we shared how we feel the most loved and what acts and kindnesses touch us the most, as well as what acts of love we need more of.
As the kids shared their hearts with Toby and I (as well as with their siblings) we realized that it is sometimes easiest to show love to those who share your love language and as a result there is often a special bond between those family members or friends, but regardless of how challenging it can be we must make an effort to learn and speak each others’ love languages…
Because that it what family is all about.
What language do you speak?