Do you have relationships in your life that you would like to improve? Many people highly prioritize maintaining and strengthening their connection with their family and friends.
I want to share information based on a book written by Dr. Gary Chapman’s book entitled The Five Love Languages. I have witnessed the concepts that Dr. Chapman teaches increase feelings of love and security in relationships in my life and in other people’s lives as well.
First, I will tell you a funny story that relates to the topic. I hope it will make you laugh or at least smile.
My oldest son was around 4 years old, I was kneeling by his bed, and tucking him in for sleep one night. He was asking me about my love for him, and I said, “Noah, I love you so much that I would give up everything in the world to keep you”. His reply was, “Awe Mom, give yourself a break — keep some clothes in the closet!” He smiled as he watched me react in surprise and then break into delighted laughter as I marveled at his cuteness.
At this moment with my little son, I was using one of the love languages Dr. Chapman lists as Words of Affirmation, which show appreciation and value for someone with words. Words of Affirmation can include praising someone’s efforts and strengths.
There are four more love languages presented in Dr. Chapman’s book:
Gifts: giving tangible things that show thoughtfulness and kindness toward someone
Quality time: giving your undivided time and attention to someone — this could be during a conversation or a shared activity
Acts of Service: completing a task for someone that makes their responsibilities lighter
Physical Touch: showing affection in a non-sexual but loving way Examples would be putting an arm around someone’s shoulder, giving a hug, or a pat on the back.
Everyone seems to have one or two of these love languages that make them feel loved the most.
Dr. Chapman’s book is very helpful in identifying you and your loved ones’ top love languages. There are also many free quizzes online.
Sometimes, but not always, you can identify someones love language by how they express love toward others. We tend to show love with the language that touches our heart the most. For example, I affirm and hug people a lot — that gave away my top two love languages before I knew it. If you know someone who gets very excited about giving others gifts, there is a good chance that receiving gifts is one of the primary ways they feel valued by others.
It is helpful to understand and honor the love languages of the people you care about, and not be critical of them. For example, I have learned that people whose love language is gift giving can be mislabeled as materialistic. The truth is that there is genuinely something about the gesture and thoughtfulness of a gift that really makes them feel cared about.
It is also helpful to communicate your love language to those who value a strong relationship with you as you do with them.
It can make a huge difference when we show love in the individual ways that people feel it the most. That doesn’t mean that you should stop showing them love in the other ways as well. It is just extra effective when you meet people in the way they feel love the most — the joy and connection you both feel can go a long way!
Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another (Romans 12:10 TPT).
For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers (John 13:35 TPT).
Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. (Collossians 3:12 TPT).