In The 5 Love Languages, Part 1 – The Languages Defined, we defined and discussed Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
However, defining them only takes us so far. Now, we need to learn how to explore and understand how they apply to ourselves and our relationships for increased intimacy. For this discussion, we will chat about the love languages in context of marriage. However, definitely remember that this concept can and should be appropriately applied to all of your relationships.
We need ALL of the love languages in our marriages to feel fulfilled, however, we usually unconsciously prioritize one or two. If you give love via a love language that is not high on another’s list, your attempts at showing love can “misfire”. This can have negative effects because the person is not necessarily optimally receiving your love. Do not take this as a personal attack or rejection, but as an opportunity of understanding. Learn, modify, act, rinse, repeat!!
Take some time to think through, journal on, talk about, and pray over the questions and thoughts below alone and with your spouse. Remember, take time make your responses as specific as possible.
Discover Your Love Language
- Think of some instances where you felt very loved by your spouse. What did the other he/she do? What were the circumstances?
- How do you respond when your spouse shows you love? Do you give positive and obvious feedback?
- How do you typically show your love to your spouse? How does he/she respond to you?
- What is your primary love language and why? What kind of emotions and memories do you experience when you think of this?
- In your marriage, what do you feel empty without? What hurts you most deeply? When do you feel most disconnected from your spouse? Your love language is probably the opposite.
Exploring Each Other’s Love Languages
- ASK! – Start the conversation by literally asking each other the questions above to better understand your love languages.
- TELL! – Be vulnerable by openly telling your spouse how you experience love.
- Provide specific and creative examples of how they can show you love. When receiving and acting on this information, remember marriage involves compromise and sacrifice. Even if it is not comfortable, you are serving your spouse by following through with these actions.
- Give positive direct feedback when your spouse shows you love.
- Lovingly tell your spouse when he/she does not show you love.
- Give grace when plans and actions do not go as planned or work out well.
- If you are unsure of your most important love language, try applications all the love languages and see how you and your spouse respond. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- Explore your last major disagreement, the lack of love that was felt, and follow the bunny trail of small instances of misfires that led up to the larger situation. If needed, assemble a plan for mending and rebuilding the relationship through intentional acts of apology and love.
Love Language Action Items
- Discuss the information in this post with your spouse,and write notes and reminders as needed.
- Write down your love language(s) for your spouse.
- Create a list of actions your spouse can do for you.
- Secretly create a list of actions you will do for your spouse… and follow through!
This blog entry on The 5 Love Languages is Part 2 of 2