I was given a book years ago…shortly after i was married..called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. What did i need to know? I was newlywed and in love. Nuff said right? Well, maybe not. I read the book and thought there were tons of “nuggets” that would make my marriage even better. Truth is, i put the book away and didn’t really put any of the truths into practice…until we had our kids. I dug out the book and started reading again. The premise of the book is simple, how can you show love to your spouse or kids in a way that they are built to receive it the best? He breaks it down into 5 “languages” : Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts.
Every picture you’ve ever seen of Scott and i? This is always the first take that gets left on the cutting room floor!
This past fall, in the midst of some internet surfing I found that you could take the quiz online to see what your love language is. So interesting! Each of us in our household took the test, and i was surprised to see that we are all so different. Why is it important to know collectively what your love languages are? Well…because we tend to show love in a way that we would want to receive it..not necessarily how our loved ones are going to receive it best. For example, my love language is Acts of Service. I feel loved and valued and treasured when I wake up on Saturday morning and there is a steaming hot Starbucks cup sitting in my bathroom. Just knowing that Scott was thinking about me while i was still slumbering fills my heart. When he offers to run an errand for me, when Lexi washed my hair after a recent surgery, when Melina offers to bake cookies for Lincoln’s class, when Lincoln offers to clean the toilets. These acts equal love to me.
Knowing that Lexi’s love language is Physical Touch is a daily reminder for me to offer a hug, a back scratch, or spend time sitting on the couch together watching tv. Since my diagnosis, Lexi stays up later each evening and we watch some form of mindless tv for about an hour. It is time that i treasure.
Scott, Nina and Link all share the same love language: Quality Time. It has made me so much more aware that when Scott says he wants to be with just me, i need to jump at that opportunity as it is a purposeful way of strengthening our marriage. I often look at how much work it is to prepare to go away for a couple of days and be away from the kids and tend to think, ahh…it’s not worth it. Not so! Each time, we come home refreshed and i now know this is essential to showing Scott that i am on board with him (at the risk of sounding too sappy!) The drives to Chilliwack with Melina can become less of a chore and more of pointed Quality Time together. She also scored high on Words of Affirmation, so i make an effort to TELL her what i love and appreciate about her. And well, Lincoln, it’s harder to find dedicated time with just the two of us. But i am working at it..i love spending time with him!
It has been a fun revelation to do the tests as a family…you should do it! I think it just gives you more of a purposeful direction in showing your love. Let’s be honest, if i clear the dishwasher FOR Scott, it ain’t gonna spell love for him. He might like it if i would wash his car, but he still wouldn’t receive it in the same way i would. And that’s where points of conflict arise. When you feel that you’ve done something out of love and its not received, right? This has been a fabulous little lesson for us. Would love to hear what you think about it…