The languages of love

Farmville Enterprise May 30, 2018

Many of you have heard the auditory illusion that became popular this month. Upon hearing a recording of one repeated word 53% of 500,000 respondents to a Twitter poll heard “Laurel” while 47% heard “Yanny.” The discrepancy had to do with people hearing higher or lower frequencies.

Just as a group can sit in a room together, listen to a recording, but hear a different word those same people might interpret the actions of a loved one differently. One spouse might believe that by being a hard worker, a good provider and a fiscally responsible investor this demonstrates a high level of love for the spouse and family. Her/his mate might be waiting for encouraging words or special gifts as evidence of caring. It might mean a lot to a husband to have his wife hold his hand in public or put her arm around his waist while she might dislike public displays of affection. Typically, the way we express love is the way we assume others want to see our affection expressed to them. Oftentimes, however, couples discover that they have mixed feelings about how love is best demonstrated. According to marriage counselor, speaker and author The Reverend Gary Chapman in The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, “We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.” Figuring out and responding to the main love language of a spouse could help a lot of marriages. You can take a free Five Love Languages Profile online.  Here are the languages that Chapman, through many years of marital counseling, has observed:

  • Words of Affirmation or verbally expressing appreciation and building up your mate
  • Quality Time or giving the other person your undivided attention to listen and talk
  • Receiving Gifts that might not necessarily be expensive but send a message that your mate was thinking of you
  • Acts of Service means “doing things you know your spouse would like you to do.”
  • Physical Touch might include holding hands, hugging, and snuggling as well as sexual intimacy.

Chapman points out that “Love is a choice” and “When an action doesn’t come naturally to you, it is a greater expression of love.”

These love languages are not only relevant for spouses but also come into play between parents and children. Several years ago our daughter Sonia was butting heads with her father and did not understand why he did not compliment her more. Once I explained that every time he cooked her favorite food or washed her car he was expressing his love things changed dramatically. It was important for her to understand his “Acts of Service” love language and for him to remember that she was looking for “Words of Affirmation.” John 13:1-5 shows one of the many ways that Jesus demonstrated love for his disciples.  “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”



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