Monday, September 21, 2009

Do You Speak Touch?

Did you know that there are over 6,500 languages spoken in the world today? 

And, did you also know that you could be fluent in every one of those languages and still not be able to convey love to your partner?

How is that possible?  It is possible because love has a language all its own.  Or, to be exact, love has 5 different languages.  Don't believe me?  Well, keep reading!

These five different love languages are not something that I have come up with, but merely something that I have come across while attending Sunday School.  The class that Chuck and I are in is studying the five different languages of love.  This is a study created by Gary Chapman, and I must say that he is on target.

So, what are the five different love languages?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  They are
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Acts of Service
4. Gifts
5. Physical Touch

So how do you discover the love language you speak?  Go to and take a few seconds to discover your particular love language.

I, myself, haven't figured out what exactly my love language is, but have an in depth questionaire to help me figure it out.  I first thought it was acts of service, but the more I think about it, the more unsure I become.  Chuck, however, thinks mine is gifts or words of affirmation. 

I was totally against the idea of gifts being my love language because my first thought was of gifts being expensive things.  However, it doesn't necessarily mean that.  So, maybe Chuck is right.  I'll let you know when I finish the questionaire! 

We both decided that his is physical touch with words of affirmation coming in a close second. I've known this, and we have talked about it many times, but it has never hit home like it did when we began this lesson. 

I have often wondered how in the world do I glorify God in all that I do... like doing laundry, cleaning the house, etc.  And, other than being honest, faithful, and true 'til "death do we part," how do I glorify God in my marriage?  Hello!  I am not just supposed to show 'love' my husband however I want, I am supposed to show 'love' to my husband in the way that he wants.  And he is to do the same for me.  Because, if he feels love through physical touch and words of affirmation and I don't do that, he doesn't feel my love for him.  I may gift him thousands of gifts of do all sorts of acts of service for him and he still won't feel loved!

It is such a simple concept, but many times it gets lost and overlooked.  This leads to discontent and unhappiness in relationships.  How many times have you complained to your spouse about what they haven't been doing and how unloved you feel only to have them say, "Well, what about me doing..." and they list off a dozen things.  You can't really argue that they haven't done anything, can you?  But, you feel like the just don't get you.  For a lot of people, it leads to thoughts of "Did I make a mistake?" "Have we become two different people going in two different directions?"  "Do I not love him/her anymore?"  "Does he/she not love me anymore?"  How miserable is that!

And, the crazy thing is, is that both parties feel like they are right and the other is wrong which leads to more tension and discontent.  It is a vicious cycle that eats up many relationships and leads to their fall. 

Chuck and I have a wonderful marriage.  However, there have been some less than wonderful moments that could have been less heartbreaking, painful, etc. if only we knew how to understand the other's love language. 

Like I said before, it is such a simple concept.  But, do not confuse simple for easy.  For the person who isn't a physical touch kind of person, it is hard to show love by physically touching them.  It is awkward and uncomfortable.  Or, just think of the person whose love loanguage is gifts.  If they are in a relationship with someone whose love language isn't gifts, then the person on the receiving end may get mixed messages.  What if they have a fight and the person who loves through gifts brings one to his partner that doesn't love that way.  The partner may feel like he/she is being 'bought.'  The gift may be offensive to that person if the love language isn't understood.

See what I mean?  When you learn about love languages, you realize that, yes, it is a simple concept, but a very hard thing to put in motion. 

So, what if you don't know your partner's love language?  Try to get them to check out the website and find out.  If they won't do that, then pay attention to things they do for you.  Is he or she always bringing you gifts?  Saying words of affirmation?  Touching you?  Most of the time, we love others in the way that we want to be loved.  So,with that said, try loving your partner the way that he/she is loving you.  If that doesn't work, try another of the love languages.  The point, though, is to keep trying, to figure out how to show the one you love just how much you love them.  And, the best way to do that is to speak their language. 

Think of it like this... How would you explain cancer to a 5 year old?  A 10 year old?  A 20 year old?  You use different words, different ideas to explain this to a person depending on what they can comprehend.  Love languages are the same way.  To truly get someone to understand, you have to find their language.

So, my challenge to you, is to find out your love language and explain it to your partner.  Then find out what their love language is and do everything that you can to love them in their language.  It won't always be easy, comfortable, fun, or what you want to do, but that's what we do when we love someone...

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