Five Love Languages
“I guess I know you love me, but sometimes I don’t feel it. Sometimes I feel that you don’t love me at all.” That quote comes from “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.
In our dating or marriage relationships, parent/child and everyday relationships we may be expressing love in how we understand and want to receive love, but the ones we’re trying to express it to, understand love in a different way, in a different language. It would be like speaking Chinese to someone who only speaks English. The message would be confusing and it would feel like the above quote, taken from a son telling his father that the way he feels love is by ‘acts of service’. The father, for his part, thought his son would be better served if he learned to be independent and strong on his own. The good intentions of the father made the son feel like his father didn’t really care about him.
In one of his famous parables “The Prodigal Son” (a better title might be “The Loving, Forgiving and Affectionate Father”, representing Father, God) Jesus emphasizes how the father not only welcomes his wayward son back, he exuberantly embraces him. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
A wife is frustrated with her husband because she keeps asking him to paint the bedroom, for nine months the wife has been “after” him. The question was asked, does he do anything good around the house…like taking out the garbage, putting gas in the car, paying bills? The wife responded, that in fact, the husband did do all those things. The wife was told to affirm the husband for what he was doing and not to ever mention the bedroom needing painting again. ‘Words of affirmation’ like, “I really appreciate that you take out the garbage” not “about time you took out the garbage because the flies were going to carry it out for you.”
“The object of love is not getting something YOU want but doing something for the wellbeing of the ONE YOU LOVE. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words, we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate.” Within three weeks, the bedroom was painted. Let us learn together our own love language and how to speak to each other’s love language, so that we know we are and feel loved.