Many of you are probably familiar with the 5 love languages as explained by Christian counselor and author Gary Chapman, but I’m pretty sure that many of us are making some mistakes when trying to use the “love languages”.
Before I go any further, let me explain the theory of the love languages and give a brief description of each one. The idea is that every person has one or two prominent ways that they receive the message they are loved by the other person in the relationship. Also, if the other person fails to communicate in your dominant “love language”, you may feel unloved. The 5 love languages are: word of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and gifts.
Here’s where a lot of us make a mistake. We tend to try to communicate love to the other person in the love language that we prefer….the particular way that makes us feel loved….even though that may not be the other person’s love language at all! It’s a natural tendency to want to give love in the way that seems meaningful to you. However, it may not mean much of anything to that other person if that’s not their primary love language! The Bible tells us in Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. But that doesn’t mean devote yourself to showing love in the way YOU want to receive it!
I had that light bolt realization the other day. I was feeling kind of frustrated because my attempts to show love seemed to fall flat, to go unnoticed, and to be totally unappreciated. What? Then I stepped back and realized I was trying to show love in my love language, not his! Duh! I also realized that I was expending a lot of energy trying to communicate love in a way that really wasn’t important to him. Have you been doing the same thing? Maybe it’s time to talk with the other person about which love language is most meaningful to him and then start actually speaking that particular love language instead of your own! It will save you time, energy, and frustration, and it will bring the message of love to him!
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