Have you ever heard of ‘The 5 Love Language”? The Five Love Language was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman. In his book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts“, Dr Chapman describes five ways we communicate love or receive it. The key is to communicate love in the other person’s love language and not your own.
I came across this theory, a couple of years ago. I took a brief test to see what my love language is, during a program that I participated in. The test shows my particular language is “Quality Time”. I’ll explain each of these languages and how they can help overcome negativity in someone’s life.
Yes, Dr. Chapman describes 5 ways a person receives or communicate love. They are “Word of Affirmation”, “Quality Time”, “”Gifts”, “Service” and “Touch”.
As I am not a trained psychologist or counselor, there is a limit to how I can help. Why am I mentioning this fact? You will find out shortly. At the same time, I have taken a variety of psychology courses and I’ve been a student of inner healing, for years. Because of this and my desire to help my readers overcome negativity through the love of Jesus; the topic of the 5 Love Language seems a natural fit.
From what I’ve seen, Dr. Gary Chapman seems to deal largely with relationship. Yet, I can see the potential for helping someone on an individual level. How so? First, it helps to know that no one person fits exclusively in one category or another. Everyone appreciate a kind word or two. Yet, some people seem to need it a whole lot more.
In case you missed it, the firs love language is “Word of Affirmation”. Let’s face it, we all need a kind word or two. Yet, it is not everyone’s primary love language. For these people, a negative criticism can cut a whole lot deeper than someone else.
Because I have a different love language, negative criticisms will sting; however, its effect will be minor. If “Word of Affirmation” is my primary love language then the hurt would go a lot deeper. I’ve been on the receiving of harsh words and I do understand the pain caused by such words.
You see, my secondary language is “Word of Affirmation”. Yes, I am multi-lingual. It’s why I have a concern for what we say and I try to be an encourager. It’s also why I have a need for input.
If “Word of Affirmation” is on the bottom of the barrel then you are simply not going to care. Though you may appreciate a kind word, it is not an essential for you. Yet, you should not shy away from giving a kind word. Remember, it cost nothing to say something nice.
A kind and timely word can go along way in helping someone to get out of a depressed mood. If you are walking with Christ Jesus then I’d encourage you to seek God. Ask the Holy Spirit, “What can I say to help someone?” You simply need to be open to what God, the Father will give you. It may be a kind word, a word from God that really resonate with that person or it could be a “Word of Knowledge”.
What is the second Love Language? My primary language is “Quality Time”. What is meant by “quality time”? I’ll put it in my own words. I actually appreciate it when someone spend time with me. It could involve a brief visit, helping with a project or someone sitting down and listening. Keep in mind, it is not about the quantity of time; rather it is the quality of the time spent.
Why is this important? If you want to help someone, who’s language is “Quality Time” then you need to turn off the cell phone and pay attention to the person. By doing so, you are literally saying “You’re of value.” or “You matter!” Do you get it?
For me, I struggled with the feeling of inadequacy and of no value. I thought, “I need to prove myself and show that I’m of value”. I drove myself and everyone else crazy with this antics. It goes even deeper. I’d waste time seeking the attention of extremely busy people. Why did I do that? Subconsciously, I was setting myself up for failure in an effort to validate a lie.
The busier the person is, it is the less likely they’d spend time with me. Such is the predicament for someone who’s primary language is “Quality Time.”. I have to credit my Father for helping me to break free of this bad habit. Here is the reality of the situation.
If you’re struggling like I did then I have a possible suggestion for you. Ask Jesus, “Who can I spend time with? Who’d be open to a visit from me?” Did you ever think that you could be a blessing to someone else? It may be that they’ll return the favor and spend time with you.
Other people are not the only ones that you can get quality time with. Have you ever consider that God, the Father wants to spend quality time with you? Here is the best part. God is never too busy to spend time with you. The Bible is certainly one way; however, prayer is another option for you, to pursue.
Don’t be afraid. God is not afraid of you being real with him. Though I would encourage a dose of humility, honesty and a willingness to listen. It is never too late to talk with God, the Father. You can start by thanking Jesus for making a way for you.
Let’s move on to the third language and it’s called “Service” or “Act of Service”. What does this mean? If your primary language is “Service” then you’re going to greatly appreciate acts of kindness in the area of service. For instance, you may appreciate your spouse cooking dinner or other such acts. These acts of love are best done freely and not through manipulation.
My mother’s primary love language may have been “Acts of Service”. I can recall her saying she appreciated Dad telling her sons, “Help your mother with the dishes.” It’s not the only memory, I believe she appreciated when I did certain things for her. At the same time, she wanted to be appreciated for what she did.
I have to give credit to Jesus for healing my heart and helping me, to see how I can communicate love to my mother. As I consider what to say, it seems I’ve found a good spot to bring up an important point. Did you notice that I’m communicating love in a third language?
My point is, we are all multilingual. With practice and guidance, we can each learn to communicate love in different ways By doing so, we can help someone overcome the negativity in their lives. As always, I would encourage you to pray and seek God’s help. It’s a great starting point.
What about the last two love languages? “Gifts” and “Touch” are two additional ways some people receive love or communicate it. Gifts can be best summed up in the catchphrase, “It’s the thoughts that count.” It could be a simple home cooked meal or you picking up a favorite treat. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift. If your primary love language is “Gift” then you’re going to greatly appreciate a gift that is freely given.
If you know someone with such a language and they’re hurting then a simple gift can mean a great deal. Why is that? It means you took the time to get something for that person. It’s more effective when it’s something they want or like.
As for the final language of “Touch”, it is one that I approach with wariness. If the person suffered from physical abuse or sexual abuse than you should approach with caution. This especially true if their primary love language is “Touch”. Rather, I would encourage you to seek counseling for that person. They have already gone through enough pain. Plus, your hug could easily be misinterpreted.
It is best to ask permission before giving the person, a hug. Even if refused, the offer of a hug can say a lot to the person. It means someone cares. As always, I would encourage you to pray for the person and to seek God for wisdom. Don’t be afraid to talk to God, the Father.