In marriage, being authentic about your affection means that you take into consideration what your spouse needs to experience your love. Marriages are all different. Why? Simply because each marriage is made up of two, distinctly unique people with different needs. Even though your marriage may not look like others around you, God has put you together. Do you know what way you most appreciate affection? And what ways does your spouse appreciate affection? A great place to start is to discover your and your spouse’s love language. Knowing each other’s love language can strengthen and improve your relationship.
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
The Story of the Five Love Languages
In his early years, Gary Chapman, Ph.D., a well-known author, speaker, marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars, noticed a pattern of spouses saying “I feel like he/she doesn’t love me.” The other would protest, “I don’t know what else to do! I’m doing everything I should be doing.”
Dr. Chapman pored through years of session notes and asked himself, “When someone said, ‘I feel like my spouse doesn’t love me,’ what do they actually want?” Their answers fell into five categories, which revealed a unique approach in how to effectively love another person. This was the birth of the five love languages. Different people with different personalities express love in different ways.
What Are the Five Love Languages?
1. Words of Affirmation
This language uses words to affirm other people. Words are a powerful tool from God. They can be an instrument of encouragement and healing. They can also be a weapon of destruction and wounds.
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!
Proverbs 15:23 NIV
Are you using your words for encouragement? What words can you use to uplift your spouse? Ask God to remind you that true love comes from Him and to use your words that will touch your spouse’s heart. Let your words be a blessing not a burden.
2. Acts of Service
Can making the bed and putting dishes in the dishwasher express love? For this person, of course! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them implies their feelings do not matter.
What can you do to serve your spouse? How does it make you feel when your spouse does something nice for you?
3. Receiving Gifts
“Receiving Gifts” is not materialism. If your spouse’s love language is “Receiving Gifts” they thrive on the
- effort behind the gift
The gift or gesture shows them that they are known, cared for, and prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring them the gift.
4. Quality Time
Nothing says, “I love you” to this person like full, undivided attention. For this person, it’s very important to make it a priority to enjoy each other’s company.
What things do you love to do together? How can you nurture your friendship? Jesus brought you together. Ask Him to help you find common interests, so you can enjoy each other’s company better. If you can’t think of anything you both like, try new activities. Be creative.
God knew humanity’s great need for companionship. In marriage, man and wife are united as one; a constant companion. Your spouse is a friend who laughs with you, cries with you, and challenges you to be your best. God knew we needed one another. When was the last time you had some quality time with your spouse?
5. Physical Touch
A person whose love language is “Physical Touch” enjoys
- pats on the back
- holding hands
- thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face.
All these are ways to show excitement, concern, care and love. Physical touch fosters the sense of security and belonging for this person.
Marriage is a Gift and Blessing From God
God gave us the gift of companionship. He can help you draw close to your spouse and strengthen your marriage. Thank God for giving you your spouse. Ask Him to help you communicate your affections honestly and gratefully, and lead you to discover renewed and deepened affection for each other.
Knowing your and your spouse’s love language and speaking to that can be beneficial to your relationship; however, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love your spouse in all five ways.
Take the Five Love Language Quiz
Take the five love language quiz today! Learn your love language, and encourage your spouse to take it to learn theirs as well. Discovering each other’s love language is a way you can honor your spouse by giving them the affection they desire.
Connect with Candlewood Church
If you have questions about the Five Love Languages, are in need of prayer, or a church home, please connect with Candlewood Church in Omaha, NE today. We would love to hear from you!