It’s February, and you know what that means…LOVE! Valentine’s Day is one of my most favorite holidays because it’s about l-o-v-e. I love the colors, candies, and sweetness of this month. But in the game of life, love is much more than a holiday. Love is a verb, an action word. Which means it takes effort to cultivate and nurture. Jesus provides the perfect framework for us in John 13:34-35. We are to love one another as He has loved us, AND known for the way we love one another. So, how do we put that into action in our lives today? Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, is one of the best practical tools to improve your love communication. In the book, he describes five preferred ways we express and receive love. However, this is not to pigeonhole or label. Each of us has a unique love language ‘dialect,” and there may even be times when we need all five!
Words of Affirmation
I love it when I hear my husband pray for me or give sincere praise and appreciation. It’s not that I “need” to hear it, but he is one of the most important people and valued opinions in my life. When he says he’s proud of me, I feel loved. If your loved one’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your words of praise and appreciation will cultivate the soil of love.
Acts of Service
“Actions speak louder than words.” If your love language is acts of service, having someone take out the trash without being asked or leaving the car with a full tank of gas could speak volumes to your heart.
Gift-giving is a universal, age-old practice. For those whose primary love language is receiving gifts, there is a much deeper meaning. A thoughtful gift, “just because,” lets you know that you are seen and appreciated. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. Something handmade or handwritten may be even more special. Psst…if you’re looking for gift ideas, check out this post with a variety of ideas.
Quality time is about undivided attention. Like gifts, it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or a tremendous amount of time. It’s about being together, enjoying each other’s company, and feeling present with one another- preferably doing something you both enjoy. A drive to the post office or an iced coffee at the drive-thru could mean 15-20 minutes of spending time together in the car, just hanging out!
Physical touch is one of our most primal needs. In marriage, physical touch could be anything from holding hands to a foot rub or sex. Understanding your mate’s need for physical affection and honoring it will go a long way toward your marriage’s happiness. If it is not your love language, showing your spouse that you make this a priority is a sweet way to fill their love tank.
What if we have different love languages?
Thank goodness we are not the same because that would be pretty boring. Part of loving well is caring enough to understand each other’s primary love language and serve them in their preferred way. It cultivates trust, appreciation, and a deep love for one another. Take the time to talk about it with your spouse. Better yet, pick up the book and read it together!
This month on the Sacred Grounds podcast, we are talking about Love & Relationships. Check out this week’s episode where we discuss our love languages in our families. Plus, we’ve got some surprise guest interviews coming up!
And while we’re on the topic of love this week, I want to show my love and appreciation for my subscribers by offering a “Jumpstart Your Journey” giveaway! One lucky winner will get 45 minutes of undivided attention with me as we identify your key areas of focus and craft a plan to help you get there. Check the details below!