Sometimes I find an article so good that there’s no way I could re-write it myself, so I might as well just share it. It’s a post from DaySpring, a faith-based company that makes beautiful cards, devotionals and gift items.
Several years ago my friend Tricia led a study on the book by Dr. Gary Patterson titled “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.” In his book The 5 Love Languages, author Gary Chapman offers thoughtful guidance for our most special relationships. Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. Do you forget to compliment your spouse, to give gifts ‘just because,’ or to linger in your spouse’s embrace? The things that say “I love you” seem to either not get said or not get through. The 5 Love Languages is about saying it—and hearing it—clearly. No gimmicks, no psychoanalyzing…just learning to express love in your spouse’s language, whether it’s with words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch. You can take the quiz included in the book to determine your own personal love language. Here’s the description of each love language from the article:
The ‘receiving gifts’ love language doesn’t mean you can grab any stuffed bear off the shelf on your way home from work. It’s not just about the gifts. Your spouse wants to know what makes the gift special. Meaningful gifts say you’ve been thinking of them throughout the day. This Valentine’s Day, a bouquet of flowers and a picture frame with a photo of the two of you is a wonderful gift for this love language—but make sure you tell them why the photo is your favorite. As you can imagine, this is my top love language. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift, flowers from Costco are a wonderful reminder that Mr. Bee was thinking of me.
Spending time together doesn’t have to mean going out. Dinner and a movie is a fun way to spend an evening, but it’s impossible to talk to each other at a movie theater. Instead, make some gourmet-flavored popcorn together and watch your favorite romantic movie at home. This will allow you to talk about how the main characters’ love story inspires your own. An example of something recently that Mr. Bee and I did was we took a nap together while watching a rerun of NCIS. At one point I had to move him a little because he was breathing on me and I thought it was going to burn a hole in my back. But nonetheless, it was sweet. We are so busy that we often don’t take time to just snuggle for 30 minutes.
Words of Affirmation:
Building up your spouse with heartfelt words of affirmation has even more impact when you tell them why you love them. Give her a handwritten card that expresses your favorite things about her and watch her light up as she discovers what you admire about her. She’s likely got every card you’ve given her tucked away in a memory box, so add to her collection at every occasion. After gifts, this is my second love language. Mr. Bee and I leave each other little notes around the house, stuck in a sock drawer or on a grocery list. But, honestly, just being told thank you for doing the laundry or the house looks nice, is good enough for me.
Acts of Service:
Taking over a project for your spouse is a surefire way to their heart if they cherish acts of service—checking something off their to-do list will fill them with love. Making him his favorite meal for dinner—even if you’re not fond of it—can speak volumes to someone whose love language is ‘acts of service.’ This is one of Mr. Bee’s love languages so I try to do things for him that I know he would appreciate like doing his laundry or finishing up the yard work. And seriously, there is nothing more sexy than a man washing dishes.
There are many activities you can try if physical touch fills your spouse’s love tank. Get your wife a necklace or bracelet—but place it around her neck for her so she can connect with you through physical touch. For men, this is usually at the top of their list. It’s just the way they are wired. But, just a simple, unsolicited hug or taking their hand while you are coming out of the movie, means alot to them.
Read the entire post here as it also suggests gift ideas that match each love language. Dr. Chapman also wrote a book to help determine the love language of our children “The Secret to Loving Children Effectively” you can find here.
I think it would be a fun Valentine’s Day to purchase the book, each take the quiz, then plan your evening based on the results!