Do you know what "love languages" are? In his book, The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman says a love language is how someone wants to be shown love because it satisfies a deep-seated need.
According to Dr. Chapman, the five love languages are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
Quality Time refers to spending time together as a couple. People who have this as their love language feel loved when they are taken out on special dates, when their spouse clears the calendar for them, or when the television is turned off in order to have a conversation.
Others prefer Words of Affirmation as a way to be shown love. Telling your spouse how you appreciate them, encouraging them, and general words of praise and acceptance all show your love.
If Gifts is your spouse's love language, then you need to understand that for them, gifts are not simply material objects -- they are expressions of your love.
If your spouse's love language is Acts of Service, they will appreciate your help more than anything. Give them a night off from cooking or other household chores. Repair that leaky faucet. Help them with the yard work. Prepare them a nice lunch to take to work.
Some people prefer Physical Touch as their love language. A simple touch on the arm, hug or backrub will convey your love to them.
Problems occur when spouses do not recognize each other's love language and attempt to show love in ways that are less meaningful to the other spouse. For example, consider if your spouse has the love language of Acts of Service, but you assume they would rather have gifts. They might be appreciative of your presents, but your love would be more obvious to them if you helped them around the house. To them, a cleaned house means more than a box of candy.
So find out what your spouse's love language is and show them love in the ways that they can best understand.
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