When I finished the last page of The 5 Love Languages, I felt a knot in my stomach and KNEW I was in trouble. Matthew and I were engaged at the time and I remember thinking, “I don’t know HOW our future marriage is going to work.” Like most couples, Matthew’s ‘Love Language’ was TOTALLY different than mine. It was clear I needed WORDS of AFFIRMATION and he needed ACTS of SERVICE. The problem with a couple having two different ways each one likes to RECEIVE love, is a person typically uses that ‘Love Language’ (even if it’s not what the other person needs) to GIVE love.
My fears proved to be true during our first year of marriage. Matthew would use ACTS of SERVICE (his own ‘Love Language’) to show me he loved me. On any given Saturday morning, he’d wake-up early to cut the grass, unload the dishwasher and clean the garage. Yet, my feelings for him would have been no different than if he were to have spent the last 6 hours lying on the couch watching ESPN. I, on the other-hand, would try to express my love by drowning him in sweet, wonderful and encourage WORDS. Yet to him, for reasons I still will never understand, I might as well have been talking to a spoon.
It took our first Small Group and some overly-sensitive, late-night conversations before it finally ‘clicked‘ for both of us. Now, it’s a big joke in our house. When I returned home from shooting in Arizona, I walked into a clean house and thanked Matthew for cleaning-up while I was gone. He quickly corrected me, stating, “Oh, I just barely picked-up the place. I started to really, really clean it, but I knew it’d mean more to you if I just told you how sweet you are.” And he was RIGHT! I actually remember sitting at the Varsity after he and the kids picked me up from the airport that same night. Even though WORDS of AFFIRMATION mean nothing to him, he spent the entire meal telling me how much they all loved & missed me, how much he appreciates all I do when he’s gone and how I’m the sweetest girl he’s ever met. The result of him choosing to speak MY ‘Love Language’ (something that required work and didn’t come naturally), resulted in encouraging words I will never forget AND my Varsity onion rings getting sprinkled with a few happy tears!
When I first spotted The 5 Love Languages of Children, I worried it might not offer any new ‘insight‘ than the first book, but decided to give it a chance. I was wrong! This book was not only filled with ways to only determine WHAT your child’s ‘Love Language’ is, but, most importantly, lots of practical ideas on HOW to best EXPRESS your LOVE to them in a way they were CREATED to receive it.
Which brings me to my perfect girl. Even at 4 years old, Rayna’s’ Love Languages’ are very clear to me: QUALITY TIME & WORDS of AFFIRMATION. (Wonder who she gets that from!) So, when her cousin Madison spent an entire week doing EXACTLY what Rayna LOVES to do, Madison became one of Rayna’s favorite people in the world!
Here’s a few pictures of Madison and Rayna doing what they do best… COOKING and having FUN together!
I am obviously very passionate about this subject! (If you don’t believe me, just ask my family, friends or anyone in my Small Group!) I highly recommend reading and learning as much as you can on this subject! It’s been SO beneficial to mine and Matthew’s marriage, as well as the way I love-on my kiddies.
Let me know what YOU think! Have any of you already read these books? What are YOUR thoughts?!?!