You may have participated in the survey I held on this blog. The question was: What is your love language? Here were the results.
Quality Time seemed to be the leading love language, getting more than half of the votes. No one who reads my blogs seemed to have the love language of receiving gifts. For the 7% of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, the 5 Love Languages were invented by Gary Chapman, a Christian author and marriage counselor. Here is the link to where you can take the test for yourself and I encourage you to do so. The love languages were originally created to help married couples learn how to live together in peace and joy. Everyone loves and receives love a little differently.
Love languages can also be used in family and friend relationships. For example, if your friend feels love through words of affirmation and you only show her love through physical touch, your relationship will be more distant than if you showed her love in the way she understands it best.
In my friend group back in high school, we all took the love language test and used it to deepen our friendships and grow closer to each other. My sister Ali and I have vastly different love languages. Her first love language (physical touch) is my last love language. My love language, quality time, is her third or fourth. Understanding this about each other helped us make an effort to show one another love in our languages. I attempt to hug Ali and touch her arm more often than I once did, and she realizes that when we're gone at college, it's important to me for her to make an effort to keep in touch.
As you can see above, there are five different love languages:
Words of Affirmation is when you receive love through words of sincere encouragement and love.
Example: "I love you." "Hey, your friendship means a lot to me." "You are so talented at playing the piano. I love hearing your music."
Avoid: Too much or too harsh criticism. Words can especially hurt for people who have this love language.
Quality Time is when you receive love through one-on-one time and undivided attention.
Example: Making an effort to meet your friend at a coffee shop to have a one-on-one conversation. Initiating some of your hang-outs. Keeping in touch.
Avoid: Texting or watching TV when having a conversation. Canceling hang-outs multiple times. Never bothering to have one-on-one conversation.
Receiving Gifts is when you receive love through the time and effort it takes for someone to make or purchase you a thoughtful gift.
Example: Making a special effort to give someone a unique and thoughtful gift for a holiday. Giving flowers or a sweet note "just because." Remembering birthdays and special events.
Avoid: Forgetting this person's birthday. Giving a thoughtless gift that doesn't carry much meaning to you.
Acts of Service is when you receive love through thoughtful gestures and a helping hand.
Example: Spending an afternoon helping your friend move into her new apartment. Doing the dishes without asking. Offering to cook dinner.
Avoid: Being lazy and never offering to help out your friend. When she has to do all the work, she feels unloved.
Physical Touch is when you receive love through physical contact.
Example: Hugs. Touches on the arm when you talk. Even touching your foot against her leg when you are sitting side-by-side at the movies.
Avoid: Not hugging your friend. Keeping a physical distance in conversation.
The five love languages have made a difference in the lives of my friends and me. After knowing your friends' love languages, you can better know how to serve them and show them how much you care. Ephesians 5:21 encourages us to submit to each other in reverence for Christ. Loving your friends in their own languages can be a perfect way to serve them and submit to their needs in love.
If you have never taken the love language test, I encourage you to do so. If you have, I challenge you to read Gary Chapman's book or at least take a look at his website, 5LoveLanguages.com.
What is your love language? Has knowing your love language helped you to communicate with your family and friends?