Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself. Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
Hopefully yesterday wasn’t the first time in 10 days that you’ve told your wife you love her. If it was, or even if it wasn’t, do you realize that hearing “I love you” is extremely important, but it might not be the most effective way to show your love to your wife?
Today’s challenge is to learn a new language – your wife’s love language.
Many of you have heard of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Northfield Publishing, Chicago, 1992). While it may take only a few minutes to learn your wife’s love language, it will take practice to perfect it and speak it fluently.
You see, we are often most prone to give love in the same way in which we ourselves like to receive it; that is, we speak the same love language that we like to hear. If I speak words of affirmation because it is my own love language but not my husband’s, he might know that I love him, but he is not fulfilled as much by my words as he would be by expressions of love in his own love language, such as physical touch or just spending together.
To find out your wife’s primary love language, ask her these five questions:
- Do you feel most loved when someone expresses appreciation for you or for what you have done, no matter how simple the act? (words of affirmation)
- Do you feel most loved when you are given attention and feel that someone wants to spend time with you? (quality time)
- Do you feel most loved when someone brings you gifts or some tangible item, no matter how small or inexpensive? (gifts)
- Do you feel most loved when someone does things for you, taking out the garbage, washing clothes, running errands, etc.? (acts of service)
- Do you feel most loved when you are receiving physical touch? (surprise! physical touch) Note: Be careful here not to confuse physical touch with sex. Think of nonsexual touch: holding hands, sitting close when watching a movie, getting a neck and shoulder rub. Sexual fulfillment is not the same as physical touch as a primary love language.
After you have discovered which of these languages speaks most clearly to your wife, ask her what you can do within her language to show her your love. Trust me, she will have ideas.
Yours for the celebration of marriage,
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