Written on October 10, 2007
Gary Chapman says that : "Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in “English”, if your spouse understands only “Chinese”, you will never understand how to love each other.Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love. Communicating love isn’t as easy as feeling “in love,” because it’s quite a different thing. Falling in love is not an act of the will or a conscious choice. It’s effortless. One who is “in love” is not genuinely interested in fostering the personal growth of the other person. If the euphoric pleasure of being “in love” never ended, we might never experience true love and meaningful communication."
We have heard of Gary Chapman’s Love Languages before from Pastor Peter Tanchi but it was only last night that we studied it thouroughly in our DGroup. It was enlightening for me as a daughter, a mother and a wife.
As a daughter, I would be most filled with ‘Words of affirmation’. As a mother, my love tank will be filled with ‘quality time’. As a wife, my primary love language is ‘words of affirmation’ and ‘physical touch’. I am fulfilled when alvin appreciates what I do. This is when he gives me a verbal compliment. Alvin is very appreciative. He thanks me for being a good mother, for cooking his favorite meal, for organizing our photos, etc. I feel most loved when he holds my hand, hugs me, gives me long kisses.
We usually use our love language to express love for others not knowing that it is not the language that he/she understands. I may hold alvin’s hand and hug him tight, because this is my love language, He feels loved, yes, but this is not the love language that he speaks. Alvin feels most loved not by ‘physical touch’ but by ‘words of affirmation’. As a wife, I need to encourage him through words. Sometimes, I am so engrossed in serving him that I forget that what he most need is just a sincere compliment from me that I may sustain him (Isiah 50:4). "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21) and I want to give my husband life.
I also realized that Riel and Aethan also have different love languages. Riel’s eyes sparkle when we give him a reward for a job well done. At this stage, his love language is giving of ‘gifts’. Aethan shrieks with delight whenever we tickle him and carry him on our shoulders, his love language is’physical touch’. Both my kids are fulfilled when we give them’quality time’. This means UNDIVIDED attention given to them. I realized last night that when it comes to our kids, we should not practice ‘multi-tasking’ all the time. Wives are very much guilty of this, including me. I cannot read the papers or watch tv and at the same time play with my kids. Sometimes, we may give our kids a bike that they can ride on but in their mind they can be saying, "I wish mommy and daddy will ride with me". We also learned that we should never take for granted our nightly rituals of ‘play-acting’, ‘pillow fights’ and story telling because these are the times they feel most loved.
When Alvin and I talked last night, we promised ourselves that we will stop anything and everything we are doing when we are with our kids and when they demand our time. Every time we hear - "Hey mommy, look at this…" we should stop what we are doing and appreciate what they are showing us. Quoting Zig Ziglar, "Love for our kids is spelled T-I-M-E".
Last night, Alvin filled my ‘love tank’. We walked from CCF ortigas to EDSA holding hands. We spent quality time together and had a very long talk when we were eating our midnight snack at 11:30pm. We hugged and he gave me a long kiss before we slept.
I would also want to fill his ‘love tank’ all the days of my life. I pray that Alvin and I will always be able to ‘connect’ and express our love for each other. May we speak each other’s love language consistently. Jesus commands us to love one another and He said that His commands are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3) I know we can do this by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Amen.