Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are You Speaking My Language?

The subject of love languages came on my radar around 10 years ago, shortly after the time I became a Christian. I had not(and still haven't) read Gary Chapman's book(s), The Five Love Languages. Since the understanding of the concept of love languages came into my existence I have often used it a much more specific way than I have been told Chapman does. I guess I kind of create some sub categories. For instance, I would say that one of my Mother's love languages is food - she loves with the food she makes. I would say that one of mine is punching - I love with the punches I give to your face. That kind of thing.

It wasn't until church this morning that I actually got to hear what Chapman's 5 languages actually are (imagine my shock and awe when punching and food where not on the list!). They actually really resonated with me both as things that for the most part I think I successfully do, but also as things I very much crave in relationship. As a part of a sermon encouraging us to speak out our faith we were encouraged to listen, watch and learn what other people's love languages are (in A.Z. language - felt needs) and speak them (real deeds).

Chapman's languages are:
  1. Words of affirmation - aka encouragement
  2. Quality time - aka spending time with someone and making them the focus of that time
  3. Gifts - the giving, the recieving, the treasuring
  4. Acts of service - allieviating the burdens, meeting the needs
  5. Physical touch - we need this to survive and grow
I was really encouraged to hear these 'cause well, I think they are something I do pretty well. Relationships are something that for the most part I do well (I will admit to having made abominations of some relationships). Obviously there is more I can be looking for, more language to learn and to speak.

So as you're going through your life - take some time to think about those who are surrounding you; coworkers; family; friends; neighbours; housemates; community and see if you can listen for those languages. If you can't hear them, pray and ask that you would. It can't hurt to have a little more love in the world.

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