Why Love Given Isn’t Love Received
Do We Really Love Each Other? – Part 3
In order to communicate successfully with another, one would have to be very versed in the language of the person in which one was speaking. Love is no different. In order to communicate in love, one must know the language of love. Did you know that she has a love-language? And did you ever think that he has a love-language? As a person of faith, I’m fond of this phrase we so often hear, “speak the truth in love.” Speak in love. How does one speak anything in love if they don’t know love’s language? By the way, the default human experience doesn’t give one insight into the language of love. Love is a next level or an uncommon experience. If it were the default, we would not see the issues that we so often see when it comes to “loving” another.
What is the language of love? How can we speak in the language of love? How does a person begin to speak or communicate in love? We have come across five ways to communicate love to another from a book called “The 5 Love Languages.” These languages represent the five communication methods used to display love. They give voice to your significant other’s actions in communicating their love for her or him. Without these ways to communicate love, one person might be saying I love you while the other person doesn’t understand what’s being said. What’s your language of love?
The Five Ways to Communicate Love
Let’s talk about the five ways to communicate love. Before we begin, should you desire a more in-depth study on them, see “The 5 Love Languages.” In his book, author, speaker, and counselor, Gary Chapman has identified the five love languages as: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and gift receiving. Pamela and I use these five designations to reveal the ways in which love is communicated.
- Words of affirmation.
This method to communicate love is when someone feels loved by the words others speak to them. They need others to use vocalized words to validate them to feel love. Can you sense that your spouse feels loved when you speak about them in a positive light? Could this love language be the one that communicates love to your spouse?
- Quality time.
This love communication method has to do with a person feeling loved when you spend face-to-face time with them. Some people feel loved only when they are up-close and in person with their spouse. You see, my wife is one who feels loved in this way. Words of affirmation are nice, but quality time for her trumps them all. Is your spouse a person who feels loved when he or she is simple in your presence with your attention? Could quality time be the communication method of love for your significant other?
- Acts of service.
In order to communicate love with some people it takes acts of service. In one of our team meetings after first discovering the five love languages, we decided to evaluate each team member’s love language. We were surprised when we realized which person at the table had acts of service as their language. It turns out it was my brother. During our discussion we realized that he gives love through acts of service because his way of communicating love comes from acts of service. Is your spouse energized by you when you serve her or him? Are they performing acts of service in the hopes of receiving acts of service? Could it be that your spouse is waiting for you to communicate that you love him or her through this method, acts of service?
- Physical touch.
For some individuals the only way love is communicated is by physical touch. This person needs physical touches in order to feel loved. Because this is the easiest to understand, it’s also the easiest to misunderstand. For people whose love language is something other than physical touch, they often have a challenge showing love to a person who needs love communicated to them by physical touch. You see, physical-ness doesn’t have the same meaning. Does your spouse feel love communicated by way of physical touches? Are you depriving your spouse of hearing love because of your lack of giving physical touches? Have you ever considered that this method of communicating love is the only way that your spouse feels love?
- Receiving gifts.
Everyone knows that person who loves to receive a gift. However, very few realize that receiving gifts is the way love is communicated to this person. It doesn’t matter the size of the gift just as long as there is a gift. Does your spouse come alive when they receive a gift from you? Could it be that your spouse feels you haven’t expressed love to him or her until you show up with a gift? When was the last time you communicated love to your spouse who only feels love in this way, receiving gifts?
The Purpose of Communicating Love in Your Spouse’s Method
In order to bring some balance to this topic and to show my readers the importance of these five ways to communicate love, I consulted the Huffington Post who published an article called, “This Is The Most Common Of The 5 Love Languages.” This article made me realize that the five ways in which love is communicated is more important than we realize. Allow me to show you their findings of how the five love languages stack up amongst the thousands who went online to take their quiz. Here are the percentages:
- Words of affirmation: 23 percent.
- Quality time: 20 percent.
- Acts of service: 20 percent.
- Physical touch: 19 percent.
- Receiving gifts: 18 percent.
As you can see the averages are pretty even, roughly 20%. That means of every 5 persons evaluated each person has a different way in which love is communicated. It also says that the love languages are distributed pretty evenly amongst individuals.
For you and your spouse to have the same love language is quite unlikely. In fact it’s more likely that your love languages differ. With this being the case, then it’s very important to understand the way your spouse hears “love”. Is the difference in how you communicate love and how your spouse communicates it creating problems for you? Probably so. You two are speaking love to one another, but in a foreign language and now it’s time you learn to speak a new love language for your spouse’s sake.
You see, the purpose of this lesson is to reveal two things: 1) that you have a way to communicate love that differs from your spouse and 2) that you might be trying to communicate love to your spouse using the way that speaks to you and not the one that speaks to him or her in love. It’s time to try speaking their language of love in order for you to receive the love you so desire.
Question: when was the last time you communicated I love you in your spouse’s love language?
Reference #1: Ephesians 4:15 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 8, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/EPH.4.15.NLT
Reference #2 – Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Northfield Publishing. 2015.
Reference #3 – Borresen, Kelsey. “This Is The Most Common Of The 5 Love Languages And the least common, if you’re curious.” The Huffington Post, 23 Jul. 2018, huffpost.com/entry/most-common-love-language_n_5b4f906be4b0b15aba8b1d2c.
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.