In Sunday School we’ve been studying The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I really can’t say enough about this book. I know in my class, I don’t do it justice. I just can’t cover it all in that amount of time. If you’re out there and your marriage just isn’t what it should be, or what you thought it would be, you need to read this with your spouse. It’s that good.
The gist is this. Dr. Chapman believes there are five basic languages that people use to speak love, sending and receiving. They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Basically, each person speaks one or two of these languages well and probably one or two of them very poorly. Rarely will your love language match the love language of your spouse. Therein lies the problem.
The husband who speaks Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch well paired with a wife who speaks Quality Time is a set up for failure. Here’s a guy who works hard, buys his wife nice things, and is looking to be shown love through physical means. He just doesn’t understand why she is so cold toward him in the bedroom. Of course, the entire time, she feels bought and paid for, but certainly not loved. Their love life is pretty much like a Russian trying to have a conversation with an American. They might eventually communicate, but it will be difficult at best and certainly not deep.
He loves her. She loves him. However, neither one feels it from the other. If this couple would learn to speak each other’s language, both of them would begin to feel the love that the other has for them.
Here’s the deal. This book isn’t just for squabbling mates. Amy and I have a great marriage, 25 years this May, but I am convicted and awakened on nearly every page. Today, for instance, we studied about a wife who tried to tell her husband about her work when she arrived home. Well, the husband listened a bit and then started giving advice on how to handle the situation she was describing. Same the next day, with no implementation of the advice and no change in the situation. This continued until the husband became frustrated and said, “Don’t tell me about it. You won’t do anything I suggest.” The problem though, she wasn’t asking for advice. She was asking for her husband to listen to her, sympathize. Eventually, she may have asked for advice. But she wanted to engage in Quality Conversation. He wanted to speak, not listen. That is me to a T. I am definitely going to apply one of the remedies in the book.
In future blogs I’ll go into the languages. In the meantime, go buy the book and start reading!