Languages are difficult to learn, especially at my age. I took two years of a foreign language in High school and another two years in college, yet to this day, I can only utter a few words and mumble a couple of phrases in Spanish. When my family and I were stationed in Germany, we learned quickly how difficult language barriers can be when trying to communicate. Even speaking the same language, we often have trouble articulating a particular message in a way that is clear and understandable. If you have never experienced this, you are in a rare group especially if you have had teenagers anywhere in your home. You may be speaking “English” but you learn quickly that you are not speaking the same language! So why is it that we often struggle the most communicating with the ones who are closest to us?
In order to truly communicate well with our loved ones we must first take the time to learn their “language”. Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages and director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc., offers the idea that everyone speaks at least one if not more of 5 primary “Love Languages”. According to Dr. Chapman, we all have a “Love Bank” in which we and those around us, make either deposits or withdrawals all day long. If there are too many withdrawals the bank runs dry and the individual struggles to feel appreciated and loved. If the bank is filled and overflowing, the individual thrives and feels appreciated and loved. Nowhere do we make such huge deposits and withdrawals than in a marriage relationship.
When I am able to learn my wife’s Love Language, I “speak” to her in her language, fulfilling her desire to be appreciated and feel cared for. As with any language, it is far easier to speak my own language than someone else’s, and just like any language, I must make the effort to learn the languages I do not “speak”. When I speak my wife’s love language, I value her, demonstrating my love for her in ways SHE understands and ways SHE feels loved and appreciated. When I learn my wife’s language of love, we both win!
So, I challenge you to become articulate Love Language communicators in your marriage. For assistance, please join us at our Unified Foundations and Unified Tools retreats. Times and dates available at www.dpcouples.org.
Dwelling Place Ministries