Power & Compassion Christian Marriage Retreat is the work of Dale Lee [Ed.S. LCPC] & Adi Lee [M.A.], a husband and wife counseling team w/a love for Christ and a passion for helping people.

A Closer Look At The Five Love Languages

The five love languages and marriage[Strengthening Your Marriage With The 5 Love Languages - Part 2]

Last week we discussed the true value and importance of love and why it is important to learn which of the five love languages your spouse most identifies with so that you can effectively communicate your love to them in a way that will make them feel special and appreciated.  This week we are going to delve in deeper and take a closer look at the five love languages.  I will teach you how to discover what your spouses love language is, and how to communicate that love to them in a genuine and practical way.

It is not so important that you and your spouse identify with the same love language, what is important is that you take the time to learn what your spouses love language is, and that you make it a habit to communicate that love language to your spouse as often and as purposefully as you can. The point is, if you want your marriage to stand the test of time and continue to grow stronger throughout the years, then you need to make it a daily practice to speak your spouses love language to them as often as you can, and not begrudgingly, but from the heart.

With that in mind, lets take a closer look at each of the five love languages mentioned above…

Words of Affirmation

Some people experience the greatest feelings of love and emotion from being praised for the good things they do, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem. In fact, if you notice and compliment them on the small things, that will actually have the greatest impact on them and show them that you really love and appreciate them in a profound way.

How this looks practically:

Wives, does your husband work hard at his job to provide food and shelter for the family? Let him know that you appreciate his effort. Tell him on a regular basis how good it makes you feel to know that you are secure and well-cared for because of his dedication and sacrifice. Does he take out the trash without you having to ask repeatedly over and over again? Tell him that you are thankful for his thoughtfulness and let him know that his efforts are not going unnoticed. These may seem like ordinary routine things to you, but when someone is noticed and praised for their good works, it will often lead to a greater desire on their part to do even more good in return.

Husbands, does your wife do an amazing job taking care of the kids? Does she keep a clean house and make sure that you never leave for work in the morning on an empty stomach? Make sure she knows how much that means to you! Tell her how great the house looks, tell her how proud you are of the children and how great a job she is doing in raising them. Or maybe your wife is holding down a regular job in order to help pay the mortgage and feed the family. If that is the case, let her know how much her contribution helps and how proud you are of her for what she does. She need to hear that she is doing a good job, and that her contribution is helpful and important.

As you provide these affirmations to your spouse, watch his/her emotions and read how they respond. If words of affirmation is one of your spouses primary love languages, you will know it. Their eyes will light up when you compliment them for their work, and they will respond with love and affection back towards you.

Acts of Service

For some people, words are not enough. Maybe they have been lied to and deceived to much in the past, so they are distrusting of mere words, or maybe their self-esteem is low, so they just don’t accept words of encouragement and affirmations very well. Whatever the case, sometimes, in order to show your love in a way that your spouse will respond to you have got to put some action behind your words.

Instead of just telling your spouse that you appreciate the dinners that they make every night, maybe you should offer to lend a helping hand in the kitchen, in addition to telling them how much you appreciate their service. Tell them how delicious the dinner is, but also offer to clean the kitchen up after dinner.

If your spouse works hard at their job everyday, maybe you should show them how much you appreciate their diligence by preparing a special evening for them when they get home, complete with a candlelight dinner and a back-massage.

Try to think of little ways that you can put action behind your words when you want to tell your spouse how much you appreciate what they do.

Again, remember to watch how they respond to these acts of service, as you are doing them. If your spouse really responds with an upbeat demeanor and reciprocal feelings of love and affection, then you know that you are on the right track!

Receiving Gifts

Gift giving is a natural extension and expression of love. When you love someone you just want to give them good things to express that love. For some people, receiving heartfelt gifts is their primary love language. If your spouse is a person who’s primary love language is receiving gifts, then you will see their face light up with exuberance each time you give them something special, whether it is on a birthday, holiday or ‘just because.’

The gifts you give don’t necessarily always need to be expensive gifts. In fact often times the more simple and heart-felt gifts speak the loudest. A homemade card that says “I Love You” … a couple of flowers that you picked from the garden, or a single rose that you purchased from the corner market on the way home from work. Perhaps it is just a coffee, or a special lunch or dinner out that you treat your spouse to some day during the week. These types of things speak volumes to the person who’s love language is receiving gifts. Make sure you give these special gifts not just on special occasions, but other times as well. If receiving gifts is the love language your spouse identifies with then I recommend you do special things for your spouse often, and for no apparent reason.

Quality Time

Time is one of our most precious resources in life. We only have a finite amount of it to work with, and it seems there is never enough of it in any given day. For these reasons, and because of our own selfish nature, we often times neglect giving quality time to those that we love. However for some people, spending quality time together with you and receiving your undivided attention is the only way that they will really feel your love. Notice I said ‘undivided attention’ that doesn’t mean simply going to the game with your spouse, or sitting down and watching TV for an hour with your spouse. For the individual who’s love language is spending quality time with you, those kinds of activities, even though done together, simply is not going to cut it.

If your spouse is a ‘quality time’ kind of person, you need to shut off the TV and the cell phone and go for a walk together in the park. Talk. Share what’s on your mind, and listen to what is on theirs. Have a quiet candle-lit dinner together. Or just carve out an hour or two in your day after work to kick back on the sofa and talk, or snuggle. The important thing to remember is your spouse needs to connect with you on a personal and intimate level. He/she needs to know that you find them valuable, more valuable than the one-hundred and one other things that you could be doing with your time. You need to take drastic measures to prove to them that this is true, and that means doing whatever it takes to give them your undivided attention for however long it takes.

Physical Touch

Touch has always been an important part of romantic relationships, and relationships in general. We coddle little babies, we hug our children, we kiss and caress our spouses. Infants learn to recognize feelings of love from a parents touch long before they ever learn or understand the meaning of the word love. Touch cuts straight through the noise and confusion of this world and speaks straight to the heart with the message of love.

When it comes to marriage love can be displayed through physical touch in many ways including kisses, a loving embrace, holding hands as you walk, or caressing the back of your spouses neck. It can be touching your partners knee as you are driving or sitting together, or something as powerful and intimate as sexual intercourse. Touch is a powerful emotional connection in any relationship, but for some, it is the single most important way that they feel and experience love.

Once again, with this love language, as with all of the aforementioned ones, watch closely as you communicate your feelings of love to your spouse through touch. If this is the love language that most clearly communicates your love to your spouse, they will let you know know it. They almost immediately light up and get emotional as you begin ‘communicating’ with them on their level. And they will begin to reciprocate that love back towards you in their own way.

One last thing before we close down this article. As you are talking with your spouse, don’t be afraid to open up and share with them what your love language is. Let them know by saying “You know I really love it when you { insert your love language here }.” And encourage them to share their feelings and emotional desires with you as well.

In order to have a strong and passionate marriage and romance, it is vitally important that you discover what your spouses love language is and practice communicating your love to them using that language in the most honest and genuine way possible.

You can learn much more about how to effectively communicate your love to your spouse by attending one of Power & Compassion’s Christian Marriage Retreat weekends. Learn more by visiting our main website here.

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