Monday, January 31, 2011

Joy in Simplicity - #29

Simply Love - how do we live out the trait that Jesus said is the greatest of these: Love.... in a world that doesn't value loving others above yourself, how do we go against the flow and show love to others.

Several years ago I read a book that was life changing for me. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman... it helped me to see giving and recieving love in a whole new way. I learned that not everyone needs words of affirmation like I do (that is my love language). Each person has a primary and a secondary love language. Loving a person in their love language helps us to fill their love tank.

I use this book and concept with all the couples that I do marriage counseling for. It can be revolutionary for a marriage. In fact I have not only used it in pre-marriage counseling but with couples who are having problems and it has changed their marriage.

But it is not just a romantic love, it works for everyone - children have love languages....ask anyone who has several children - they will tell you how different they are. One may be very much a cuddler, the next may need to know you think they are doing a great job. When we fill others love tanks they are better able to in turn love others.

The love languages include Words of Affirmation, Gift Giving, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Which is your love language? Which one is your spouse, your kids? Take a little time and find a love language test online to help you figure it out, or better yet - read the book - it is awesome!

This changed how I taught my students, and how I did ministry, and it makes a huge difference in my marriage to understand Joel's love language is not mine, it takes a little more effort but the more we feel loved the more connected we are as a couple.

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