“You think like an African!” He didn’t mean it as any kind of put down, just the truth, since I was born in and spent most of my first fifteen years in West Africa, we often have a huge gap in communication. Many other couples have challenges, not because they face cultural barriers, but often because they don’t speak each others love language.
Perhaps you think he just doesn’t listen or pay attention to you, so why bother? Take time to learn his “language,” you will be surprised how the connection will grow. We often try to reach our men using OUR languages of love. His could be, and most likely is very different.
A little over a year ago I was given the scary opportunity to teach a class to ladies and was even given the subject I was to cover: “Harmony With Our Husbands.” I discovered the vital importance of learning your husband’s love languages in order to bring great harmony to your marriage. Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages,” was eye opening. There are five specific ways, or “languages,” which help people feel beloved. As I said before: Your husband’s love languages are likely very different than yours. You can take a quiz to see which ones are yours, though in this case, it is not necessarily for him to learn yours, as much as it is for you to discover his. Most of us respond to all of them, but all of us have specific ones which make us feel more loved.
I was pleased that my husband had been willing to take the quiz himself, so I could see what he found most vital. You might get your husband to take it, if you simply ask him. If he won’t, you can give all of the “languages” a try and see which ones seem to make him connect the best with you. In turn you will feel a connection with him.
These are the “Love Languages” that Gary Chapman details in that book, with a few “bread and butter” suggestions on how to show your love each way.
Words of Affirmation
An affirmation is a declaration that something is true or exists. Here are some ideas to try. You might let him know how nice he looks when he is all cleaned up for church, how much you like his muscles, how you appreciate him taking time to play with the kids, working hard to support your family, thanking him for making the extra effort to get the oil in the car changed, or other tasks that he does that you might not regularly pay attention to. You might surprise him by letting him know how much you appreciate him putting the toilet seat down. These words will build your mate’s self image and confidence and love for you, ESPECIALLY if words of affirmation are those which make him feel loved.
ALWAYS CONTROL YOUR WORDS:
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
Our words should be kind, filled with grace, which means: controlled, polite, and pleasant. Some synonyms for grace are: courtesy, favor, kindness and mercy.
Colossians 4:6 says “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Our words should be graceful – full of grace – and lightly seasoned with salt, because a lot of salt makes things unpalatable. Just a little shake makes things taste good. This verse goes on to say: “that ye know how ye ought to answer every man.” It tells us HOW to answer, not WHAT to answer. GRACE and a little salt will help us know HOW we ought to answer our man. This can surely help stop disagreements before they start.
Some spouses believe that simply being together, doing things together and focusing on one another is the best way to show you love them. If he wants you to go shooting, to a car show, or wants you to watch a football game on TV with him, this might be your way to speak his love language. Sometimes just sitting together on the couch and watching a movie might be just what he needs. One of my sisters and her husband do almost all of their errands and shopping together each weekend, and now that he is retired, are out most days together, even driving to the post office to get their mail.
My husband and I go to church together, which is the most important thing you can do together. We don’t go a lot of other places together since we both work at home, and we see a LOT of each other. During the day, I have found that if he asks me “Do you have a minute?” I am wise to stop what I’m doing and join him. If this is your partner’s love language, give him your time and some undivided attention.
Most cultures give gifts. The Japanese even have their produce wrapped in beautiful packaging in the supermarket, so that they can be presented as gifts to those they love or want to impress. Many Japanese show their love that way, or feel loved by receiving these types of gifts.
If receiving gifts is your husband’s love language, he may hear you speaking to him in his language of love when you buy his favorite coffee, have him choose a meal for you to fix each week, bring home an ice cream treat specifically for him, buy him a new bottle of aftershave, a fun t-shirt, or a box of chocolate. At Christmas, you might fill a stocking just for him.
My husband finds it very important to get affirmation from his family, especially on Father’s day. He loves to get a card from his children, receive small gifts, or phone calls. It took me a while to figure that out that this was one of his love languages, because it doesn’t matter to me if I even get a card on Mother’s day.
If you forget a birthday or anniversary or don’t give gifts to someone who truly enjoys gifts, you will find yourself with a spouse who feels neglected and unloved. Your gifts don’t have to be expensive to send a powerful message of love.
Acts of Service
Discovering how you can best DO something for your spouse will require time and creativity. For your husband it may mean getting up early to fix him breakfast or a cup of coffee to go, choosing a tie to match his shirt, replacing a button, or sewing a seam that has come apart, booking a hotel room, packing his suitcase, or even working along side of him as he changes the oil. These acts of service may well be something he has asked you to do, but you keep forgetting or neglecting.
I believe that one of the languages of love for both of my “daughters in love” is acts of service. When either of our sons does something special for his wife, they affirm their love. This is especially true if this act of service is something that was specifically requested. I too feel very loved through acts of service. When my husband replaced the light over our range recently, it was better for me than almost any gift. Getting the oil changed, buying new windshield wipers and replacing them, or having the tires switched may not be much to most ladies, but when he does them for me. I felt very loved. Acts of service are one of my love languages.
Sometimes just touching your spouse’s back, holding hands, or hugging cheek to cheek will speak this language. He may need to be hugged every day. Some people are very uncomfortable either giving or receiving touch, but this is something we all need, and even if you are uncomfortable giving it, you should work on giving him the touch he needs. My honey and I take little moments when we connect through touch, holding hands, a kiss, or a simple brush of the fingertips when we are near.
Years ago some scientists in a communist country did an experiment in an orphanage to see what would happen if a group of babies were deprived of human touch and interaction with others. The result was very straightforward, those who were deprived died. Don’t deprive each other of touch.