love language

“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.

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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.

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.

Quality Time

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.

Physical Touch

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.

No matter what “languages” the two of you speak, take the time to give them all a try to help build a stronger relationship with your man.  All of the “Love Languages” have great benefits in a  relationship.

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Edited:   This was originally posted in October of 2014


    • March 6, 2016 at 5:09 am

      Oh, WOW! You newlyweds, Congratulations. Making it work takes work, but it is worth it, for a little bit of “heaven on earth.”

  • March 6, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Great post! learning how to love THEIR way is always a good idea! We are given specific instructions on how to worship the Father, so why not our hubbies? <3 love!

    • March 6, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      Yes! So right. They surely need our love and respect. It is wonderful when we can know what it is that makes them feel that way.

  • March 6, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    It’s definitely so important to realize that we don’t always think and feel the same way as our spouse. Some great thought provoking ideas here to make sure we are speaking their “Love language” .

    • March 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      It took me forever to figure this out, especially since I was raised overseas, it has been a challenge letting my honey know how much I appreciate him.

  • June 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Thank for this reminder. I am Steve’s 3rd wife. He tells me that no one has ever shown him the “respect” that I do. He says that it makes him feel like a king. He has always been surrounded by women who’s love language was gifts. So he is very generous with me. But my love languages are touch and words of affirmation. As I have loved him in my way, he has learned that those are his love languages as well. It works out very well. But because of his past training, I do benefit from some very beautiful gifts. Not necessary, but nice nonetheless.

    • June 10, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      It is so vital to understand how important these things are – fully understanding each other. Sounds like you’ve got it working well.

  • June 16, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Such a good post! How much fighting and miscommunication in a marriage is simply the result of not speaking our spouse’s love language?

    • June 17, 2016 at 12:48 am

      It’s so true. I hadn’t realized that simply LISTENING to my man made him feel mighty loved!

    • September 10, 2016 at 8:20 am

      I think that the tricky part is keeping it at the forefront of your relationship. (or mine!!) 🙂

  • September 10, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Marjie- I was walking the mall today with Mrs V. We were solving the worlds problems in our weekly 2 1/2 hour walk. We were talking about the love languages. Her love languages are different than her husbands and though she is sad that he does not “speak” the language that she longs for (physical touch and words of affirmation), she has learned to understand the love language that he “speaks”(acts of service and spending time). She recognizes it as the way that he shows his affection for her and has learned to feel love when he “speaks” it. So I give her lots of hugs and tell her that she is beautiful.

    • September 10, 2016 at 8:19 am

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. Thanks for being such a good friend to your Mrs. V! It’s a great thing that she recognizes it and understands that he is showing his love for her in his own way.

  • October 16, 2016 at 3:26 am

    I just recently started leaving my husband little love notes around the house. It is amazing the responses I have been getting back. I never would of thought something like a little note that says “I Love You!” could make a world of difference!

    • October 17, 2016 at 7:52 am

      He must really appreciate actions! It is wonderful when we can figure these out.


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