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February 19, 2013

How Do You Love?

I'm trying to do some self work this year. I wish there was another term, other than self-improvement... Self-improvement sounds like there is something wrong.

Anyway, other than the Breaking Free One-A-Day, by Beth Moore, I've been reading 5 Love languages by Gary Chapman. It's a book about different ways people love others. I have really enjoyed going through and looking at how this way of thinking applies to my own relationship with Jake, as well as with family members and friends.


Most warning labels are not intended to present a positive message, but Dr. Gary Chapman includes this warning label in The Five Love Languages: "Understanding the five love languages and learning to speak the primary love language of your spouse may radically affect his or her behavior. People behave differently when their emotional love tanks are full."
In this study, Dr. Chapman reveals how different people express love in different ways. What speaks love to you may be meaningless to your spouse. This study contains the key to understanding each other's unique needs. Apply the right principles, learn the right language, and soon you'll know the profound satisfaction and joy of being able to express your love-and feeling truly loved in return.

It's so interesting.
Figuring out my personal love language was not hard. But having Jake, semi-forcibly, take the test showed that we are almost opposite in our 'love languages'.

Before I started reading I though it might be a flaw because of how strong our relationship is. But after I started reading I realized that the test was pretty spot on.

We both tested as having the lowest score in Gifts. We both like gifts, but neither of us rely on them to make us feel loved.

To me Acts of Service scoring the highest (by 2 points) makes sense. My family, growing up, was all about helping each other with daily things. If I wanted to show my siblings that I liked them I would help them clean their rooms. It was quality time to us.
My dad is the main role model with this style of loving. He is the kind of man who would drop everything if you needed help.

I remember one time, about 2 years ago, Jake and I were changing a light bulb in our kitchen and wiring came loose and we were afraid to touch anything. Jake was stuck on a chair holding the mechanics of the light, which was attached by one 25+ year old wire. I called my dad and he was over in a matter of minutes.  It wasn't until I was talking about the book with my sister that I found out that he was in the middle of making dinner when I called him that night. He had passed that duty onto someone else and came to our rescue.
And that's just one example.
My brother is exactly the same way.
Everyone else (the girls in my family) isn't quite into the superman role, but we often show our love for each other by helping 'lighten the daily load.'

With Jake, I go into housekeeper mode. I try to make life easier for him and his schedule by making sure things around the house are done so he has more time to study, sleep or relax. I do this because I know that his schedule is more hectic than mine. He is juggling working 3rd shift and going to school full time with mostly biology and physics classes.

Jake leaned strongly toward Words of Affirmation and Affection, scoring within 1 point in each category.

This makes so much sense to me. Jake really doesn't need me to clean the house around him. He doesn't mind a little mess. However he likes hearing me complimenting his drive and work ethic. It makes him feel like his efforts to provide for us are not taken for granted. He is the head of our household and the classic biblical structure of a marriage is how we, and our marriage, thrives.

Affection is a no-brainer. It was the second highest score for both of us. As a couple, we love hugs, holding hands, kisses on the cheek and 'adult sports.' Whenever we ht a busy time in our lives we both have to take the time to re-focus our lives and our attention and remind each other, with affection and sweet words, who each other's #1 fan is.

I've truly enjoyed reading this book.

It interesting to really take a look at how I was choosing to show my love to Jake and realize that, in general, people love others how they prefer to be loved.

I highly recommend taking a look at The 5 Love Languages.
I'm excited to tell you that there are many, many different versions of this book.
For singles.
For kids.
For men.
For Teenagers.

Has anyone else read this book?
Did it help you in any way?

1 comment:

Mrs. G said...

Matt and I did this and it has helped us TREMENDOUSLY!! Husband's love language, physical touch, is my least scoring LL, and I can't remember where mine, positive affirmation, fell for him. But it was such an eye opener! When we took the quiz it was a light bulb moment and we both kind of looked at each other and said DUH!!! At the time we were working so hard against each other and seeing these results really made us refocus and try harder to understand each other better. Amazing what a quiz can do!