March 10, 2014
Q: What would be some good ways to develop communication skills in marriage?
Gary: One way would be to read on communication, such as my Now You’re Speaking My Language. It has nothing to do with the love languages. It’s a book on communication and intimacy. How do you build positive communication patterns and how do you build intimacy into a marriage, intellectually, socially, spiritually, and physically. Reading through and studying a book like that is an easy, organized way to learn communication skills for marriage.
March 7, 2014
Q: How can I discover and speak the love language of my boss at work without coming across as creepy?
Gary: Most of the time in the workplace we call the languages the languages of appreciation instead of love for propriety’s sake. However, even in the workplace the languages speak to an emotional need because all of us want to feel appreciated. I think if you know your boss’ or your colleagues’ appreciation language speaking it may seem creepy to you, but probably not to them because you’re speaking the language that makes them feel appreciated. Don’t worry about how you feel but speak the language that you know will make them feel appreciated.
March 6, 2014
Have you ever apologized and felt like the other person simply was not accepting your apology? Perhaps you’re speaking the wrong apology language. Perhaps you are saying, “I’m sorry.” “I was wrong.” And what they want to hear is “What can I do to make things right?” Making Restitution is one of the five languages of apology and for some people, it is their primary language. In their mind, if you don’t offer to “make things right,” you have not apologized. In the New Testament, Zacchaeus, the tax collector seemed to understand this. When he encountered Jesus, he said: “Those from whom I have stolen, I’ll repay four times what I took.” That is restitution! It is seeking to make amends for the wrong we have done. It is strong evidence of our sincerity.
March 4, 2014
When Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I wrote the book: The Five Languages of Apology, we discovered that one of the strong languages of apology is Making Restitution. “What can I do to make this up to you?” If you don’t offer to make restitution, your apology may seem lame. What they want to know is: “Are you really sorry?” and “Do you still love me?” We also discovered that often what they want you to do in order to “make things right” is to speak their love language. One wife said, “I just want you to hold me, I feel so distant from you.” Her love language was physical touch and she wanted to feel that he still loved her. When you make an apology, don’t forget to ask the question: “What can I do to make this up to you?” Then, honor their request. It makes forgiveness much easier.
March 3, 2014
Q: My son told us he is gay. I’m having a lot trouble dealing with this. What is your advice?
Gary: Any parent tends to be disappointed when his or her child indicates that he or she is gay. Men and women are made for each other; it is God’s design. Anything other than that is outside that primary design of God. I’m not going to explain all the ins and outs of homosexuality, but we need to love our children no matter what. I would suggest expressing to him or her your disappointment for this and your confusion about how it could be, as well as your continuing love for your child. Suggest that he or she do some serious reading or see a counselor as well to try and understand his or herself better. This is the approach I would take.
February 28, 2014
Q: My husband has a very bad temper. What things can I do to help with this?
Gary: Mismanaged anger causes problems in many marriages, and also children’s relationships with parents. Most of us do not know how to handle anger in a positive way. I wrote a book a few years ago called Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way. I suggest you get it for your husband. He may not go for counseling, but he may read a book. The two of you could discuss each chapter and talk (in a non-accusatory way) about how he could improve in this area. This could greatly assist him in processing his anger healthily.
February 27, 2014
If you have been hurt deeply by your spouse or a close friend, you have probably asked this question: “How could they do that if they really loved me?” So, they come to apologize and say, “I’m sorry, I should not have done that. I was wrong.” But you are still asking: “Do you really love me?” That is a legitimate question. Jesus asked that question of Peter three times: “Do you really love me?” When Peter said, “Yes,” Jesus said: “Then feed my sheep.” He gave him something to do to demonstrate his love. Words can be empty. Actions show your sorrow and say to the other person: “In spite of my failure, I really do still love you. I want to make things right between us.” This is the road to lasting relationships.
February 25, 2014
When we hurt someone, we know immediately that we have placed an emotional barrier between us and that person. The relationship is now fractured. Time alone will not heal the hurt. It’s time to apologize. But how do we apologize? What do we say or do? Some people simply say, “I’m Sorry.” But for most people, that’s not enough. Many are waiting to hear you offer to make restitution. “What can I do to make this up to you?” is an excellent question. Their answer will help you know how to put teeth into your apology. If you seek to make restitution, they will see your sincerity and likely forgive you. And isn’t that what you want? You want to see the relationship restored. Making restitution is an important language of apology.
February 24, 2014
Q: I scored almost equally on all five love languages when I took the online quiz. Is this fair to my spouse who has only one primary language?
Gary: In a sense it actually makes it easier for your spouse; his or her speaking of any of the languages will make you feel deeply loved. You have only one choice as to which language will make him feel loved. I would ask yourself one question however: “If I had to give up one of these languages being spoken to me, what would it be?” Repeat this until you’re down to one. Chances are you’ll find that one or two really do stand out. If so, be sure to let your spouse know.
February 21, 2014
Q: My fiancé’s love language is physical touch and I travel a lot. Do you have any suggestions?
Gary: It is true that you cannot put your arm around him or hold his hand when you are not physically present. However, all love languages can be expressed long distance. You can say, “If I were with you right now, I’d give you a big hug and a big kiss that you’d never forget.” He will likely get it emotionally, even though you’re not present with him physically. You’re thinking about his love language and you’re verbalizing what you’d do if you were there. I think that at least on short trips away, you’ll find this helpful.