Category: The 5 Love Languages®

Influencing Teens

Did you know that 70 years ago, teenagers did not exist? That is, as a separate cultural group. Before the industrial age, teens worked on their parents’ farms until they got married. With industrialization, teens had a choice. They could be a weaver, a cobbler, or a machinist. But they still lived with their parents until they got married; usually in the late teens. In the modern world, young people have high school, college, and often graduate school before they get married. So they are with parents much longer. This is good news, because it gives greater opportunity to influence their lives for good. Remember, the quality of your marriage is your greatest means of influence. They will remember your model long after they have forgotten your words.

Q&A: How to Respond to a Spouse’s Disrespect

Q: My husband disrespects me. How do I deal with this?

Gary Chapman: All of us need to feel loved and appreciated. When we don’t feel appreciated or respected, being put down again and again by our spouse makes us feel that they think we’re inferior. It’s difficult to live like that. There’s two approaches. One is to argue—to tell them you can’t take this anymore and lash out at them. The other is the biblical way, and that is to love the unlovely spouse. Find out their love language, speak it loudly and clearly and regularly over a period of three months and see what happens. Typically, when they begin to feel your love they begin to treat you differently. It doesn’t always work out that way, but loving an unlovely spouse is the most powerful thing you can do.

Q&A: Marriage and Deployment

Q: I’m in the military and I’m about to be deployed. How can my wife and I prepare?

Gary Chapman: I think the first thing that you need to do is acknowledge that you’re going to have to work together to find a new way to relate to each other. This is where I think the five love languages can be very, very helpful to you. For example, if you know each other’s primary love language in those early days you are going to want to speak volumes of that language. If you and your spouse feel loved it’s much easier to negotiate other factors. While preparing for that, I think you would find a new book we’ve just released to be helpful. It’s called The 5 Love Languages Military Edition. It provides a lot of practical help on reintegration.

I Am Not a Perfect Husband

I wish I were a perfect husband: always kind, thoughtful, understanding, and loving. Unfortunately, I am not. I am sometimes selfish, thoughtless, and cold. In short, I fail to live up to the biblical ideal for a Christian husband. Does this mean that my marriage is destined for failure? Not if I am willing to admit my failures and my wife is willing to forgive. God is our model. The scriptures say that God is always willing to forgive if we are willing to confess and repent. Confession is an admission that we are wrong. Repentance is the desire to turn from our sinful behavior. Forgiveness opens the door to reconciliation. It is essential if we are to have a growing marriage.

Q&A: Long Distance Love Languages

Q: My wife and I are in the military. How can we speak the 5 love languages while we’re apart?

Gary Chapman: All of the love languages can be spoken long distance. I have just released a book with Jocelyn Green called The 5 Love Languages Military Edition in which we talk about how to speak the love languages long distance. For example, despite what most people may assume, Physical Touch can be spoken when you’re apart. You can say to them in an email or phone call, “If I were with you I would give you a big hug you would never forget.” Emotionally they’d feel your arms around them. You can learn to keep love alive while you’re deployed with the five love languages. I’m hoping this book is going to help thousands of military couples learn how to stay emotionally connected even while they’re deployed.

Q&A: New to the 5 Love Languages

Q: “I’m new to the love language concept. What is the first step in understanding and applying them?”

Gary Chapman: When you’ve got the concept down—that people have different love languages—the next step is to discover your own and that of your spouse. You can do that by going to 5lovelanguages.com and taking the quiz. Or, you can also ask yourself the following questions:

  • “How do I typically express my love and appreciation to other people?”
  • “What do I complain about most often?”
  • “What do I request of people most often?”

If you put the answers to these questions together, I think you’ll discover your primary love language. Once you know it and that of the people you care about, then it’s a matter of choosing to speak the love language of the other person. And, if they reciprocate, then the emotional climate of your relationship will be enhanced.

Q&A: Interracial Marriage

Q: “Do you have any comments on how the love languages work in an interracial marriage? I’ve been married for 22 years and it’s always been a challenge.”

Gary Chapman: The difference you are dealing with is a cultural difference, not racial. People of different races come out of different cultures or sub-cultures and when you put them together this often presents some challenges. The important things is to understand each other’s sub-culture and recognize that to cultivate a healthy marriage a couple must learn to accept and learn how to navigate or negotiate those differences—finding something that is meaningful and works for the two of them. Then, they can begin to look for ways to work together as a team. Consequently, learning ways to speak the primary love language of your spouse is going to help you do that.

God Speaks the Love Languages

A number of years ago, when I wrote the book: The 5 Love Languages, I realized rather quickly that all of these love languages flow from God’s love. He speaks all five languages fluently. The Bible is filled with ‘Words of Affirmation’ where God verbalizes His love to us. Christmas reminds us that He gave us the greatest gift of all when He sent His son. Yes, God is a ‘Gift Giver’. What about ‘Acts of Service’? That is what the cross is all about. Christ paid our penalty. Follow the life of Jesus and you see Him speaking the love language of ‘Physical Touch’. And for all who want it, God is ready to spend ‘Quality Time’. Turn your thoughts toward him and you will find his thoughts are already on you. God is love.

Q&A: Can I have more than one primary love language?

Q: “Is it possible for someone to score equally on three of the five love languages on the online profile?”

Gary Chapman: Well, my guess is you did . . . and therefore you are really asking , “Am I odd?” Rest assured, you’re not. It’s not uncommon that people will sometimes have two love languages (even three) that stand out at the very top that are equal. Your results seem to indicate that you have three. What that means is that any one of those three would communicate love very deeply to you. So if your wife knows that, then she can focus on one of those three and from time to time on the other two. The key is to communicate with each other what your primary love language(s) is/are so that you both gain the insight into how to express love to each other in a way that is most meaningful.

Q&A: My wife thinks I’m boring

Q: “My wife says that she doesn’t really love me because I’m not charismatic enough. I agree that I’m pretty bland, but how am I improve things?”

Gary Chapman: Short answer—learn her love language and speak it on a regular basis. If you speak her love language she will feel loved by you. She is using the word charismatic, but really what she is asking for in my opinion is emotional love. She wants this sense that you are excited about her, that you care about her, and that you want to communicate love to her. So if you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages, I would suggest you read the Men’s Edition which includes some additional ideas specifically for the men. Learn to speak her love language and I think you’ll see her whole attitude towards you change.

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