5 Love Languages Study Continued

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Good morning friends. Its Marriage Monday! Hope your weekend went well. Join me every Monday for ways to build a strong marriage through God.

Love Language #1:

Words of Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” If we took Twain literally, six compliment a year would have kept his emotional love tank at the operational level. Your spouse will probably need more.

One way to express love emotionally is to use words to build up. Solomon, author of the ancient Hebrew Wisdom Literature, wrote, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Many couples have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming each other. Solomon further noted, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:
“You look sharp in that suit.”
“Do you ever look hot in that dress! Wow!”
”I really like how you’re always on time to pick me up at work.”
“Thanks for getting the babysitter lined up tonight. I want you to know I don’t take that for granted.”

I love how you are so responsible. I feel like I can count on you.”

What would happen to the emotional climate of a marriage if the husband and wife heard such words of affirmation regularly? Verbal compliments are far greater motivators than nagging words.

Encouraging Words: Giving verbal compliments is only one way to express words of affirmation to your spouse. Another dialect is encouraging words. The word encourage means “to inspire courage.” All of us have areas in which we feel insecure. We lack courage, and the lack of courage often hinders us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. The latent potential within your spouse in his or her areas of insecurity may await your encouraging words.

Your words may give your spouse the courage necessary to take the first step. Please note that I [Gary Chapman] am not talking about pressuring your spouse to do something that you want. I [Gary Chapman] am talking about encouraging him to develop an interest that he already has. For example, a wife might pressure her husband to look for a more lucrative job. The wife thinks she’s encouraging her spouse, but to him it sounds like condemnation. But if he has the desire and motivation to seek a better position, her words will bolster his resolve. Until he has that desire, her words will come across as judgmental and guilt-inducing. The express not love but rejection.

If however, he says, “You know, I’ve been thinking about starting a handyman business on the side,” then she has opportunity to give words of encouragement. Encouraging words with sound like this: “If you decide to do that, I can tell you one thing. You will be a success. That’s one of the things I like agbout you. When you set your mind to something, you do it. If that’s what you want to do, I will certainly do everything I can to help you.” Such words may give him the courage to start drawing up a list of potential clients.

Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate,
”I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?” We are trying to show that we believe in him and in his abilities. We are giving credit and praise.

Most of us have more potential that we will ever develop. What holds us back is often a lack of courage. A loving spouse can supply that all-important catalyst. Of course, encouraging words may be difficult for you to speak. It may not be your primary love language. It may take effort for you to learn this second language. That will be especially true if you have a pattern of critical and condemning words, but I [Gary Chapman] can assure you that it will be worth the effort.

Kind Words: Love is kind. If then we are to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words. That has to do with the way we speak. The same sentence can have two different meanings, depending on how you say it. The statement “I love you,” when said with kindness and tenderness, can be a genuine expression of love. But what about “I love you?” The question mark changes the whole meaning of those three words. Sometimes our words say one think, but our tone of voice says another. We are sending double messages. Our spouse will usually interpret our message based on our tone of voice, not the words we use.

“I would be delighted to wash the dishes tonight,” said in a snarling tone will not be received as an expression of love. On the other hand, we can share hurt, pain, and even anger in a kind manner, and that will be an expression of love. “I felt disappointed and hurt that you didn’t offer to help me this evening,” said in an honest, kind manner can be an expression of love. The person speaking wants to be known by her spouse. She is taking steps to build intimacy by sharing her feelings. She is asking for an opportunity to discuss a hurt in order to find healing. The same words expressed with a loud, harsh voice will be not an expression of love but an expression of condemnation and judgment.

The manner in which we speak is exceedingly important. An ancient sage once said, “ A soft answer turns away anger.” When your spouse is angry ad upset and lashing out with words of hear, if you choose to be loving, you will not reciprocate with additional heat but with a soft voice. You will receive what he is saying as information about his emotional feelings.

Humble Words: Love makes requests, not demands. It is the parent who tells the three-year-old what he ought to do and, in fact, what he must do. That is necessary because the three-year-old does not yet know how to navigate in the treacherous waters of life. In marriage, however, we are equal, adult partners. We are not perfect to be sure, but we are adults and we are partners. If we are to develop an intimate relationship, we need to know each other’s desires. If we with to love each other, we need to know what the other person wants.

The way we express those desires, however, is all-important. If they come across as demands, we have erased the possibility of intimacy and will drive our spouse away. If, however, we make our needs and desires known in the form of a request, we are giving guidance, not ultimatums. An example of this; The husband who says, “Could you make that good pasta one of these nights?” is giving his wife guidance on how to love him and thus build intimacy. On the other hand, the husband who says, “Can’t we ever have a decent meal around here?” is being adolescent, is making a demand, and his wife is likely to fire back, “Okay, you cook!” The wife who says, “ Do you think it will be possible for you to clean the gutters this weekend?” is expressing love by making a request. But the wife who says, “If you don’t get those gutters cleaned out soon, they are going to fall off the house. They already have trees growing out of them!” has ceased to love and has become a domineering spouse.

When you make a request of your spouse, you are affirming his or her worth and abilities. You are in essence indicating that she has something or can do something that is meaningful and worthwhile to you. When, however, you make demands, you have become not a lover but a tyrant. Your spouse will feel not affirmed but belittled. A request introduces the element of choice. Your mate may choose to respond to your request or to deny it, because love is always a choice. That’s what makes it meaningful.

More Ways to Affirm: Words of affirmation is one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects. WE have discussed a few already, and there are many more. Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.

YOUR TURN: Share instances with your spouse when words had a profound impact in your life-positively or negatively.

TASK LIST: If your spouse’s love language is WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

1. To remind yourself that “Words of Affirmation” is your spouse’s primary love language, print the following on a 3×5 card and put it on a mirror or other place where you will see it daily:
Words are Important
Words are Important
Words are Important

2. For one week, keep a written record of all the words of affirmation you give your spouse each day.
On Monday, I said: You did a great job on this meal, You really look nice in that outfit, I appreciate your picking up the dry cleaning.
You might be surprised how well (or how poor) you are speaking words of affirmation

3. Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for one month. If “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” maybe a compliment a day will keep the counselor away. (You may want to record these compliments also, so you will not duplicate the statements.)

4. As you watch TV, read, or listen to people’s conversations look for words of affirmation that people use. Write those affirming statements in a notebook or keep them electronically. Read through these periodically and select those you could use with your spouse. When you use one, note the date on which you used it. Your notebook may become your love book. Remember, words are important!

5. Write a love letter, a love paragraph, or a love sentence to your spouse, and give it quietly or with fanfare! You may someday find your love letter tucked away in some special place words are important!

6. Compliment your spouse in the presence of his parents or friends. You will get double credit: Your spouse will feel loved and the parents will feel lucky to have such a great son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

7. Look for your spouse’s strengths and tell how much you appreciate those strengths. Chances are she will work hard to live up to her reputation.

8. Tell your children how great their mother or father is. Do this behind your spouse’s back and in her presence.

Serving with Joy,
Sonya Schroeder

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About Sonya

I am a sinner saved by grace trying to move through this broken world as a wife, mom and homeschooler. I have 3 gorgeous sons {24, 17 & 11} and a wonderful husband of 13 years, that have my heart! I don't have all the answers however sharing my life with you in hopes that it will drawer you closer to Him. I pray that when you leave here you walk away knowing Him better.

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