"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one'."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Love The Way You Love Me

"Love is a verb."
(Dr. Gary Chapman)

This is Hannah.  She is my precious, precocious 3-year-old daughter.  It's amazing to me how different and unique each of my children are; I have to share something today that's been pressing on my heart for a while now.  A couple of years ago our MOPS group had a gal come talk to us about love languages.  The idea, from Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages, is that everyone has a 'love language' through which they can best connect, communicate, and receive love from those closest to them.  Here's a quick rundown of the languages:
  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service 
My little Hannah has been in the 'Physical Touch' category since she was tiny (I mean teeny tiny).  Gently stroking her chubby little legs put her into an almost-trance-like state as an infant.  She loves having her back rubbed and face touched.  She's super perceptive to the 'feel' of things: blankies, books with soft parts on the pages, itchy clothes or clothes with itchy tags, my scratchy legs or Doug's scratchy face if we haven't shaved.  She rubs her face on my leg (assuming it isn't scratchy) when she asks to snuggle on the couch.  When I'm angry with her she gets really close and touches my face with her hands and closes her eyes. 

Not everyone has such a clear preference.  Lindsay and I remember our MOPS table going back and forth, thinking we might be 'a little bit Quality Time' and 'a little bit Acts of Service,' and hemming and hawing about what our husbands might be (Physical Touch much?).  The point is, if you can identify your family members' love languages, you might be able to connect with them on a more satisfying level.  Chapman says most conflicts in relationships (with your spouse or otherwise) stem from two people speaking completely different love languages.  Another idea that really resonated with me is that by learning our childrens' love languages, we can be better prepared to keep their "love tanks" full.  Here are a few links that might help you figure it all out:

Quiz To Determine Your Own Love Language
(My results were: Quality Time and Acts of Service... Doug would say, "Duh.")
Love Languages
How To Work With The Love Languages Of Children

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I read the 5 Love Languages early on in our marriage and it's a GREAT book. I'm excited to hear about the book for children. I could probably guess what Ella is, but I bet the book will be worth the read.