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Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Love I Understand

It was a little foggy one morning and my 4 year old states, “It’s kinda mucky outside.” I ask her what exactly “mucky” means and she proceeds to inform me that “mucky” is Spanish for “yucky.” While I haven’t taken a formal Spanish class, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the…exact translation, but I smiled and said, “Yes, it is mucky out.” Then, we notice the beautiful Indian blankets sprinkling the roadsides with color. She says, “Maybe we can buy some pig-in-a-blanket seeds for our own yard?” I smile again and say, “We should!”

Later, as we were reminiscing about our Spring Break at the beach, she said it was fun when we walked on the water. I said, “It sure was fun walking ‘in’ the water and then I ask, “Who is the only person who has walked ‘on’ water?” Without hesitation, she says, “Donald Duck!” I grin and gently remind her that Jesus is actually the one who mastered that feat, but that I think Donald Duck is pretty cool, too.

All of these little discussions make me think of how we communicate with each other on a daily basis. At the top of the list of things we should know how to convey is…love. February has come and gone, but the need for love continues. Have you heard that love has five different “languages” according to author, Gary Chapman? Learning how to speak our spouse’s and child’s love language is definitely worth the time.

In Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages,” he explains that each of us has a primary love language in which we best understand love: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch or Gifts. The great importance of knowing our spouse’s and child’s love language is so that we can fill up their emotional tank with unconditional love. At almost four bucks a gallon to fill up the gas tank, filling up love tanks seems so much more enjoyable!

If you aren’t sure what your child’s, spouse’s or even your own love language is, here are a few great online assessments to help you discover them:

Because children thrive when their parents’ love is alive, it seems like a great idea to key in on how to “speak” love to our spouse first. For instance, I am predominantly a “Words” gal, so my husband couldn’t get away with, “Hey, I told ya I loved ya when I married ya...” That just doesn’t do it for me. I like to hear the words.

Does getting help with laundry, dishes or the lawn speak volumes of love to you? Would a hand-picked bouquet of wildflowers fill your love tank to the brim? Maybe you just need some “put-our-phones-on-silence-quality-time” with your spouse for a tank refill. Or, perhaps a hug and a “thank you for all you do for us” would be enough. Uncover your love language and life will be a whole lot sweeter once you find a love you understand.

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