5 Love Languages: Physical Touch

I’m currently reading the 5 Love Languages for Men by Dr. Gary Chapman. Click here if you want to purchase the book for yourself.

Dr. Gary Chapman’s famous approach is that we all speak different love languages, and he categorizes them as:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Gift Giving
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Today is about Physical Touch

This is certainly a Biblical concept, to show affection by physical touch.

  • An intimate embrace between a husband and wife (Song of Solomon 2:6; 8:3; Genesis 16:5).
  • A husband showing affection to his wife, like Isaac did to Rebekah (Genesis 26:8).
  • According to Solomon, there is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing (Ecclesiastes 3:5). This tells us that physical touch is important, but it also shows us that we must have wisdom and prudence in when to use it.
  • A mother embracing a son (2 Kings 4:17).
  • A holy kiss as a greeting (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20).
  • Think of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet (John 13), and consider how Mary washed Jesus’ feet (John 12).
  • Jesus, as a loving shepherd, holds us in His arms (Isaiah 40:11).

Dr. Gary Chapman once again gives some practical ways to show affection to our wives by physical touch. One important point, before we list some of those practical tips is to remember that not all physical touch is something to lead to the bedroom. If your wife thinks that the only reason you are hugging her is because you want something “more,” she most likely will resent that.

Here are some ways Dr. Chapman suggests that we can communicate affection to our wives through physical touch:

  • Give a hug
  • Hold her hand
  • Put your arm around her
  • Give her a high-five
  • Rubbing her shoulder
  • Playfully wrestling with her
  • Stroking her hair
  • Caress her back
  • Scoot in closer when sitting in a booth at a restaurant.

Again, I encourage you to purchase this book and read it. It is a very helpful guide to encourage us as men to carry out the Lord’s instruction to love our wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5).

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”
(Eph 5:25-31)

 

5 Love Languages: Acts of Service

I’m currently reading the 5 Love Languages for Men by Dr. Gary Chapman. Click here if you want to purchase the book for yourself.

Dr. Gary Chapman’s famous approach is that we all speak different love languages, and he categorizes them as:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Gift Giving
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Today is about Acts of Service

First of all, let’s demonstrate that this “love language” is most certainly Bible-based. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul:

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).

Dr. Chapman mentions three parts to become truly fluent in acts of service.

  1. Impact. Its the idea of working harder, not smarter. Are you listening to what she really needs? Do you hear her talk as to where she really needs the help? You could work all day doing all kinds of chores, and not add a drop to her love tank, Dr. Chapman points out. However, if you make dinner, clean up the kitchen and put the kids to bed, you might overflow her love tank. It comes down to listening to her needs and wants, not serving where you feel the most comfortable serving.
  2. Initiative. Making a list of things you can do for you wife really means nothing until you start DOING things on the list, particularly the things that mean the most to her. This requires drive, discipline and dedication, Dr. Chapman adds. Don’to let this very important to do list get lost under your mountain of paperwork. Think of what that says to your wife and how she will perceive your love and commitment. So, get busy!
  3. Attitude. Have you ever had someone do something for you, but you ended up feeling bad and guilty because of how that person behaved through the whole task? Motive and attitude are everything, aren’t they (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)? We are neither heroes nor martyrs, Dr. Chapman writes. Jesus says we are servants who have merely done our duty (Luke 17:10). So that means we are not trumpeting our good works before others, especially our wives. This is very hard for some of us! When we do that good deed, we want to make sure our wives really know we did the dishes and cleaned the bathroom, but that is contrary to the heart and attitude Jesus wants us to have.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly (Matthew 6:1-4).

Pages 80-81 have some great practical tips for acts of service that you can do for your wife. If you have not already purchased this book, please do. It will be a helpful guide in your relationship with your wife. The Bible is of course always the first and best guide, but we also have great help and advice in many other resources like the 5 Love Languages.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Love Languages: Gift Giving

I’m currently reading the 5 Love Languages for Men by Dr. Gary Chapman. Click here if you want to purchase the book for yourself.

Dr. Gary Chapman’s famous approach is that we all speak different love languages, and he categorizes them as:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Gift Giving
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Today is about Gift-Giving

Dr. Chapman makes the point about getting the cart before the horse. He reminds us that love is the horse and the cart is the gift. We are not trying to purchase approval, affection and love from our wives by lavishing gifts upon them. Rather we are expressing our love for our beautiful wives by offering visual symbols of that love.

Consider one of the most famous verses in Scripture, John 3:16. It says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.” Love comes first, and giving is an expression of His love. God teaches us how to love, and how to give.

One point Dr. Chapman made in this chapter that resonated with me is when he talked about a “dialect” of this particular love language of gift-giving. This dialect is giving the gift of yourself, your presence. When your wife is facing a trial and adversity, the greatest gift you can offer is your presence. No appointment is more pressing than being there to offer support and encouragement for your wife. She will remember whether you were truly there for you.

A practical suggestion Dr. Chapman gives to guys who are getting started on gift-giving is to listen. Yes, listen. Go back in your memory bank and listen. Think of the gifts that your wife really appreciated and what she said as to why she loved those gifts. When your wife received a gift from a family member or close friend and that gift really meant something to her, listen to “why” it meant so much to her. Pay attention to these things because it will help shape your understanding as to what kinds of gifts your wife really wants. Talk to her close friends and family members and ask them for advice.

I encourage you to get this book if you don’t already have it and read this chapter. The last two pages of the chapter have some very practical tips on gifts you can purchase or make for your wife.

5 Love Languages: Quality Time

I’m currently reading the 5 Love Languages for Men by Dr. Gary Chapman. Click here if you want to purchase the book for yourself.

Dr. Gary Chapman’s famous approach is that we all speak different love languages, and he categorizes them as:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Gift Giving
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Today is about Quality Time. Dr Chapman writes, “Every day, every person who draws breath on this earth receives the same amount of time: 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds, depending on which denomination you prefer.”

We all understand that there are so many pressing demands for our time and attention. It becomes very easy to neglect that quality time with your spouse. But that comes at a high cost, especially if your wife’s primary love language is quality time. How she receives love and feels valued by you is by the time you have spend focused just on her.

Dr. Chapman in his book talks about languages and dialects. Millions of people speak English, but I’m pretty sure we don’t all speak it the same way. Within each love language, Dr. Chapman identifies certain dialects.

In this chapter on quality time, he speaks of two dialects:

  1. Quality Conversation
  2. Quality Activities

Quality Conversation. What would a “quality conversation” look like? Well, you might just sit down and ask your wife what that looks like. Are you maintaining eye contact? When your wife is trying to talk to you are you doing other things (texting, fidgeting, focused on some task, ESPN)? Are you listening to understand her feelings or are you focused on “fixing it”? Did you follow up with questions to try to really understand what she said? Are you interrupting her, or do you let her finish her thought? Do you let her express her feelings freely, even if some of them might be frustrations toward you? In the end, does she feel like you really heard her out? Even better, did you open up about your feelings? Yuk! That’s hard for a lot of guys, but it is a valuable part of intimacy and quality conversation.

Quality Activities. “Make sure all your time and talk isn’t swallowed up by your to-do list,” Dr. Chapman advises. What would a “quality activity” look like? Again, ask your wife, but then again, she probably has already told you. Is there something she is really interested in? Get involved with her in it some way. It may be that she is interested in putting some gardens in outside. Go help her with it, and be fully involved with a great attitude! She may want to see a particular concert; so go get two tickets and plan an evening together. Maybe a weekend away from the house and kids is just the ticket. Or, I know for my wife Anna it may mean that I don’t think of some big fancy vacation, but look for the “little things,” like sitting on the porch swing with her with a cup of coffee and just talk.

Please get Dr. Chapman’s book if you don’t already have it. There are all kinds of valuable, practical suggestions in the book. Your marriage is worth it, men!

5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

I’m currently reading the 5 Love Languages for Men by Gary Chapman. Click here if you want to purchase the book for yourself.

Gary Chapman’s famous approach is that we all speak different love languages, and he categorizes them as:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

Take the test, if you have not already, to see your love language. This is really important to learn because we all communicate in different languages, and I may want to tell my wife that I love her through acts of service or gifts, but what she may really be looking for is words of affirmation.

Words of Affirmation

This is truly a Biblical concept. Here are a few passages to show the Biblical basis for learning this love language.

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is! (Proverbs 15:23)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).

There are many other verses we could use, but these two set the stage for how important it is to learn to speak words of affirmation to our wives.

A good word spoken at the right time, Solomon said, how good it is! Take that into consideration in your own life. Can you think of times that someone said just the right words of encouragement just when you needed them? It just makes our day!

Take some time today to think of some encouraging words that you can say genuinely to your wife. Praise her appearance. Find great traits about her character and personality and point those out to her.

Gary Chapman recommends that we also do this in front of friends, family and co-workers. We all hear things through “the grapevine,” so how wonderful will it be that your wife hears that you are praising and complimenting her behind her back?

Find creative ways to affirm her. Think outside the box.

The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones (Proverbs 16:23-24).

The 5 Love Languages

Last week in response to the article about Valentine’s Day, I received a note from a friend and brother, Geoff, who emphasized the importance of the 5 Love Languages. He made the personal observation that his wife could care less about the gifts, but really appreciates acts of service, like cleaning the kitchen while she is away from the house.

If you are not familiar with the 5 Love Languages book by Dr. Gary Chapman, it would be a great book to read. We all speak different love languages, according to Dr. Chapman, meaning we all communicate and receive love in different ways.

Here are the 5 Love Languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Gift Giving
  5. Quality Time

Here is a short trailer on Gary Chapman’s YouTube channel that illustrates the 5 languages.

Learn your love language – Use this link to take the quiz to learn your love language.

This is so important because we sometimes are trying to speak our own language to our spouse when that is not how she communicates love at all. A simple example would be if a wife wants words of affirmation, but a husband is giving gifts or acts of service, she is not receiving what she really needs. He can give gifts all day, but if his words are not affirming her preciousness and value, then the gifts have no value.

Have you ever had someone buy you a gift for Christmas or your birthday, but the gift was really something that person likes, not what you like at all? They didn’t really consider your interests and personality, they thought of what they would like to receive. This is that very same concept behind the love languages. Am I considering how my wife communicates and receives love, or am I trying to demonstrate love based upon how I communicate and receive love?

Paul makes this point in Philippians about considering the needs and interests of others above our own. Let’s meditate upon this in our marriages today, men.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 2:3-5).