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.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, men. Make sure that you get her flowers at the gas station on the way home…yes, just kidding.

Over the years, I sometimes get caught up in the thinking that that I have to buy the really expensive gift, or take her on some lavish trip. Those things would be nice, but that is not what Anna wants.

For example, we were watching a Jack Hanna show recently where he and his wife were in South America swimming with dolphins. Awesome! Anna loves dolphins and I know that would be an incredible trip. Of course, I begin to think that would be the ultimate. She however, says, “You know, Aaron, that would be great, but really what I want are a few ducks to raise.” A few ducks? Seriously…that’s my wife. A few bucks for a few ducks.

Another example is for this Valentine’s Day. Anna told me what she wanted. “I want the new Troll movie, and Dove Chocolate.” Now, I can start analyzing and think of something that she REALLY would like, some incredible gift, but she told me what she wanted and she meant it. She got the Troll movie and Dove Chocolate. She was ecstatic.

I’m not saying this is the same for every relationship. If you get the Troll movie and Dove Chocolate for your wife today, you may be in the doghouse. What I am saying is…listen to her. She most likely is telling you what she likes and what she wants. Not all gifts are going to be expensive. However, if your wife is telling you that she needs that weekend getaway, then get saving and planning and make it happen.

Remember to pay attention to the little things. Sure there are times for more expensive gifts and a cool vacation, but don’t forget the little things. They are not little to her.