It’s not what we have in life,
But who we have in our life
February is the month of #love. So I decided that our family would learn the “language” of love. Oh yes, this is going to be fun!
#Communication is key to any relationship, whether it’s improving your love life, your sibling relationships, or building stronger friendships.
Different people with different personalities express and receive love in very different ways.
Gary Chapman, in his books The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate and The Five Love Languages of Children writes on the topic of five specific love languages.
What are the Five Love Languages?
Words of Affirmation: #Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important-hearing reasons behind the love sends your spirits upward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. This receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this love language, the perfect #gift or gesture show that you are known, you are cared for, and you are special. A missed birthday, anniversary or thoughtless gift would be disastrous-so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Quality Time: If this is your love language you blossom with undivided attention-no TV, no cell phone, just you and your significant other. But if you he/she gets distracted or plans postponed your feelings get hurt.
Acts of Service: Can mopping the floor be an act of love? Oh yes! Anything you do to ease the burdens of life weighing on the “acts of service” person will speak volumes. If this is your love language your favorite words are “Let me do that for you.” Broken commitments, laziness and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
Physical Touch: This language is not all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is physical touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hangs and thoughtful touches can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care and love. Physical presence is crucial. Neglect or abuse can be unforgiveable.
The best feeling in the world is knowing that you mean something to someone.
You might enjoy: My Brother, My Buddy (raisingourtribe.org)
Each month I partner up each child with a sibling to be their “buddy.” We include their mates and significant others. At the beginning of the month I send out a group text message to all the kiddos with our buddy list. The idea behind our buddy system is to spend quality time with your buddy, send encouraging text messages, share a cup of coffee together, and even give a hug once in a while. This comes natural to some of our Tribe, but to most this takes intentional work. Why do we do this? It’s our hope to build very strong sibling relationships that will last a lifetime. Learning to work on relationships is a life skill that will hopefully continue into the adult life and marriage.
Food for thought: Why God Gave You Siblings | Raising Our Tribe
I began this month of LOVE by asking our Tribe to take the free online love language quiz.
It was quick and simple. The results were interesting, but not shocking.
It came as no surprise that our most dominant #tribal love language was physical touch with quality time coming in a close second and acts of service following not far behind.
My primary love language is physical touch with acts of service as a close runner up. My husband thrives with the language of quality time and physical touch.
How will knowing this improve our relationship?
I know that my husband loves my undivided attention. This is not easy with our large tribe, a full-time job, homeschooling, and blogging. I need to be intentional to make sure our relationship continues to grow, be strengthened, and thrives. In turn, he is aware that I love when he holds my hand, comes up behind me while I’m doing dishes and kisses my neck, and simply snuggles with me. And I have told him many times how sexy he is when mopping the kitchen floor! Yes, knowing your spouse’s love language is a must.
More encouragement: Marriage... Fall in Love...Again (raisingourtribe.org)
How does knowing the love language that our children speak and receive improve our parenting?
Simply knowing that Caleb (acts of service) will appreciate my cooking his favorite dinner or throwing his work clothes into the washer for him can build our relationship. He knows that I speak in physical touch and therefore get a hug of thanks.
Kyrsten will feel the love (acts of service) when I babysit the grandkids and fold all the laundry so she can go to the hair salon. In turn, she will do the same for me if needed (acts of service).
Victoria (quality time) feels appreciated when I give her my full attention and listen to all her adventures at the horse farm. She is always ready with a hug or to help me around the house. (touch and acts of service).
Artur (physical touch) loves to get a welcome hug when he’s home visiting from college. A gentle hand on the shoulder to show that he is cared for will go a long way to build our relationship. And since I speak in physical touch we give lots of hugs to each other.
How does this build sibling relationships?
We began by writing our February buddy list. Then we had each child take the love language quiz. We sent out all the results to the tribe, along with their buddy for this month. It is our hope that they reach out to their buddy in a more #intentional way, now knowing how each express and receive love.
Now Nicholas (words of affirmation) will be more mindful to leave his phone in the truck when spending time with his buddy, Patrick (quality time).
Gabriella can be more intentional to send an encouraging text message to Victoria (words of affirmation) while Victoria can encourage Nick to fold the laundry for Gabriella (acts of service) since we are three hours apart.
And when Elizabeth (touch) and Artur (touch) are home on the weekends we can all give hugs!
It’s never to late to start talking “love.”
The dictionary defines intentional as “done on purpose; deliberate.” This meaning plays a role in what an intentional relationship is. It involves being active instead of passive and making things happened instead of waiting for them to happen to you. This type of relationship means not giving up when things get tough. When you are intentional you choose to make decision and take action on what’s really important to you.
To have a more meaningful and healthy relationship with someone you must be intentional.
· Pray together
· Look at teach other in the eye-fully invested in your conversation
· Do fun things together
· Fight fair-and always remember to say “I’m sorry”
· Talk and text often throughout the day
· Encourage and support one another
· And never never give up!
I hope this blog empowers you to be more intentional to love your family and build strong relationships.
Strong marriages build strong families.
Strong families build strong churches.
Strong churches build strong communities.
Strong communities build a strong Nation.
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