Friday, April 16, 2010

Physical Touch

The last love language (letter E) is Physical Touch. This is a language where we will all score some points. Research tells us physical touch begins its benefit to us in infancy. Skin on Skin between a mother and an infant has been shown to contribute to the baby’s physical development. It is practiced in neonatal intensive care units worldwide as an intervention for premature babies in reducing stress, relieving pain, increasing the ability to cope, and general health.
Wise parents, in any culture, are touching parents! In the first century, parents brought their children to Jesus “to have Him touch them”. And Jesus took them in his arms and blessed them.

In our society, touching is part of a greeting --- a hand shake. Other countries have customs which include hugging and kissing. Touching is also a part of expressing other emotions related to times of sympathy or crises. If your spouse’s love language is physical touch nothing will be more important than to hold or touch them in a way that is meaningful to them.

If your love language is Physical touch a hug, a touch, an embrace, the sexual relationship will better communicate the essence of emotional love than will Words of Affirmation, or Receiving Gifts, or Acts of Service, or even Quality Time. I love to walk by my husband and put my hands on his back or his shoulder and reach over and just give him a kiss. We are hand holders and it is terribly comforting to me to have my hand in his. We always say I love you when we leave each other and most of the times give each other a kiss. These are little expressions of physical touch but they are very important. Fortunately, Stan and I grew up in touching families. This will be an area some persons will have to make a recognized change. There it is again-----it’s not about YOU!

Physical touch can communicate hate or love. The touch that brings pleasure to you may not be the touch that brings pleasure to your spouse. Don’t insist on touching your spouse in YOUR way and in YOUR time—find out what is comfortable for the one you love. Marriage touching is determined by the couple themselves. Our bodies were made for touching. If your spouses love language is physical touch and you are not touching; you are communicating to them they are not important. They may be feeling abandoned or withdrawn. Feeling unwanted or unacknowledged will affect ones self worth. It is taken as a personal hit. The author writes…. “there were times that I reached out to her physically and she was not responsive……………….I felt that she didn’t find me attractive. Then I decided I would not take the initiative because I didn’t want to be rejected. So I waited to see how long it would be ………………....I waited 6 wks....I found it unbearable. ....I felt rejected, unwanted, and unloved.” Physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. Every marriage will experience crisis. We can not change the crisis or events but we can survive if we feel loved.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Acts of Service

Letter D represents the love language of Acts of Service. Examples might by mowing the yard, cleaning the pollen off the patio, cooking meals, washing clothes, vacuuming the floors, washing the dog, paying the bills, dealing with an insurance issues and paying the TAXES………anything that you know your spouse would love for you to help with or to do on your own. It is an expression of love. It requires planning, effort, and energy.

Doing things for each other—there it is—its not about me! Attempting to force someone to do something for you will not work and creates a resentful spirit. Love is always given freely. Requesting an act of service will go a long way in the flow of love but demanding it will stop love in its tracks.

The author of the book 5 Languages of Love suggest couples sit down and each make a list of the top 4 request—things you would really like your spouse to do as acts of service. Discuss the lists with each other. If your spouse chooses to do these things on your list would you feel more loved? (it is about the effort—choices made for another). You may not like to make the bed every morning but if your spouse feels love because you are making the bed, then you have accomplished an act of service that is meaningful to the person you love.
If you are not an act of service person and you have loved your spouse by your love language—you likely have felt overwhelmed because it never seemed as though you did or said enough. They don’t know your are loving them because it is your language and not theirs. If it is their language, what are their most important acts of service?

Mr. Chapman makes several observations about the language of love and acts of service.

The perceptions of marriage are influenced by our parents, our personality, our perceptions of love, our emotions, our needs, and our desires. Our idea of marriage before and after may be different then what you thought. Those ideas are shaped from the actions we have observed and lived while growing up and may be stereotypical.

Mr. Chapman observed people tend to criticize their spouse in the area they themselves have the deepest emotional need. The example the author chose was the hunting husband and the wife that complains her husband hunts too much. The complaint is not really about the hunting it is about the time the husband is not spending with the wife or the family

Love is a choice and must not be coerced. We need to listen to the request of our spouse and not decide that we know their request………......ask them!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Receiving Gifts

Letter C represents the love language of receiving gifts. Gifts are visual acts of love.
A gift is a representation of a thought. A gift is something tangible; something you hold in your hand to tell you you’re remembered. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money or not. A gift purchased, made, or picked……………is the thought implanted and the thought expressed. Gift giving is one of the easiest love languages to learn.

Cultural patterns around the world express gift giving as part of the love marriage process. Wedding ceremonies generally include the exchanging of rings as a symbol of two hearts joined together in a circle of unending love. Symbols have emotional value.
If your spouse suddenly quits wearing their wedding ring it will likely bring out some uncomfortable emotions and a lot of questions!

To be a gift giver you may have to change the way you look at money. If you are a saver you will have and emotional resistance to the idea of spending money for gifts. The author writes ……. “you are purchasing things for yourself. By saving and investing money you are purchasing self-worth and emotional security. You are caring for your own emotional needs in the way you handle money. What you are don’t doing is meeting the emotional needs of your spouse.” If you are purchasing a gift for your spouse you will find it to be one of the best investments you will make because you are investing in your relationship. Select gifts that you are comfort giving and don’t wait for a special occasion! Today is a good day.

One of the gifts you could be giving is yourself. Being available when your spouse needs you is a wonderful gift for the person with the language of receiving gifts. Depending on the need it can be extremely powerful and your presence is a gigantic symbol of love. Don’t follow the route I did you years and expect my husband to read my mind. Verbalize your feelings to your husband. He is not a mind reader (neither is she).

Mothers Day is coming and children all over will be picking Mom or Grandmother’s flower garden to bring a gift to light the face of their mom. It isn’t the flower picking from the favorite prize winning garden that brings a smile to the face, it is the love offered in the choice to give a present.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quality Time

If your highest number was B then your love language is Quality Time.
What is Quality Time? A simple definition would be focusing attention on each other and talking. Giving each other undivided attention.

Taking a walk
Lunch and talking
Getting a babysitter and dinner
Talking after work or kids without the TV or phone or texting or computer
Picnic and talking
Doing something with your spouse that they enjoy and doing it wholeheartedly

Focused Attention
It is not just about being in the room with each other. An example is a wife that is texting while sitting next to her husband--listening to the events of the day--is not giving the husband any quality time. Same house, same room, same time but they are not together.
The activity is incidental………it is about the engagement of interaction.
The author writes “What happens on the emotional level is what matters. Our spending time together in a common pursuit communicates that we care about each other, that we enjoy being with each other, that we like to do things together.”

Quality Conversation
Two individuals sharing their thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly uninterrupted context is quality conversation.
Words of Affirmation are based on what we are saying. Quality conversation is based on what we are hearing. Quality conversation is about someone listening. It is not about wanting advice; it is wanting to be heard……to feel as though someone understands the hurt, the stress, and the pressures.
It is important for those who do not have the same language—those who tend to analyze problems and create solutions—to remember a marriage is not a project or a problem needing to be solved. Giving advice should only be given when it is requested.

Learn not to interrupt. The author indicated the average individual listens for only 17 seconds before interrupting with their own ideas or thoughts.

Learning To Talk” really talk is very important for quality conversation. In order to be understood, a person must learn to reveal themselves. The author suggested a way of becoming more aware of ones emotional conversation might be to note you’re your own feelings (to a notepad) about 3 times a day and learn to communicate those worded feelings to your spouse in your daily conversation.

Exercise: 20 minutes of undivided attention to each other………. That is 20 minutes of life…………. You will never get those 20 minutes again. Enjoy them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Words of Affirmation

So, if your number is highest for A then you are a person who NEEDS words of affirmation.

Verbal compliments are important and might best be expressed in a straight forward simple statement.
Example: “That outfit is perfect for you. You really look Hot!”
“I really like it when you help me with my projects.”
“It is really a treat when you line up the babysitter for a night out thx”

1. Statement of affirmation for how you look or feel
2. Compliment for a task or job (home or office)

Encourage means to inspire courage.
We all have areas we feel insecure. The economy today has put a lot of people out of work, changing jobs, changing job titles, dealing with pay cuts, mortgage issues, health issues, image issues……this can make for marital issues.
Spouses need to encourage each other. You are not the first couple to go thru these difficulties and you will not be the last. You may be waiting for encouraging words from your partner. Words to give you the courage to take the step you needed to take. There is untapped potential in all of us.
Don’t let encouragement by done by condemning something else. If you are encouraging your spouse to take a new job your words may come across as judgmental or give your spouse the feeling of guilt instead of the desire to inspire courage.

Kind words
Loving someone should present itself with kindness and that means using kind words. The simple words “I love you” can change by the tone of a voice. That changes the entire meaning. What should be important is “What’s Right” not “Who’s Right.” We can only find “what’s right” if we are seeking God’s will not man’s. I am so guilty of trying to prove that my logic is the only logical way to look at something………(actually, that would be both me and Stan)

Humble words
Love is a request not a demand. We are partners in the marriage. I did not want to marry a person to be my parent. The author of 5 Love Languages says, “…..When you make demands, you have become not a lover but a tyrant. Your spouse will feel not affirmed but belittled. A request introduces the element of choice. Your mate may choose to respond to your request or deny it, because love is always a choice. That’s what makes it meaningful.”

I like that!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Double Trouble

Thursday, April 1, 2010