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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: February 16, 2016.

There are empty love tanks in your family waiting to be filled.

According to Gary Chapman, there are five basic love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

So, let’s take a peek at how each of them might play out.

Do you love to have nice things said about — and to — you? Are you good about looking for positives in others and commenting on them? Words of affirmation might be just your ticket.

If your spouse’s love language is:

Words of Affirmation – Building Up

  • Look for your spouse’s strengths and say how much you appreciate those qualities.
  • Tell your children how great their father is. Do this behind his back and in his presence.
  • Make a list of all the things that you admire about your husband. When you compliment him say, “You know, I really admire that you ….”
  • Saying, “Thank you for mowing the lawn,” doesn’t pack quite as much punch as it will when you say, “I really admire the attention you pay to our home and yard.” It gets the focus off something he has done for you and points to the character qualities he has.

If your spouse’s love language is:

Quality Time – Undivided Attention

  • Make time to share with each other some of the events of the day. Ten minutes facing each other with eye contact is worth an hour of chatter while watching the news.
  • Plan a weekend getaway, just for the two of you, sometime within the next six months. Decide in advance to leave the electronics locked in the trunk of your car. Or leave them home. The withdrawal won’t kill you. Though it may feel like it!
  • Ask your spouse for a list of five activities that he would enjoy doing. Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months. These are not necessarily things that you would enjoy. It’s actually more loving if the activities are things you wouldn’t choose. That’s what makes it a love gesture.

If your spouse’s love language is:

Receiving Gifts – Historically a Gesture of Regard

  • Keep a gift idea notebook. Every time you hear your spouse say, “I’d really like that,” write it in your notebook. If you’re not a gift person you might miss those signals that indicate what would bring him pleasure.
  • Don’t dismiss his longings because they don’t interest you.
  • Gifts don’t have to be costly for one who sees any gift as wrapped in love.
  • The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.

If your spouse’s love language is:

Acts of Service – Actions Speak Louder than Words

  • Make a list of all of the requests your spouse has made of you over the past few weeks. Select one of these each week and do it as an expression of love.
  • Periodically ask your spouse “If I could do one special act of service for you this week, what would you request?” If possible, do it. Small acts of service speak volumes to one who’s love language is Service.
  • If you have more money than time, hire someone to do the acts of service you know your spouse would like. I have a client who reported to me that the biggest thing her husband had ever done to show that he loved her was . . . drum roll . . . hire a house cleaning service.
  • Has your spouse ever nagged you about some act of service that you’re not doing? Why not decide to see the nag as a tag? Your spouse is tagging this as being really important to him. What a great opportunity to choose, as an act of love, to do it.

If your spouse’s love language is:

Physical Touch – A Primal Need

  • As you walk from your car to a destination, reach out and hold your spouse’s hand.
  • When eating together, let your foot wander over and rub his leg.
  • If you’re sitting together in church, and the pastor calls for prayer, reach over and hold your spouse’s hand.
  •  Don’t assume every touch from your spouse is a bid for sex. Check it out. He may just love to hold and hug you.
  • You’re allowed to say at night, “Let’s just cuddle for a bit and then I want to go to sleep.”

If we put intentional effort into discovering our family members’ love language, we have the power to fill their love tanks. People with a full love tank are easier to live with . . . and easier to love.




Are you ready to draw closer to God in a new way? Authors Suzanne Niles and Wendy Simpson Little can help you go deeper in your faith than ever before!
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