Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Five Love Languages for Families

Although Dr. Gary Chapman has written books on the five languages of love for children, teenagers, spouses and singles, I don't believe that Dr. Chapman has yet written a book on the five languages of love for families. Apparently his unwritten book did not stop our family (Grandpa excluded) from taking his love language profile test at the dinner table last night. With the dinner dishes yet unwashed, we all began (for fun and laughs and curiosities) discerning the ways that we give and receive love.

For those not familiar with Dr. Chapman's New York Times Bestseller (The Five Love Languages), the premise is that most people prefer to give and receive love through one of the following five ways: (1) Words of Affirmation (2) Quality Time (3) Receiving Gifts (4) Acts of Service and (5) Physical Touch.

All of us agreed that we appreciate receiving love in whatever form it appears, but Dr. Chapman carefully explained in his book that we were not allowed to equally claim all five languages of love. I made the executive decision that we could profess the top two languages of love assigned to us by Dr. Chapman's profile test. Oh, how much fun we have had with the results!

Dad and Mom both claimed quality time. It must be an acquired love language given that "together time" is so sparse with such a full household.

Jacob made us laugh because his profile was the only one that included receiving gifts. He was not ashamed to make it clear that he does not mind presents!

Of course Rebecca, who always finds a way to squeeze on my lap for devotions and give me the best hugs and kisses whenever I am with her, found that physical touch was her primary language of love.

Hannah knows that I am so sensitive to words and found occasion to tease me for my high scoring "words of affirmation" love language.

Mom, who works so diligently on behalf of the family, found that she felt especially loved through acts of service. Hannah, very practically minded in her outlook on life, joined her on this account.

The oldest (Grandma) and youngest (Caleb) exam participants both scored a top "physical touch" love language. Good thing that hugs are in good order around here!

(Luke, having taken the exam, held his results in confidence. "I don't believe in it." I think he meant the test, not giving and receiving love!)

Anyhow, as silly as this all is, we are having fun growing in sensitivity to the fact that creating a family is about understanding a person and the way that they experience love. How grateful we are for community!