family fortune part five – love deposits
In my college years I used to work at Home Depot in the paint department. Often guys would come in who didn’t speak English and they would start talking to me in Spanish. I don’t know Spanish. But I had 3 co-workers who did. So when a man came up and started talking to me in Spanish, I would grab either Tina, Gil or Alfonso. Then they would carry on a conversation in Spanish about paint. Most other customers would communicate with me in English. We would have the exact same conversations in different languages. I would communicate about paint, determine whether it was interior or exterior, oil-based or latex, flat, eggshell, satin, SG or HG in English. Tina would communicate about paint, determine whether it was interior or exterior, oil-based or latex, flat, eggshell, satin, SG or HG in Spanish.
We were communicating the same exact things but we were using different languages.
We could communicate the same things about paint in several different languages from English to Spanish to French to German. In the same way, we can communicate love in a variety of different languages. I can say “I love you” in a variety of ways. Gary Chapman calls these “the 5 love languages.”
Today I’d like to discuss these “love languages” and see how we can learn to speak those various love languages so that we can be more effective in communicating love to our family members.
Making our family a fortune requires the right investments and that means making frequent deposits into their love bank. The more effective we are in speaking the love language of our loved ones, the greater those deposits and over time our wealth increases as we draw interest on those investments.
According to Gary Chapman there are 5 primary ways that people can communicate love. There are 5 primary love languages:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Receiving gifts
4. Acts of service
5. Physical touch
THE FIRST ONE IS WORDS OF AFFIRMATION.
One way to communicate love to people is to verbally affirm them. For example:
“I like your haircut; it looks nice.”
“You did a great job on that picture.”
“I appreciate you taking out the trash.”
“Thank you for washing the dishes.”
“I’m proud of you for the way you handled that situation.”
“You are really good at that.”
“You played a great game.”
Words of affirmation… Words are an important way to communicate love. Words are powerful.
When I was a kid I went to public school and played with kids in the neighborhood and guess what…they were mean. They would say mean things and diss me and make fun of me. You know that phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” THAT IS A LIE. Words hurt. They wound.
Prov 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death. We have the power to destroy people with our words. We also have the power to build up others with our words.
Prov 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. A kind word cheers up a person. Kind words are important.
Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.
Words are an important way to communicate love:
· affirming words
· encouraging words
· kind words
Let’s learn the love language of “words of affirmation.”
Let’s seek to communicate love with our words. Let’s use our words to bring life and not death. Let’s use our words to bring healing and rejuvenation to people rather than tearing them down. Let’s speak to one another with words of affirmation rather than words of condemnation.
THE SECOND LOVE LANGUAGE IS QUALITY TIME.
Another way that we can communicate love to other people is to spend quality time with them. Think about time. Time is precious. If you’re like me, you wish there were more hours in the day. Think about what it communicates to others when you choose to spend that precious time with them. That is indeed an expression of love. “I love you so much that I have chosen to spend this time with you – time that I can’t get back.”
Notice that this love language is entitled QUALITY time, not just time. There is a difference between spending time together and spending quality time together. Typically, those who seek and desire to spend quality time with a loved one would not define it as sitting on the couch together with your eyes glued to CNN or sports center. More than likely, they would rather your eyes be glued to them and your attention be on them. Rather than being engaged with a tv show or the newspaper or your phone they would probably rather you be engaged in conversation with them.
Those who crave quality time see togetherness, not as proximity, but as focused attention. The real question is where is the attention? People (a couple or friends or father and child) can be doing something together, but the focus needs to be on the other individual and not on that activity. People can play tennis or throw a baseball or shoot hoops. The attention is not on the ball but on the other individual. The ball is simply something that drew them together for the quality time. Something we have to be careful about is making it more about the tennis match or the task at hand. Doing something together is wonderful, but the attention needs to be on the person, not the task.
Let’s learn to speak this love language of quality time. Let’s seek to make our time with loved ones quality time and not just time.
THE THIRD LOVE LANGUAGE IS RECEIVING GIFTS.
The giving of gifts seems to be something that is wired into individuals as an expression of love. We see this as early as childhood when a child picks a flower for his mother. My daughters draw me pictures all the time and give them to me when I walk in the door. For you, daddy.
Gifts tend to be visual symbols of love. These visual symbols of love tend to be more important to some people than others.
Obviously speaking this type of love language can be expensive. It seems that those whose primary love language is receiving gifts don’t necessarily require a lot of money be spent and that is the beauty of gifts. They can be bought, found or made.
Let’s learn to communicate love to others by the giving of gifts.
THE FOURTH LOVE LANGUAGE IS ACTS OF SERVICE.
One expression of love doing things for others, serving them, putting your love into action.
Last week I mentioned how Jesus humbling himself and washed the feet of the disciples. Though he deserved to be served, he humbled himself and served them. This is a perfect example of an act of service.
We don’t walk on dusty streets in sandals today, so foot-washing is not as practical. However, a foot-rub with lotion may be appropriate and appreciated as an act of service. Other acts of service may be:
· taking out the trash
· doing dishes
· changing a diaper
· painting a room
· mowing the lawn
· washing a car
· giving somebody a ride
· going through the trash to look for your sister’s lost retainer
Let’s learn to speak the love language of service. Let’s communicate our love to others by serving them.
THE FIFTH LOVE LANGUAGE IS PHYSICAL TOUCH.
Physical touch is a fundamental way of communicating love to others.
Research shows that babies who are held, hugged, and kissed typically develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.
Physical contact communicates love. Physical touch comes in various forms:
· Older men put their hand on a young man’s head or on his shoulder.
· People shake hands
· give fives
All such forms of physical touch are typically expressions of love.
Now obviously, physical touch requires discretion. The way that I hug Audrianna will be different from the way that I hug Breann. Certain physical touch is only appropriate for a married couple. Certain physical touch between married couples is only appropriate in private and obviously that requires discretion and common sense.
Let’s learn to speak the love language of physical touch so that we can communicate love to others through the appropriate kinds of touch.
Those are Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages:
· Words of Affirmation
· Quality Time
· Acts of Service
· Physical Touch
Here’s 1 from me: Love what your loved one loves.
Bre watches college football with me
Asks me who we’re rooting for (not that she doesn’t have a mind of her own – she’s getting in my world and seeking to love what I love)
I ask her team Edward/Jacob – I get in her world and seek to love what she loves
DIFFERENT PEOPLE TEND TO SPEAK DIFFERENT LOVE LANGUAGES. I told you about my experience in the paint department at HD. Some people naturally communicate about paint in Spanish. That is their native tongue. I naturally communicate about paint in English. That is my native tongue.
In the same way, we all tend to have a “native tongue” when it comes to love. There is probably one primary love language that each of us speaks. Some of us naturally communicate love by giving gifts. Some of us naturally communicate love by acts of service.
What I mean is that some of us feel very loved when affirmed by words but not as loved when given a gift. Others may feel very loved when you spend quality time with them but could care less if you ever do any acts of service for them, they just want your company and that communicates love to them.
So different people tend to speak different love languages. Some people have a native tongue, so to speak when it comes to communicating love.
Therefore, in terms of making our family a fortune, when it comes to making deposits into the love bank it’s important to know one’s primary love language. If my wife’s primary love language is acts of service, then every time I perform an act of service I’m making a $100 deposit. But if she doesn’t really care about gifts and I neglect to perform acts of service, but I buy her flowers once a week, come home with gifts everyday, that’s only a $5 deposit as far as she’s concerned.
HOW DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE’S LOVE LANGUAGE? I said that often times people typically have one primary love language. How do you know what it is?
PEOPLE TYPICALLY GIVE WHAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET. People typically do to others what they would want done to them. I speak English to others because I want people to speak to me in English. I speak my native tongue. We have this tendency of thinking that everyone feels the same way we do. I walk up behind Breann and give her massages all the time, because I know that I would want them. For years I did this. At the beginning of our marriage she would always say, “Eww, stop, you’re moving things around inside me.” My response was, “Well yeah. It’s like the best thing ever.” She didn’t really care for them. Did I stop doing it? Nope. All the time, I walked up and started rubbing her. Why? Because she liked it? Nope. Because I liked it and naturally thought, “This will really show her love.” When in reality for her it was quality time and acts of service that would communicate love. But my love language was evident because people tend to give what they would like to get. She could clearly see by my actions that a massage would really say, “I love you.”
So one way to tell someone’s love language is to observe them. Typically, if they give gifts, they probably like to receive gifts. Typically if they render acts of service they like to receive acts of service. They serve others to say I love you. Serving them will probably say I love you. Observe what others do. They typically speak their own love language. They typically give what they would like to get.
ANOTHER WAY TO KNOW IS THAT THOSE PEOPLE CLOSEST TO YOU MAKE KNOWN WHAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET – PAY ATTENTION.
Breann calls me everyday and asks when I’m going to be home because she likes quality time. It is clear and evident that quality time with Breann is something that is important to her because she has made it evident.
So 2 ways to know someone’s primary love language is to observe them as people typically give what they’d like to get and pay attention because they typically make it known through their words and actions.
DON’T EXCLUDE CERTAIN LOVE LANGUAGES. We can find ourselves saying “Their language is gifts so I don’t need to give them words of affirmation. Or their love language is touch, so I don’t need to spend quality time with them.” Don’t go there. Seek to express love in all of these ways, but be aware of somebody’s primary love language if indeed they have one in order to be most effective in expressing love. That doesn’t mean neglect other ways of showing love.
Every five dollar deposit you make into your account adds up. Money is money. Love is love and just because we have certain preferences for one expression of love over another doesn’t mean that any one expression should be neglected because they are all important ways to say, “I love you.”
Today, at lunch with your family, discuss openly these love languages and share with your family members your personal preference, your native tongue when it comes to saying I love you. If you are married, your primary emphasis will be on your spouse, but also on your children. If you are a child, then your emphasis will be on your parents and your siblings if you have them. Do everything you can this week to learn to speak their love languages and begin making daily deposits into their love bank.
Their primary love language may be different from yours. It may be difficult and unnatural to speak that love language at first. Practice makes perfect. Foreign language is difficult at first. One day, the longer you speak that language, you will learn it better and it will become more natural.
YOUR LOVED ONE MAY HAVE A PRIMARY LOVE LANGUAGE OF WORDS OF AFFIRMATION.
Remember the power of words. Life and death. For them, words are the primary vehicle of love.
Be intentional with your TONE. Tone can change everything. You can say the exact same words 2 completely different ways.
· “Yeah I think that looks great on you.” vs “Yeah…I think that looks…great on you?”
· “Get over here!!! L” vs “Get over here ”
If your loved one has a primary love language of words of affirmation, you may want to consider
· setting a goal to give your loved one a different compliment every day for the next month.
· writing sweet affirming notes and putting them in places where they will find them.
· Seek to give compliments to your loved one in public.
· Seek to complement them behind their back to others.
· Look for their strengths and seek to tell them how much you appreciate those strengths.
· Avoid criticism
· NEVER speak ill of them to others
YOUR LOVED ONE MAY HAVE A PRIMARY LOVE LANGUAGE OF QUALITY TIME.
Spend your time WITH THEM. It doesn’t really even matter what you’re doing as long as you’re doing it WITH THEM. If you are choosing to spend time with somebody else instead of them, you are almost in their minds communicating that you love that person more than them.
This is a big one for married people. Do you spend more time with others than with your spouse? What kind of message does that send? Especially if quality time is their primary love language? That says, “I love this other person more than I love you.”
If TIME=LOVE, then MORE TIME = MORE LOVE.
And don’t just spend time together, spend QUALITY time together. Some things that are suggested for enhancing time together, making it quality time and not just time:
· Eye contact
· Don’t do something else while your loved one is talking to you
· Try not to interrupt
When you don’t make eye contact or if you are doing other things, that can communicate that what you’re doing or what you’re looking at is more important than your loved one and what they are saying. Focus on your loved one.
If your loved one’s primary love language is quality time you may want to consider:
· Trying to eat as many meals together as possible.
· Take walks together.
· Ride bikes together.
· Think about the things that your loved one enjoys but you don’t. Initiate times when you do those things together.
· Lie out on the driveway looking up at the stars together.
· Have a picnic together.
YOUR LOVED ONE MAY HAVE A PRIMARY LOVE LANGUAGE OF RECEIVING GIFTS.
Have you ever witnessed somebody receive a lame gift and then have the genuine attitude of, “Well, it’s the thought that counts” and they mean that genuinely. They can get a gunrack and not own a gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack and their response would be “Oh, that is so sweet of you!”
Their genuine attitude is, I appreciate this gift because this is symbolic of your love for me. It can be something they would never use in their life, but it is special to them because you gave it to them. Those people are the ones who tend to have a primary love language of receiving gifts.
Remember: gifts don’t have to be expensive. It is the receiving of the gifts that is important. You are thinking of them enough to give them something. It is the thought that counts. It can be a flower you picked or a card that you made. Gifts don’t need to be costly.
They like to be given stuff. They generally appreciate any gift, inexpensive gifts, thoughtful gifts. After all, it is the thought that counts. “He thought of me. And now when I see or use this, I will think of him.”
Gifts are a physical symbol of love for those who speak the love language of gifts.
For those whose loved ones have a primary love language of receiving gifts, you may consider
· Keeping a list of everything they mention that they would like; prioritize that list and surprise them with an item once you have saved up
· Try giving your loved one a gift every day for a week (obviously this would need to be relatively inexpensive gifts)
YOUR LOVED ONE MAY HAVE A PRIMARY LOVE LANGUAGE OF ACTS OF SERVICE.
When somebody’s primary love language is acts of service, they may not feel loved if you are not doing things for them.
People need love and if you aren’t speaking their love language, their way of letting you know may come across as demanding or nagging. “You haven’t done this. I asked you to do that.”
If your primary love language is acts of service one thing to keep in mind: REQUESTS GIVE DIRECTION TO LOVE, DEMANDS STOP THE FLOW OF LOVE.
If somebody nags somebody into doing certain acts of service, those things can be done begrudgingly and with a sour spirit and no longer feel as an expression of love. Ideally, someone who speaks this language of love will make requests, not demands. They will resist the desire to nag and wait patiently until the other person exerts the thought, planning, time, effort, and energy to do such acts of service. Then it will be done from the heart out of love and it will be an ultimate expression of their love and received as such.
If your loved one speaks a primary love language of acts of service, you may consider:
· Making a honey-do lists and recall all of the things your loved one has asked of you and seek to do them one by one
· Ask your loved one what act of service would really communicate love to them and commit to doing it
YOUR LOVED ONE MAY HAVE A PRIMARY LOVE LANGUAGE OF PHYSICAL TOUCH.
Now, the rest of these love languages really apply across the board (hence: loved-one) in a lot of ways and aren’t restricted to marriage. Physical touch is not restricted to marriage; I can physically touch people besides Bre. You have the freedom to touch people you’re not married to, but at this point I’m going address physical touch as a love language specific to marriage.
If physical touch is your spouse’s love language, the worst thing you can do is not touch them. No touch = no love. The more you touch them, the more you communicate to them that you love them.
If physical touch is your loved one’s love language, I would encourage you to consider the following:
· make an effort to sit next to them in public – NOT across the room.
· as you sit next to them, hold their hand, put your arm around them or on their leg. Touch them (in ways that are appropriate).
· Come up behind them and rub their shoulders, give them a massage.
· Hug them.
· Kiss their cheek.
· Rest your head on their shoulder.
· Take advantage of the privacy of your home
· Play footsies with them under the dinner table.
· When you pray together, hold hands.
· When your spouse comes home, greet them with hugs and kisses.
· Initiate sex!!! Yep, I said it.
Let’s seek to be more effective in loving our family members by seeking to understand their native tongue. Let’s seek to understand the love language of others and speak it to them. If I want to communicate about paint to a Spanish speaker, I will be most effective if I speak to him in Spanish. If I want to communicate love to a person whose primary love language is quality time, I will be most effective if I spend quality time with that person. And in so doing, our love deposits will be much greater and we will make our families a fortune.