Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In honor of the Love month...

There's a really popular book called The Five Love Languages that I highly recommend.  Apparently, each of us have different ways that we express and feel loved.  By learning the five different love languages, and pinpointing the ones that your loved ones need, you will be much more effective at expressing your love to your spouse, children, family, and friends.

The five languages are:

1.  Words of Affirmation ("I love you"  "You are wonderful"  "I am so proud of you")

2.  Acts of Service (the act of doing something for someone else, simply because you love them)

3.  Quality Time (spending "quality time" together, not just "time")

4.  Gifts (those that express this language put a lot of thought into a gift, and hold a lot of sentiment in gifts they receive)

5.  Physical Touch (hugs, a kiss, a back scratch, or hand-holding)

(These are described as best as I can.  For further understanding, I highly recommend the book!)

Naturally, we tend to express our love in the way that we speak it, but it may not be the way that someone else needs it.  For example, one of my love languages is "words of affirmation."  I tell my kids all day long how much I love them, how incredible I think they are, and how important they are to me.  Amerie, who also shares this love language, breaks out in a smile and smothers me in hugs and kisses whenever I tell her these things.  Andrew, on the other hand, is NOT "words of affirmation."  They tend to make him uncomfortable, and he rolls his eyes and won't look at me until I'm done, even though all I've said is, "I think you are incredible and I love you so much!!"  (sidenote...praying for my kids does not seem to fall under this category.  If I say, "Lord...I pray that Andrew knows how much mommy and daddy love Him, and how much You love him, and how special we think he is" he feels loved just like Amerie would).

I've been focusing on each of my kids lately and trying to pinpoint each of their love languages.  I want them to grow up feeling the love that I feel for them, even if I have to express it in ways that do not come naturally to me.  This has been a challenge at times, but very, very rewarding.  Seeing the different combinations is interesting, also.


My love languages are words of affirmation, physical touch, and gifts.  I love telling my children how important they are to me and how much i love them.  If I see a friend in an outfit that looks really nice on them, I will say so.  If someone has been working hard on something, I tell them "good job!"  These things come very natural to me.  And gifts...I LOVE picking out thoughtful gifts!!  I get a thrill out of it.  It doesn't have to be bought.  It's the feeling that person gets when they open it that I'm thinking of, regardless of what it is (I've been told this could fall under acts of service, too).  Consequently, thoughtful and meaningful gifts given to me mean a lot, too.  I also smother my babies in hugs and kisses all day.  I would shrivel up and disappear if I couldn't kiss and hug them a million times a day!!!

Aimee's love languages are "quality time" and "acts of service."  These two are so hard for me!!  I really have to put forth a conscious effort to show my love in a way she understands.  I've learned that spending a half hour with her after her siblings go down for the night goes a loooong way in making her feel loved!!  And the look on her face if I do something for her, like organize her room when she's at her dad's or help her with something when I'm in the middle of my own project, is a huge reward for me in return!!

Andrew's love languages are "physical touch" and a tiny bit "quality time."  Mostly the boy is just "physical touch."  He loves hugs.  He's my cuddlebug.  He's been known to tackle his baby sisters and not let them go.  If I walk by him and run my hand across his buzzed head of hair, it's much more effective than if I had just said, "I love you."  But, because of my language, I still say "I love you!!!"  :)

Amerie, like i mentioned earlier, is "words of affirmation."  She's also "physical touch" and "quality time."  I have lost count of the number of times she's come up to me, put her hands on the sides of my face, and told me i was, "wonderful," "beautiful," and that she's "so proud of me!"  :)  When she gets in "love mommy moods" she pets my hair and my arms and crawls in my lap, and then tells me how important I am to her.  Obviously, this girl melts my heart because we speak the same language!


Lexi I'm not quite sure about yet.  She's still so young.  I know she loves hugs when she's excited, but it's still too early to determine the love language she speaks best.  In the meantime, I'm giving her all five as best I can.

Which leads me to one last thought...

I was discussing these things with Bethany...

(who is gifts, by the way!!) and she said that because I make an effort to "speak love" to my kids in each of the five languages, they will be familiar with each one and therefor have an easier time expressing them as they grow older.  I thought this was really useful information that I would have never thought of!!

My next step is figuring out my parents

and my sister, Emma.

  I already know Bethany's, since her and i discuss the love languages (and personality types) quite often.  But i want the people in my life that matter so much to me to know how much i love them, even if it means expressing it in ways that don't come second-nature.

I highly recommend the book, and applying the knowledge to your kids, spouse, parents, etc.  I wish I had understood these things better when i was married.  Phil is "acts of service," which is my hardest one to relate to.  I could have done a much better job at showing him how loved he is.  Hopefully I will be able to teach my kids the five languages and help them avoid missed opportuntities in their future!!

Have a happy February!!


  1. I'm totally acts of service and words of affirmation! Unload my dishwasher and tell me "good job" and I'm yours forever ;)

  2. haha..Kelly you make me laugh! I love you Liz! Great post and Love the pictures! Great touch! Keep in mind that if a person is really hard to tell what their love language is it could be that they were given all five growing up and they didnt lack receiving any of them. This would cause them to lack none of them making it really hard to figure them out. Might be something to keep in mind with Lexi. note: this does not mean that the others lacked any of them.

  3. Good to know (and strive for!!). :)