May 22, 2020
Learn from Great Lovers
Last week we had the privilege of interviewing Gary Chapman, author of many books including, 5 Love Languages, that has sold over 13 million English copies (not to mention the millions in other languages). At 82 years old, Gary is vibrant, engaged and articulate. This will be his 50 Year Anniversary of marriage to his lovely wife Carolyn. I’d say that qualifies his as a great lover of one, not to mention the millions he’s helped thorough his writing.
Gary has a passion for helping people form lasting relationships. He is known around the world as a marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars. His nationally syndicated radio programs air nationally on Moody Radio Network and over 400 affiliate stations.
Gary wrote the 5 Love Languages after noticing some common themes in his counseling sessions with married couples. Loving each other wasn’t enough. He discovered it was how one spouse loved the other, and also that certain ways of loving were more effective than others. He discovered that each person expresses love in his or her own way. Learning your partner's and your own primary love language will help create a stronger bond in your relationship.
Speak the Language
Before we identify the five Love Languages it’s important to note that according to Gary, we usually express love to others in the way we like to be loved. If my primary love language is Acts of Service (1), I will serve others in as my way of expressing my love to them. But that may not be their primary love language.
This is where the problems begin.
The art of becoming a better lover starts when we identify our partner’s Love Language and love them the way they love being loved. For example, Shanna’s Love Languages are Quality Time (2) and Physical Touch (3). A night watching television as I rub her feet is the ultimate expression of loving her well. She literally falls asleep in my hands nearly every time. Yes, making my wife fall asleep makes me a better lover!
You’ve already seen three of the five Love Languages. The other two are Words of Affirmation (4) and Receiving Gifts (5).
To identify your spouse’s Love Language, take the free 5 Love Languages test.
Falling in Love Is Not Enough
How many weddings have we attended where we heard the preacher quote the Love Chapter of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I’ve never met a couple in a pre-arranged marriage that didn’t love each other from the first. But I’ve met hundreds who fell in love, got married, and later divorced. During our interview Gary agreed that love is not enough to make a marriage last. Like I say at every ceremony I officiate, besides the stubborn refusal to quit, it’s rising into love that matters most. We rise into love when we focus on how best to love and serve our spouse. But it doesn’t stop there.
Speak the Dialect
We are transforming our original Playbooks 1 and 2 into one book that will transform churches. A possible title is When Men Get it, Everyone Wins: 90 Weeks to Changing your Church. The goal is to have it ready by the fall and translated into the Hindi language.
Did you know there are two official languages in India: Hindi (with approximately 420 million speakers) and English? But there are 22 major languages, written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects!
Not only do you need to learn how to speak her language, you must learn to speak her specific dialect. I know what you’re thinking, “This loving thing is tough!” I know. It takes a lifetime to master the art of loving your bride.
Not all women with the primary Love Language of Physical Touch are like Shanna whose dialect is good foot rub. One wife’s Physical Touch Dialect might be hand holding, another snuggling, and other is kiss before and after work. The science to loving our wives well is not only learning her Love Language but speaking her dialect.
Love Me Tender
Don’t you love that Elvis song? I once sang it to my wife as a mariachi band serenaded us in Tres Islas, a Cabo San Lucas restaurant. She thought it was cute, but embarrassing. I thought it was awesome!
He shoots. He misses!
Her Love Language is not Words of Affirmation.
It’s mine. I should have been holding her hand while singing. Rubbing her feet would have been weird.
I have dozens of Birthday cards, Father’s Day cards, and Thank You notes stuffed into one of my thousands of personal library books. I’ll open a book sometimes just to read the card. They’re monuments of love to me, sent by people who love me. If you want to love me tender, send me written note of encouragement. I love being publicly affirmed (it can be a problem I admit) and receiving encouraging emails, but cards are the dialect that I speak the best.
Take the test and Learn the Language. Speak the dialect. Strengthen your marriage.