One of the best tools for learning how to build relationships is the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
When we know our love language and the love languages of our friends and family, we know where to begin.
We feed loving hope into other souls.
One day, I discussed love languages with my son and reminded him about my primary language.
“Acts of service. I feel most loved when someone does something for me.”
Conversely, I show love to others by helping them and doing kind things for them. Treat others as we want to be treated — the second greatest commandment in action.
After a long month of illness, my love tank was pointed to empty. So I decided to tell my son exactly what I needed.
If we do not use our voices, we become invisible. Our needs are not heard.
“Son, my love tank is empty.”
“You know, acts of service and all that love language discussion we had about a month ago. I need my love tank filled.”
“What does that even mean, Mom?”
I rolled my eyes. It felt good to reverse the roles with a teenage gesture offered to my grown son. “It means … after being sick for so long and eating nothing but chicken soup, grapefruit and cough drops, my body needs some iron. I need a really good hamburger — not the cheap drive-through kind of burger. A buffalo burger with parmesan garlic sauce and potato wedges on the side. Lots of wedges.”
He nodded. ”So … you want me to go to Buffalo Wild Wings and get you a burger?”
“Now you’re catching on. Don’t forget the extra wedges.”
An hour later, completely satisfied after a whopping burger and salty wedges, my body responded with additional energy. I felt like I might survive and embrace healing. Hope returned.
But to make that leap, I needed to use my voice.
If I had continued to fill the house with my pitiful moaning, slurping leftover chicken soup and acting like a victim — nothing would have improved. My iron content would have plummeted, and my love tank remained empty.
But because I spoke my need and used my voice, my son had the opportunity to do a kind deed. He learned exactly how to speak my love language.
And I reciprocated with his — words of affirmation. “You are the best son ever and a wonderful young man.”
Isn’t life easier when we understand the love language of others, when we know exactly how to meet their needs? How might life change and produce hope if we all practiced our love languages?
Hope responds to authenticity.
When we speak our truth — we all benefit. Then we help each other move toward compassion, kindness and a more hope-filled life.
©2021 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
Pastor Tanner struggles to find Renee’s love language, but when he gets it — two lives change. Check out his story in The Year of my Redemption.