Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? It is one of my very favorite books. The book goes into deep detail about the five different languages we speak when it comes to love; Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. There is even a quiz to go through and find out which language you speak — Side Note: primarily I'm a Words of Affirmation but running a close second is Acts of Service.
The book was given to me years ago as a gift. We've been blessed to have Gary Chapman as a guest on our Army Wife Talk Radio show. There is a kids version that I also highly recommend. I've been quite impressed with the opportunity it gave me to relate to my children and ensure their love tank is full.
Some of the love languages are easier to speak than others. It really depends on how you show and accept love. Typically you speak the language that you hear.
I will admit that the easiest form of showing someone you care is purchasing them something. It's my "go to". When someone has a birthday, I buy them balloons or a cake. When someone is not feeling well, I send them a meal. When someone gets promoted, I send them flowers. When it's a birthday or Christmas, I buy presents. Guilty. As. Charged.
Funny thing is that this — Receiving Gifts — is not at all my primary love language. But, ah, it is Acts of Service in a way, isn't it?
The point is that spending money is easy but there are way more ways that you can show your love than purchases. It's important that you understand that while most people will absolutely enjoy the gorgeous flowers you sent from the florist they'd just as much appreciate a kind note and a home cooked meal or flowers picked from your garden.
When it comes to your kids sometimes the easiest, least-expensive, and most rewarding way to show your love is to spend your time vs. your money. In these tough financial times you might discover you can live on a whole lot less if you cut out some extras that we consider "normal" these days — cable television, gaming systems, iPhones, iPads, Kindles, etc. In doing so, you'll have to be creative in how you show your love — spend some time having a family board game night, create family Q&A sessions, read together, etc. The side effect might very well be bringing your family closer together.
Last but not least when it comes to your spouse, look into the languages and try to identify how your loved one speaks. It might be as easy as a genuine compliment, taking out the trash, bringing him lunch at work, spending time together without the kids, or even a ten-second kiss — all of which are inexpensive! Even if your loved one does speak gifts — remember that anything is a gift, regardless of the price, if it comes from the heart.
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