Mar 30, 2007

Love Languages

We have really come to appreciate the book, "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman in this household. It just seems to give us so much more insight into how to love each other better. Knowing that my husband's love language is touch and quality time reminds me to take advantage of opportunities to give him a random hug during the day, knowing that it will speak volumes more than if I brought him home a gift. On the other hand, if he offers to do the dishes for me one night after dinner, he's showing me more love than if he were to give me a foot rub. My love language is acts of service and quality time. Isn't it ironic that we normally show love to our spouse the way we want it. It takes so much more thought to love them the way that they need to be loved. It's all part of God's beautiful plan, of course, to keep us constantly dependent upon Him to guide and direct our steps throughout each day. When I'm following him, I'm thinking less about me and my wants and more about others. The same holds true for our children too.

Chuck and I recently had a wonderful revelation as to the love languages prominent in each child. Once you realize it, you see it all around you. Just in case you're not familiar with all of the love languages, they are: Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Words of Affirmation. Here's how our each of our sweet, little ones gives and receives love:

Gavin, at age 8, desires Quality Time above all else. He's naturally a very easy going kid, not much gets him riled up. He prefers that quality time by sitting and reading with me or learning new things about the computer from Daddy. He treasures our dates and the personal attention he gets from each parent concentrating solely on him and whatever he wants to do or talk about. He also shows love through Gifts. Whenever we're out on a date, he always asks to stop at a dollar store so he can buy Bennett & Chloe something with his own money. He spends a good 30 minutes perusing each isle in search of the exact perfect $1 gift. This is life and death decision making in action. If you ever get a gift from Gavin, you can know he put every ounce of thought he had into it. He seems to follow in his Daddy's footsteps and loves making me little notes or powerpoints on the computer. His gifts are very heartfelt.

Bennett, at age 5, recieves love best by Physical Touch. The kid is always leaning on me if we're sitting on the floor playing a game, or sitting on a chair reading a book. He MUST touch. Wrestling is how he gets most of his touch in. If he doesn't get any 'wrestle time' in with Daddy during the day, you'd think he didn't get any love. Gavin and Bennett wrestle incesantly, so I think its safe to assume that they love each other immensely. Actually, just the other day Bennett said, "I like being with Gavin. I just like to do whatever he does. I really like him." Which brings me to his second most valued language of love which is, Quality Time. If he doesn't get play time with Gavin each day, you'd think he lost his best friend. If he feels he needs more time with me, he has no qualms in saying, "Hey, Mom, I want a date with you. We haven't spent much time together lately." He's very in touch with how he feels and desires that everyone know how he feels about everything.

And lastly, Chloe. She'll be 3 next week and already has such a distinct personality. That is one of the most awe inspiring things to me....how kids are born their own little persons. From the minute she was born, she has surprised me in every way. I guess I had a preconcieved idea of the way a little girl would be and she has blown each of those ideas out of the water and shown me who she IS instead of who I THINK she should be. God has taught me the most through this darling princess of mine. She is full of surprises. We've yet to figure out which love language is priority for her, both of these seem equally important, they are: Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. Chloe loves to ask, "What I hep you wiv, mommeee?" or "What can I do?" Or if someone needs something, she is the first to yell, "I get it for you!" and runs off with her little girly run in order to help us. (Although, truth be told, she's not as giddy about helping when it comes to 'clean up time'). Any time throughout the day, I might be given the random complement by her, such as, "I yike your pripee shurt Mommee." or "Dank you for painting my prippee pink room, Mommee, I yike it." She loves to adorn me with princess names and titles - I can never seem to keep up with which one I am. But to her, that is such a loving thing to do. Whenever I call her by her princess name of the day, she can't hold back her smile and grins from ear to ear. She loves it when I acknowledge how pretty she folded the napkins that she set at the table.

How beautiful that God shows us what our kids need. How thankful I am for his constant guidance in raising my three favorite little people in the whole world. In learning how to love them, I'm learning how to give more of me and the more of my self that falls to the side, the more of Jesus my children will hopefully see. Thank God this is a life long journey and that we are only at the beginning!
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