February is a good month to celebrate the love we have in Christ—and the love we have for one another. Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times bestselling book The 5 Love Languages, says we each experience love in different ways. How do you feel loved? How do you express love to others including your spouse, your children, and your friends? Dr. Chapman breaks down our preferred love language into five categories. Do you recognize yours?
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION—You appreciate hearing kind and loving words that build you up. Whether it is a loving inscription on a Valentine’s card, a phone call “just because,” a scribbled note left on the kitchen counter, or a message on Facebook, words make you feel loved and appreciated.
RECEIVING GIFTS—You feel loved when someone picks out a gift especially for you. For you, “it’s the thought that counts” is especially true. You don’t care whether the gift is large or small but that it was selected with you in mind. It means that the person was thinking about you and cared enough to show you a token of appreciation.
ACTS OF SERVICE—Your heart is warmed when someone does something for you. Maybe they offer to cook a meal, unexpectedly wash the dishes, or do a load of laundry. All of these acts—especially when done without prompting—can be felt as an act of love.
QUALITY TIME—You love when someone gives you their undivided attention. You love doing things together with the person you love. Especially when they shut off their cell phone or have a heart-to-heart conversation over a cup of coffee. Talking and listening make you feel appreciated.
PHYSICAL TOUCH—You are someone who loves the nearness of those you love. Nothing speaks more deeply to you than appropriate touch. It can be as simple as a hug or maybe holding hands. Being near to those you love fills your heart to overflowing.
The newly constructed Chapman Center on Moody Bible Institute’s Chicago campus has a hands-on exhibit that helps visitors understand and appreciate their love language. If you are in Chicago, be sure to visit! You can also take a free online assessment to discover your love language and begin improving your relationships: 5lovelanguages.com.