As Dave and I have been listening to the "Peasant Princess" series by Mars Hill Church online, it has brought us back to the five love languages. In case you haven't heard of these, they are the fundamental ways in which we all experience love. Most people have one major "love language" but some people major in all five. One's love language can change over time with growth and circumstances. The five love languages are
1. Words - affirmation, letters, texts, emails saying how much you are loved and cared for...
2. Gifts - pretty self-explanatory
3. Time - spending quality and quantity of time with someone...
4. Touch - Hugs, holding hands and all that stuff
5. Service - Laundry, oil changes, changing dirty diapers
When Dave and I first married his love languages were affirmation and time and mine were touch and time. Then we had children. Oh how those little monkeys change EVERYTHING!!! Now Dave's love languages are time and service, and mine is now SERVICE. I say that so emphatically only because so often I feel like I'm so far behind on everything and when Dave just helps without me asking, I am head over heels in love with him!
Gary Chapman is the author of the 5 Love Languages book and I know that he has written a book pertaining to children as well. I have never read that book, but this week I have been thinking a lot of my kids' love languages and how I can communicate better to them my overwhelming love for them.
Luke's love languages are definitely time and touch. Luke wants us to read him books, build elaborate train tracks with him, play monsters, color - with him. He is also the kid who has to give everyone in a room a hug and a kiss at least twice just so you know he loves you. Even if he has known you for five minutes.
Emma is definitely words and touch. Emma likes to hear how beautiful and wonderful she is. She loves to hear how much we love her and how far our love can reach for her. She will ask us ten times how pretty she looks just to hear us tell her that she is one of the two most beautiful princesses we have ever laid eyes on over and over again. She also loves being cuddled but she won't be aggressive about it like Luke is. She waits for our invitation, but she eats it up. You can tell that's when she feels the safest, is when she is in our arms.
Lily is harder to nail down. She is so busy and all over the place. She is pretty independent and can play on her own without complaint. But when I think about it, she is definitely a time and gift kid. When Dave brings home stuff for the other kids they are excited about it, but Lily treasures it. She loves the things people give her. She treats each gift she has been given like the most precious gift ever. Lily is also definitely time. Much like Emma with touch, Lily doesn't demand one on one attention, but she thrives with it.
I want to focus on loving my children in the way they best understand it. It's so hard, especially with the time part. I feel like I am constantly being tugged in five directions and every single one of my most loved people are time people to some extent. But tonight, I pulled Lily aside and went upstairs with her in a moment of calm with the other kids and we read books together and cuddled. She was so happy and she was so thrilled to comply with what I needed from her after that - no fighting, no screaming...just lots of kisses and hugs tonight after we spent our ten minutes together -alone.
What are your kids' love languages? What are your love languages? Are you communicating love to them in the language you best understand or in the one they fully know - or do you speak the same language?