This is not going to be your typical book review. In fact I’m going to start with the end. If you are married or are going to be married, you need to get this book. If your marriage is starting to get rocky, then you definitely need to get this book.
The 5 Love Languages breaks down what we all need in a relationship, so simply that it kind of left me smacking my head and going, “why didn’t I think of that?” Its author, Gary Chapman, is a Christian and he does use some Biblical references, but you do not need to be a Christian to benefit from the information in this book. Nor does this book seek to proselytize. So feel assured that anyone can derive wisdom from Chapman’s words.
I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but I do want to give you an idea of what this book is about and why it is so helpful.
In the beginning Chapman talks about a “Love Tank”. This is something akin to what many of us would consider our heart. He talks about it being a tank in order to illustrate the point of whether your tank is empty or full. If you feel loved – then your tank is full. If you are feeling neglected, then your tank would be empty.
The main idea of the book is that we all speak a certain “love language”. Just like verbal languages, everyone’s love language is different. If I were to speak to you in French, chances are you would not understand me. Likewise, if I expressed my love to you in a love language that is not your love language, you do not feel fulfilled. However, I feel like I have done my job because I don’t understand that there are different love languages.
I just want to briefly touch on what the five love languages are.
1: Words of Affirmation
2: Acts of Service
3: Receiving Gifts
4: Quality Time
5: Physical Touch
Words of affirmation can be anything from saying “I love you” to “I appreciate you making dinner tonight” to “Wow! That song you played on the piano was beautiful!”
Acts of Service can range from taking out the trash, bringing your wife a cup of tea after she’s had a long day, sewing buttons back on to your husband’s shirt.
Receiving gifts can be big or small. You can bring a bouquet of roses or a handful of wildflowers you picked in the field, buying a card for no reason, or making one by hand, buy your husband a new sweater or make him a scarf.
Quality time takes the most planning usually. You have to actively set time aside to spend with your spouse, but it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It can be going out to dinner, walking on the beach, or sitting on the couch for 30 minutes with your cell phones and TV turned off, doing nothing but talking.
Physical Touch is often mistaken for sex (and many men jump to say that this is their language due to this), but it is so much more than that. Touch is holding hands, giving a back rub, hugging, stroking your spouse’s hair.
In the book Chapman discusses that just like verbal languages, each love language has many dialects. For each love language there are many ways to express love, and the best way to love your spouse is to find out which language and dialect is theirs. Very rarely do couples have the same love language, so speaking your spouse’s language may not come naturally, but it is so worth the effort.
Trust me when I say that this book will change your marriage.
I purchased The 5 Love languages with my own funds.