Native Tongue

DAY 21

The lives of husbands (and wives and kids and siblings and friends) across America changed forever in 1995. Why? A pastor in North Carolina published his unique idea that we all “speak” love in different ways. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages says that whether you’re a quality time person, an acts of service lover, a words of affirmation kind of girl (or guy), an appreciator of gifts, or a craver of physical touch, you speak a particular language with a particular dialect. It comes naturally for you to express yourself in one of these five ways, and you feel most loved when you receive it in return.

This has very practical implications. For instance, good news: I can quit stressing over how spotless the house is and scratch my husband’s back since he’s far more interested in physical touch than in acts of service. Bad news: guess which love language I personally score ZERO on… poor Riley. This doesn’t mean I’m excused from holding his hand or rubbing his shoulders—it just means I have to work harder at it than most people. If I’m the only woman tasked with loving that man like Jesus, by dingy, I’m gonna do it right.

Okay. Enough about me. Let’s find out what your native tongue is. Head over here to get the party started.

You might score the same as your spouse or kids, but chances are good that somewhere along the line, you’ll need to learn how to “speak a foreign language” to communicate your love. The easiest first step is to let them know you’re going to try some new ideas, but that you’ll need lots of grace and patience along the way. No one expects perfection here. Even the fact that you’re attempting something unfamiliar on their behalf earns points with most people.

I’m keeping today’s post short on purpose: go figure out the love language of the person you’re closest to (in intimacy, not proximity, though the guy ahead of you in line might not mind being asked either). Then brainstorm some ways to speak your feelings using their native tongue.

If anyone should be known for creativity and courage in loving others well, it’s the people of God. This is exactly how we’ve been treated. So let’s get busy!

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