Nothing can compensate for failure in the home.
This thought was going through my head while I was listening to motivational speakerFrancis Kong talk. He talked about family, the importance of family and children, of mealtimes with children, of learning to communicate with love, of Dr. Chapman’sfive love languages – a primary way of expressing and interpreting love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical love.
- Words of Affirmation . Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
- Quality Time. In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
- Receiving Gifts . Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
- Acts of Service. Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
- Physical Touch. This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
What is amazing is that we are drawn to people speaking a different love language than our own. (and maybe that is why there is so much strife in this world – but that is for another time and another article)
During his talk, Kong went down memory lane and explained that used to handle his children dismally because he did not know that there was a more effective way of speaking that can really connect.
A flash. My daughter has a happiness meter. Literally. And my stress level increases or decreases at the undulation of that meter. But it has given me an insight to her love language.
Acts of service. Tasks. Something to do with her hands, and her time, that shows that she cares. I remember that when we have special occasions, my husband and I are inundated by cards, letters, notes. When she was 6 and I had her do an Easter Egg Hunt through poems, she was literally sparkling and had the time of her life. Because for once, I spoke her love language.
So – it could be that love gone wrong could just be people not speaking the same love language, a relationship disjointed by miscommunication.
But like Kong said, people express love differently and want to receive love differently. Now that really made me confused. How do I know? Will I just see what I want to see? What if I get it wrong?
Well, I need not have feared. There is a Love Language Profile Assessment in Dr. Chapman’s site. And I would not have guessed it – I have 2 primary love languages.
But what is this article doing in a personal finance site?
Well, as I said (and as you probably already know too), no amount of money can compensate for failure in the home. That is why there is a movement – an inward movement – going back to the basics, having more time for the children, less focus on the material things, more focus on the simpler things. Because at the end of it all, that is what matters. You came to this world with nothing and you will leave with nothing, except your memories and your experiences – and the love and wisdom that you gained – because of all that you gave.
Post Script: At the Leadercast seminar I attended, I got for free Kong’s book The Early Bird Catches the Worm But the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese. Thanks again to sole sister Lois Yasay.