After the “honeymoon stage” in relationships, it is tempting to become complacent or even lazy. The sweet notions, spontaneous acts, and sincere compliments can slowly start to fade, therefore, resulting in the feeling of being unloved, unwanted, or unappreciated.
In Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, he explains the five different ways people best receive love. If your spouse, or significant other, and you can determine one another’s love languages you can become a better nurturer, so they feel loved, wanted, and appreciated.
The 5 Love Languages:
- words of affirmation
- quality time
- receiving gifts
- acts of service
- physical touch
Words of affirmation are when people best accept love by words that display compliments, gratitude, and/or affection.
3 Common Ways to Deliver Words of Affirmation:
1. Encouraging words inspire courage in our significant other. This inspiration of courage aids them in accomplishing positive things they would like to do.
Everyone loves a cheerleader and your mate should be your number one fan. Even just being encouraged to start playing racquetball again rather than joking around and saying they are too old or too overweight, can really go a long way.
2. Kind words allow your communication to go smoothly. They improve how we speak, and not necessarily what we actually say. The tone of voice can portray a tenderness that is a genuine expression of love. Handling your emotions and feelings with kind words can deter from unhealthy and unwarranted fights.
Explaining why you are upset with a gentle tone of voice instead of having outbursts of anger or using accusatory language is also greatly beneficial. An example would be, saying, “I was hurt that you chose to read instead of talking with me” rather than, “Why can’t you just talk to me instead of reading your book?” The tone completely changes the sincerity of the situation.
3. Humble words refer to making requests as opposed to demands. Knowing one another’s desires breeds an intimate relationship, and humble words allow us to express them in the form of a request.
For an example, instead of saying “Can’t you ever take me out anywhere fun?” you could say “I would be very excited to go somewhere new and exciting with you sometime soon”.
Words of affirmation might seem like common sense, but the amount of people who successfully deliver them on a day-to-day basis is most likely not too many.
Perfect Example of a Healthy Relationship
However, it all starts with loving one another like Jesus loves the Church (his children). He is the perfect example of what unconditional love is and through prayer for the desire and tools to love sacrificially each person in the relationship will want to love everyone as Jesus loves us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 voices characteristics of Christ-like love: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.