Earlier this year I heard a message by Pastor Josh Baser that challenged me to "step up my love game." He made a statement that really caught my attention. He said the assumption that our family believes that we love them is one of the greatest contributors to the breakdown of American families.
Well, the answer was yes, and no. See, I didn't know the individual love language of each of my family members, so my actions and attitude matched my own love language, not theirs.
Since that is a clear indication, I watched to see how they expressed love to me, to identify theirs. And I found that my children had one predominant language that stood out most, but I also found that they needed every language to be expressed.
As I have stepped up to this challenge, there has been a slow steady improvement in my ability to love them better. They feel the benefit of my love for them because it is expressed in their own language. And I understand their expressions of love for me because I can now speak their language.
We need both the giving and the receiving sides of love and knowing how to communicate it in the language that our family speaks is vital.
My parents divorced when I was young. And I remember one time, when I had struggles in my own marriage as an adult, my dad counseled me from his own experience. He told me that he loved my mom but he didn't express his love in a language she understood so she didn't know that he loved her.
Could this be the reason many relationships are broken; whether it's in a marriage, between parents and children, or a friendship?
I will admit that I have not read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I have found great value in knowing how to speak the different languages he describes and the challenge I was given to love my family better.