When I was 16 years old, I drove a Volkswagen bug. When my gas gauge began to get low, I would pull into the gas station, take out a $10 bill (I know … that doesn’t work anymore) and “fill the tank” with fuel.
In the same way, each of us have a “love tank” that needs to be filled on a regular basis.
Author, Gary Chapman, calls this concept our LoveLanguage.
Chapman lists five different LoveLanguages …
1. Physical Touch
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Words of Affirmation
While each of these five LoveLanguages express love, we all have a primary love language that “fills” our “love tank” faster and more effectively than other things.
The crazy thing is that it is possible that your family of five, all living under the same roof, may have five different LoveLanguages. Learning the Love Language for each of your family members allows you by speaking their LoveLanguage to “fill their love tank” quickly and effectively.
As I shared last week, my son Jake’s love language is Quality Time. He loves receiving gifts. He loves when I serve him. He appreciates affirming words and he yearns for physical touch. But, Quality Time is his true love language.
Knowing that Quality Time is his LoveLanguage, how can I make the most of that?
More than anything else, Jake feels loved when I spend time with him. He wants both quality and quantity time. When he doesn’t receive both of these, his love tank begins to “run on empty.” But as I spend time with him watching his favorite television show with him, when we go outside and do something (really anything) together, when go and grab dinner together and I give him one hour of my undivided attention … he feels loved.
It is important that I ask him questions, that I let him express his opinions, and that I listen intently and offer good quality follow up questions that shows him that I am fully present with him.
As I live out this with Jake, his “love tank” stays full.
Gary Chapman offers Four Tips on how to have a Quality Conversation with the individual in your family whose Love Language is Quality Time:
1. Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking.
2. Don’t listen to your spouse and do something else at the same time.
3. Listen for feelings. Ask yourself, “What emotion is my spouse experiencing?”
4. Refuse to interrupt. Such interruptions indicate, “I don’t care what you are saying; listen to me.”
Does someone in your family have the Love Language of Quality Time? Follow these tips and see how it improves your relationship as well as their outlook on life.