Of all the Nature Calls that tug on our hearts, perhaps the strongest and deepest is the question,
"Am I loved?"
It's a question that echoes through the most private recesses of our very being.
We need to be loved. Deeply.
And we need to FEEL loved. Meaningfully.
Gary Chapman, in his books about the Five Love Languages, teaches that we actually speak (and understand) specific love languages. You are probably familiar with this idea, and it's brilliant. It really revolutionized how we express love within our family, because we started learning how to "speak" each other's language. In nutshell, the languages are:
Quality Time: focused attention, sharing, talking, shared activities
Gift-Giving: visual symbols of love
Physical Touch and Affection: hugs, pats, hand-holding, etc.
Words of Affirmation: verbal appreciation, encouragement
Acts of Service: serving in a sacrificial way
It started making sense that one child would feel loved when I would spend time with him (just watching him play!) and another would feel loved when I would help her clean her room. I know I sure feel loved when my husband washes dishes or fills the gas tank. It's more than the words, "I love you," it's the actions that speak right to the heart.
There's a 30 second quiz here. And here's how to spot your child's love language.
When we meet each other's emotional needs, we "fill our tanks." In our children, we'll see better behavior (gimme a high five on that) and fewer conflicts (five on the side!) When their tank is full, they are free to think and grow and BE. The same is true in marriage. Oh, I love it when we are speakin the same language!
Today's Small Thing is to spend a few minutes considering your child's (and/or spouse's) Love Language. Does he beam when you help him with one of his chores? Is she extra sweet when you've given her a lot of hugs? Do encouraging words light him up? Take the easy quizzes and then look for ways to speak their language.
Answering your child's question, "Am I loved?" with a resounding "YES!" will give him security and confidence to go out into a world that is often harsh and unforgiving. He will have an inner strength and courage to face whatever life brings.
It's what we ALL want. It's what we ALL need. And it's ours to give and receive.
POINTS: 30 for taking the 30 second quiz
BONUS: 10 for each family member's language you can identify (if you're single, go with a room-mate, sibling, parent or friend)
EUREKA!! This would make a great game to play as a family! Who's on??
And what's YOUR Love Language?