Years ago we did a study of the 5 Love Languages with our small group.
I wasn’t at all surprised by my or my husband’s answers. But there’s just something about seeing it down on paper that made me much more aware of both of our Love Languages, and how different they are.
Some of you that know me well, might not hesitate to say that my primary Love Language is Acts of Service.
I’m a doer.
It’s kind of off the charts for me, actually. But my secondary Love Language is Words of Affirmation. The other 3? They barely registered.
And in only the way God can, with His divine plans (and I occasionally wonder if a little dose of humor is added in;) ) my husband’s Love Languages are different from mine. Very different. So when I’m naturally doing things for him that would make me feel loved (doing the laundry, making dinner, paying bills, sending him ‘thinking of you’ texts, telling him I love him often)…although these things register to him and are meaningful, they don’t make him feel loved the way that each of those things would make me feel overwhelmed with love. And vice versa.
It’s the same with kids. But with kids, it’s different. Even though in some kids, they show early on what their Love Languages are, others take time to grow and develop them.
I’ve never had our boys take an actual Love Language test….but from what I know about their personalities and how they best respond to me, I’m pretty sure I have it figured out.
A Quality Time boy (like his dad)
A Physical Touch boy (like his dad)
A Words of Affirmation boy (like his momma)
But with kids, it doesn’t mean that I only focus on that area of attention to show them love. Kids need all 5…just in different doses.
I share all of this to make this point.
Words of affirmation are powerful.
Not just to kids or even adults that have that as their Love Language.
Kids need to hear you affirm them.
But I’m not talking about empty praise.
‘Everyone gets a trophy’ kind of praise. The ‘good job for breathing Johnny. You’re the best breather even in the whole wide world. No one can breath as good as you Johnny!”
Maybe not his either…though I did get my point across.
But real words of affirmation? They can make a kid’s heart grow 3 sizes.
“I see how hard your math homework was for you. I’m proud of you for persevering and getting it done.”
“It must’ve really disappointed you when you struck out when you were up to bat. But the next time when you walked out confidently to bat, I was so proud of you.”
“When you yelled at me when you were mad, but then came to me later and apologized? I’m so happy to see how you changed your attitude and asked me to forgive you.”
“You are so appreciated at church for helping in the nursery. You do a great job of taking care of the kids and loving on them.”
And my favorite:
I love you.
Some days, in the chaos and crazy of family life and all it entails, it’s so easy to forget to take a second(really, it can just take a second) to tell your kids something you love or appreciate about them.
I’m guilty of it so many days.
But today’s a new day…so let’s do something today to use words of affirmation to let our kids (heck…why stop there! Our husbands, friends, parents, co-workers) know how much we love and appreciate them!!!
Gotta go…I need to text ‘I love you’ to Mr. Football!
What are you going to do today to tell your kids you love them?