Love: Getting and Giving

Love Languages

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves,

And not to twist them to fit our own image.


We love only the reflection of ourselves we find them.”

~Thomas Merton

Join us Wed. 7:30 pm (PST) on May 19th. The lessons is below, and here’s the zoom link:          

Knowing how we love and how we feel love goes a long way to understanding our needs. In Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages he outlines how people express and experience love. These five languages are:

Acts of service, gift giving, physical touch, quality time and words of affirmation. Let’s take a short look at each one:

Acts of service: People who feel loved through acts of service need to see love shown they are cared for rather than to be told. Words matter little, but actions speak volumes. They feel loved by having someone see a task and have them do it for them. They feel jilted by broken commitments and general non-helpfulness. If you are this love language, be aware that the other person may not know this and you may feel let down or ignored; neither of which may be true. Likewise, if you have a relationship (spouse, child, parent, etc. ) that has this love language no amount of saying, “I love you,” will replace their sense of ‘I’m important enough for you to do things for.’

Words of Affirmation: For these people words speak louder than actions. Hearing is believing for them. The best assurance of love is saying, “I love you because…” and fill in the blanks. They need to hear it often. Be wary of harsh words or name-calling, you can crush their spirit. Speaking your pride, confidence or love authentically are words taken directly to their hearts. If you’re with an individual who doesn’t speak emotions well, you may feel unloved. Likewise if you are a parent, spouse, friend of someone with this language you need to be attentive to texting, cards, frequent compliments.

Receiving Gifts: This love language can get a bad rap making the receiver look materialistic, however demonstrating gift giving to the receiver is less about the dollar amount and more about the fact that the gift was thought out and unique to them. It says you cared enough to spend time searching for something meaningful to them. They take birthdays, holidays and special moments very seriously and like to mark them with special trinkets denoting a memory. If you have a relationship that this is their love language, note what they tell you matters to them. Keep a list of things they’ve said as a gift they’d like. Likewise if you are this love language, be certain you explain to the other person that the dollar amount is not the main importance…it’s the thought that counts.

Quality time: This person is touched by time spent with them. It says to them that they’d rather be with them than anywhere else. This individual wants to know that what they think and feel are important to their partners. Group dates don’t count for them. If you are committed to this type of person, clearly putting in the time—unrushed, simple and easy—says you are a priority. Ways to show quality time is to make eye contact, unrushed conversation with no agenda, and shared experiences. Turn off the TV and cell phone and share moments together. Be careful not to look at your watch or squeeze them into your day schedule so they feel the ‘time limit’. If you are this love language, your partner may not realize that their working 60 hours a week to support the family feels more like you are married to the job rather than wanting to be with them.

Physical Touch: This love language might sound like it’s all about sex, but it is far more than just sex. It is the simple touches, back rub, hand holding that says, “I love you and want to be near you.” They are huggers. When their partners are not physically demonstrative, they can feel unloved and lonely. A simple hand on the small of their back, stroking the back of their hand and rubbing their hair can all be physical signs of love. Be careful to meet these needs or there can be many other places they may receive this attention.

Take this Love Language’s test: Click Here 


What is your love language? ___________________________________________

What is your significant other’s? ________________________________________

What is your best friend’s? ____________________________________________

What are your family members’ love languages?

Name                                     language


Knowing each person in your circle of relationships will allow you to meet ‘love’ needs. For instance, if your child’s love language is quality time and you give them gifts or words of affirmation, they may feel short-changed. Generally, we tend to love people the way that we feel loved missing opportunities to gird up others’ love buckets.

Make it fun to take the test with others or become a keep observer of what inspires them. Take the time to understand each love language and each person in your family. Check out the author’s site: The 5 Love Languages  (

Understanding your own love language will equip you to ask for what you need.