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Spiritual Nuggets

Love Languages-Part Six
My Story

In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman describes that are basically five ways people express or receive love. Love is expressed by:
Words of Appreciation
Acts of Service
Gift Giving
Quality Time
Physical Touch


My Story
I grew up in a home where there was not outward expression of love or words of praise. My father showed his love by making sure on our birthdays and Christmas that we always had gifts. As I grew up, instead of seeing it was his way of showing love, I always felt that he did not love me because he never hugged me or said he was proud of me. Another way my father showed his love (I did not realize this until writing this nugget) was by always including my brother and I on special vacations and trips-in other words, giving us his time.

I have always had a hard time receiving gifts. In fact, when I was a very angry man, I would argue and complain about gifts. I realize now that I have always felt that when someone is giving me a gift, they are trying to buy love from me. I also felt many times that I was totally unworthy of receiving a gift. Because gift giving was not my love language, I did not receive gifts and I never gave gifts. I did not interpret gift giving as love. I was in error and caused much harm to others as I would reject their gifts.
(As I was reviewing this nugget I realized that the concept of giving and receiving gifts as a love language, and my wrong concept of it, has affected me in receiving gifts from God. How many times has He wanted to bless me and I have hindered Him.)

One of the most important love languages for me is when someone gives me their time. And I show my love by giving my time to others. I now know why that is so critical to me. Even though there were many conflicts on our trips as a kid, I to this day, appreciate all the times in the outdoors with my Dad. He gave me his time-not as much I wanted, but enough for me to now see it was how he showed love.

In regards to words of praise, I rarely show love this way. Because of my past experience it is unfamiliar to me. I don't receive praise well, but I also want praise. When someone gives me praise, I am wondering what their motive is. It becomes obvious that there is confusion in my life in regards to this love language.

I do not remember one time of my father kissing, hugging, or holding me. Even as a small child. So, guess what? When people are 'touchy' I feel uncomfortable. But I made a commitment with my son to show and receive love by hugs.

As you can see, I am learning about receiving and giving love. Jesus gives and receives loves in all five love languages (and more). He is my example. So I have chosen to understand how others receive love and make a choice to express love in their love language. This can be very powerful in regards to ministering to others–most people do not take the time to understand how a person interprets love.

I have also chosen to stop rejecting the love of others just because they express love in a different language that I am comfortable with. It is time to be stretched outside my comfort zone.

Hopefully there is something I have shared about my life that will help someone else. Maybe my story will help someone not repeat the same mistakes. Or maybe my story will help someone understand the story of their own life.

In the next nugget we will have a summary on this topic.

If you would like to get a copy of The Five Love Languages, for a good price, go here.
(The concept of applying the Five Love Languages to our relationship with God is not in the book by Gary Chapman).

Copyright @ 2010 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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