Last year, our missionary friend Toucan Tom used to lead a men’s prayer/study group in a nearby town. The men were studying a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, Ph.d. Toucan Tom talked about the book so much that I decided to buy it for me and Mr. Understanding last summer as an exercise to do while we were apart from each other. Much to his credit, Mr. U did not balk at reading the book. The book describes how to understand your mate’s love language and then how to fill their emotional love tank, assuming that you actually want to, which I did because he is such a hardworking, handsome gem of a person. I raced through my book and finished the quiz at the back. I chatted up the book with Leezer, Elrod, Starbucks and Warbucks, and my sisters last year at our family’s 4th of July party; I chatted it up with just about everyone I knew. Although they all laughed at me, some purchased the book (you know who you are) and put it into practice, even lending the book to other friends in need. It has had a mini-ripple effect in the 425 area code district, to my great delight.*
The five love languages are (be ready for a pop quiz at the end):
1) Words of Affirmation, as in, “Honey, I am so happy to see you! You look scrumptious. I really appreciated you stopping by the store for that quart of milk. You are a real sweetheart. I am so lucky to be married to a man like you.”
2) Physical Touch, as in, back scratches, hugs and kisses, snuggling, hair ruffling, patting on the back, and procreation.
3) Gifts, as in, a bouquet of flowers, a new Honda SUV, a pack of gum, a love letter, a magazine when you are sick. It has to be something the person actually wants or would appreciate, not, for example, a Nordictrack for your pregnant wife, a dust buster, or tickets to Wrestlemania. These do not count.
4) Quality Time, as in, Date Night Every Week. Vacations a deux.
5) Acts of Service, as in, stopping by the store for the quart of milk, breakfast in bed, driving the kids to the dentist, soccer practice, and mall all in the same day, cleaning the kitchen after a meal, calling the bank, scheduling your husband’s colonoscopy and haircuts.
OK, there is no pop quiz. I am not going to tell you what my or Mr. U’s love language is. (You might think you know, but you’re probably wrong). After reading the 5 Love Languages, I purchased other 5 Love Language books. I just finished the one on children since my parenting skills could use a boost, especially while Mr. Understanding is slurping noodles and duck tongues in the Middle Kingdom. Now, onto the book about teenagers … before my love tank is empty.
* Please write in if you live in another area code district and have read the book(s).