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 got plenty of 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. 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.
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. So now, if I give you my time, you know that I love you.
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. He is 20 and will walk up to me and give me a hug no matter where we are at. I have a choice. I can receive his expression of love or reject it.
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.
Some may ask why I share my personal stories in the Spiritual Nuggets. There are a couple of reasons:
If you would like to get a copy of “The Five Love Languages”, you can go to our site and order on-line, you will get a substantial discount on the book. Go to www.creatingfutures.net/books.html.
Copyright © 2002 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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