This ingredient by
The Marriage Course
Kindness involves first discovering what makes our partner feel loved. Is it principally through our affirming words, through spending quality time together, through affectionate touch, through thoughtful presents or through helpful actions?
These ways of expressing love are like languages that communicate love and each of us will have a language that communicates love most effectively with us.
Most people have different love languages to their partner and it is common to try to communicate love in the way we understand it and want to receive it.
This week we would like to encourage you to learn which expressions of love are most important to your partner and practise using them.
1. Loving words
Words have great power either to build up or to undermine our partner.
• Show appreciation for each other daily
• Give compliments and encourage each other
• Speak kindly to each other
• Make requests, not demands
• For some, hearing words of affirmation feels like arriving at an oasis in a desert
2. Thoughtful presents
Presents are visual symbols of love.
• this expression of love is the easiest to learn but we may need to change our attitude to money
• Giving presents is a way of investing in our marriage
• can be inexpensive but have high value (a single flower, a bar of chocolate)
• don’t wait only for special occasions
• actively discover what your partner likes (within your budget!)
3. Physical affection
Touch is a powerful communicator of love in marriage.
• if this is your partner’s primary way of feeling loved, in times of crisis, touch will communicate more than anything else that you care.
• touch can speak louder than words to some people
• Takes many different forms, eg: holding hands, putting an arm round each other’s shoulder or waist, a kiss, a hug, a hand on a hand, a back massage, sexual foreplay, making love
• both sexual and non-sexual touch are important in marriage
• For many wives, touch and signs of affection have little to do with sex
• Learn how to show physical affection if it’s unnatural to you
4. Quality time
Married couples can spend a lot of time together without using it to convey love to each other.
• togetherness means more than physical proximity
• it involves focusing our attention on our partner.
Quality time together builds friendship through:
• Sharing our thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears and disappointments
• Some must learn to listen while others must learn to talk
• Mealtimes are valuable opportunities for communicating on a regular basis
• Put away screens
• Make the effort to initiate conversation
• Ask questions that the other will enjoy answering
Having fun together
• Friendship is built around shared experiences and shared memories
• We all need fresh experiences to breathe fresh life into our relationship
5. Kind actions
This involves expressing love through serving our husband or wife, through seeking to meet their needs in practical ways.
• routine acts of service – meeting regular needs
• non-routine – responding to a particular need at a particular time
• Tell your partner what kind actions mean the most to you
• When you’re both busy, ask your partner, ‘Is there something I can do to help you?’
Ask your partner today which of these ways makes them feel most loved. Then decide how you will make them feel more loved this week.
This material is adapted from Dr. Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages®: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman (© 2015). Published by Northfield Publishing. Used by permission. To learn more about Dr. Gary Chapman and to take the free online 5 Love Languages® Profile, visit 5LoveLanguages.com.
The Marriage Course
The Marriage Course is a series of seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Nicky and Sila Lee, authors of The Marriage Book, developed The Marriage Course for couples looking for practical support to strengthen their relationship. The course is designed to help couples build strong foundations, learn to communicate more effectively and resolve differences well. Courses are run in various locations, including churches, homes and cafés, all around the globe.
In marriage, we can easily make assumptions. We think we know what our partner most wants and needs. But often we don’t. To be kind we have to find out. Ask your partner today what you could do to make their day better. Show kindness by meeting their request.
Kindness involves first discovering what makes our partner feel loved. Is it principally through our affirming words, through spending quality time together, through affectionate touch, through thoughtful presents or through helpful actions? Ask your partner today. Then decide how you will make them feel more loved this week.