Blog written by Molly Bennett, Director
How you give your love and in return, receive love, is an important matter in the home, since love is the foundation for everything that follows. When children feel their parents’ love, they have a greater confidence in themselves, and from that confidence comes the emotional strength to give love to others. This is true for partners as well. Just as a home can crumble if built upon a weak foundation, so can a family. Be sure your home’s foundation is built on unconditional love; God’s love.
If we can first understand and reflect Godly love, then strive to know and understand each other’s love languages, we can build an unshakable home structure. I cannot think of any greater virtue within a family dynamic, can you?
God put within us the capacity to give and receive love. These capacities make sense since we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). There are two Bible verses that teach us that God’s very makeup is love and that He alone is the completeness and perfection of love:
- John 4:7-8 – Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
- John 4:16 – God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Acting on love and feeling the love
There are two sides of love; giving and receiving.
- Giving love is the action side; and
- Receiving is the feeling side.
As a parent, giving love can often be frustrating because we are not always sure that our actions are interpreted as love because husbands, wives and children all have different primary touchpoints of love. To know these touchpoints is key. These touchpoints are like different languages, love languages. According to Gary Ezzo, author of Growing Kids God’s Way, there are five ways of expressing love that correspond with the five touchpoints of love.
Knowing the Five Touchpoints of Love
- Encouraging Words – Building one another up through edifying and encouraging words
(1 Corinthians 8:1).
- Acts of Service – Deeds out of the ordinary that the other person will appreciate (1 John 3:18).
- Gift Giving – Simple, impromptu gifts that say, “When we were apart, I was thinking of you” (Ephesians 5:25).
- Quality Time – An activity that promotes communicating and sharing (this does not include most entertainment activities, but must promote two-way conversation) (Matt. 17:1; Mark 5:37, 9:2, 13:3, 14:33; Luke 9:28).
- Physical Touch and Closeness – Hand-holding, a hug, or just being close, even without conversation, communicates love. Just knowing the other person is right there is enough to confirm a partner’s affection and care (Mark 10:13-16).
Ezzo writes, “The moral qualities of love flow from the character of God. Love is so important to God that He made it the distinctive identifying mark of Christ-followers. In John 13:35 Jesus said, ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ Loving others is a badge that identifies Christ-followers. God’s love is always intentional and purposeful.”
Questions to consider
- How do you communicate love?
- What does love look like in your marriage?
- What should it look like?
- What is your love language?
- Do you know your family members’ love languages?
- How is the foundation of your home? Is it built on God’s love?
Speaking each other’s love language
Not only is it important to understand your own love language, but understanding those of your spouse and child/ren is a powerful tool for building beautiful and strong family bonds and relationships based on unconditional love that will keep your home’s foundation sound. Authors Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell introduced the concept of love languages in the book The Five Love Languages and later in The Five Love Languages of Children. For further study and insight, I recommend these books, as well as Growing Kids God’s Way, and the following quiz and resources to help you and your family learn each other’s love language:
- Chapman and Campbell’s THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES® QUIZ/ASSESSMENT [Website]. Retrieved from: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/ Parry, Jenna. (2020, February 8).
- How to Connect with Your Child Using Love Languages [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/connect-child-activities-love-languages