“Mom, can I have the new Star Wars LEGOS®?”
“Dad, can I have a stegosaurus?”
“I want ice cream!!”
Heard that before?
It wasn’t any different at our house. My son would ask for a new matchbox car or a Playstation game or when he was older a new golf jersey or an iPhone. I chalked it up to the “give-me” culture we live in. I was firm: gifts were for birthdays and Christmas. Period.
But when he was a teen, I talked him into taking the 5 Love Languages® quiz. The results surprised me. My son’s love language–the way he shows and likes to be shown love–is through gifts.
That radically changed my parenting. No, I didn’t run out and buy him an iPhone. But I did bring home his favorite Chunky Monkey ice cream or surprise him with a board game or a new hockey jersey.
In his book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman explains that each person in the family has a specific way they like to show love and receive love. When we show someone love the way they most like to receive it, we build that person up.
Understanding the interaction of love languages in your family can revolutionize your family dynamics. So here’s a devotional that gets you started to doing just that.
The Five Love Languages – a devotional for families
Parents, always point back to the source–God–as the reason for everything you do. So start here!!
5 ways God shows us his love
Ultimately, the reason we love is because he is love and he loves us.
God shows his love to us in different ways. Sometimes…
- God gives us gifts, like forgiveness and grace (Romans 3:24). He gives us air to breathe and the food we eat (Psalm 145:15).
Can you think of any other gift God gives?
- Other times God surrounds us with people who reach out and touch us in loving ways, with a hug or pat on the back.
- God encourages us with words. He says things like, Be strong. Have courage (Joshua 1:9).
- Jesus showed love by serving. He did something only servants used to do; he washed his followers’ dusty, dirty feet (John 13).
- God shows us his love by being with us. He likes spending time with you! (Deuteronomy 31:6).
5 ways you can love others the way God loves you
Because God is love, he tells us to love—just like he does.
Look up John 13:34.
What does it say?
- What’s one way you could show love by giving a gift? For example, what’s a gift you could give that would show your mom you loved her?
What could you GIVE?
- What’s a way you could show love to someone in your family through appropriate physical touch? Maybe stroke your little brother’s head or give your sister a hug or wrestle with your brother.
How could you MAKE CONTACT/TOUCH in a kind way?
- What’s a way you could show love to someone in your family by encouraging and building them up?
What could you SAY?
- What’s a way you could serve someone in your family?
What could you DO? Maybe carry their books into school, wash the dishes, what else?
- What’s one way you could spend time with someone?
How could you JUST HANG OUT with them?
What’s YOUR love language?
Take turns asking each person in your family…
“How do you like people to show love to you?
a. with a gift
b. saying something nice
c. physical touch – hug, hi five, pat on the back, etc.
d. helping you
e. hanging out with you
Make it official and take the quiz. Go online and find out what YOUR love language is.
Write down one specific thing you can do for each person in your family (based on how they like to be shown love, not based on how you like to show it:)
How does learning about the different love languages impact your family?
2019 © Carol Garborg