For the Skeptic

Egbert, N and Polk, D. (2006).  Speaking the language of relational maintenance. A validity test of Chapman’s five love languages. Communication Research Report, 23, 19-26.

You might be asking now, what is this?

Some of you know that I have a Ph.D. in interpersonal communications from the University of Kentucky.  I don’t make too much out of it; I loved school, I became a professional student and I went to school as far as I could.  It is something that happened in my life.

Underlying my choice of God Speaks Your Love Language for the second book to study for St. John Studies was the fact that I was with Dr. Chapman in Paducah, Kentucky as he conducted a day-long marriage enrichment seminar.  Secondly, this topic is kinda comfortable for me.

I teach an online interpersonal communications class for the local community college and we are in a new edition of the textbook this semester.  I was very pleasantly surprised when I started studying the new last chapter of the semester and I found several pages in the chapter on close relationships devoted to Dr. Chapman’s love languages.  The citation I started this blog post with is validation that Dr. Chapman’s love languages are real.  They are not just some mushy romantic notions that sound ok.  “Research offers support for these categories [words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch].”

As we continue throughout his book for our study, Chapman’s main point is that God knows your love language and can communicate to you through your preferred love language but on a human level.  Adler and Proctor state the most common problem is “Partners understandably but mistakenly can assume that the love language they prefer is also the one that their mate will appreciate.  For example, if your primary love language is gifts, then you will probably expect presents from loved ones on special occasions—and perhaps even on ordinary ones.  You’re also likely to give gifts regularly and assume they’ll be received appreciatively.” Adler. R and Proctor R.  Looking Out:  Looking In.  2014.

Assumption that your partner speaks the same love language as you can be a real “setup for disappointment”.

Adler and Proctor go on to say that the primary source of teaching for love languages is the family.  This type of communication habit is imprinted in us from a very young age.

The good news is that the habit of using a particular love language can be altered by your romantic partner, through the act of sharing their needs.  Human beings can learn to communicate love in different ways with a little information and a little work.

We have to admit that we all have a need to hear the love language that we prefer and that need is based on a deep emotional desire we have.  People tend to be very critical of their loved ones in that area where we have that desire.  What we are really doing is pleading for love.  However if we don’t make an effort to understand our loved one, we may as well be speaking Russian to them in the areas of love languages.

All people in close relationships go through the “falling in love” stage of relationship—the euphoria time where your partner can do no wrong, has no flaws and everything in the relationship is possible.  After the euphoria wears off is the part of the relationship where choice come into play.  Do we choose to love our partner for who they are and love them the way they need to be loved?  Do we try to learn their love language?

God Speaks Your Love Language:  I don’t know about you but I have my share of flaws.  I have some love languages that work for me and others that don’t, and I make a ton of mistakes in life.

God loves me anyway.  I’m not a skeptic.  He knows my love language.

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