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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Five Love Languages -- Which One Is Yours? Which One Is Your Husband's?

Dong embracing pregnant me - Dec 2004

I love words. 

Interviewing singer Nikki Gil - 2012

Dong loves actions.
Daddy Dong helping out Andre with his Thomas trains

I super know that he loves me. I have never doubted that he did, not for one second, even when we were having some rough spots in our marriage before (mostly caused by my disappointments with him!), whereas he, in more than one instance had told me, "You know what? You don't really love me. I love you unconditionally. But you? You don't love me, at least, not for being just me."

I remember during those times, thinking, "Well, that is how it should be right?!? The man SHOULD LOVE the woman more." I heard that idea spoken somewhere, (probably some local afternoon showbiz talk show) and felt that I was justified to be the one "more loved" than the one being the "more loving" one. (A caution on believing the worldly "wisdom" given out by worldly TV programs! Always check it against God's Word!)

And yet, I was baffled.

Why would this man think I didn't love him?!?

I mean, wasn't I "tolerant" of his "cluelessness", of his "lack of direction" and "leadership skills" (from my point of view)?
Wasn't I taking charge of the family and being so responsible for everybody since he felt "lost" in some areas of his life?
Wasn't I so self-reliant that I didn't need nor ask for his help anymore?
Shouldn't he be "happy" I was not a bother to him at all? I was so amazing! (Says me!) I was really good at being the family's leader!!!

Well, guess why.

My passive but very loving husband did not feel loved, not only because I did not respect him, (which is a command by God for wives to their husbands) but also because I was
not speaking in his own love language.

We are both Touchy-Feely.

No wonder that he gave his very forced smile whenever his birthday or our anniversary arrived and he would get the mushiest card from me that would say something to this effect:
"Even if sometimes we have our disagreements, I LOVE YOU. I love you so much!", along with a gift for the said occasion.

During that time too, he would dread going out on a date with me because I was extremely depressive before my conversion in September last year. He would look at me laughing my heart out and having the time of my life and I would hear him mutter under his breath, "Oh dear. Here she goes again. She is so happy! Let's wait for the mood crash to happen...." And true enough, before the night ended, I was plunged into the darkest doom and despair again over something as weird as "feeling fat", or something as profound as "fearing that I will die of cancer." It did not take much to burst my bubble. Back then, I allowed my fears, my insecurities, and my emotions to boss me around. I had no control of them! I was really like a possessed maniac, especially when I was PMSy!!!!

Before the Lord changed me, Dong had a very, very difficult time dealing with me. But he loved me so, and so, despite my many lunatic episodes, he would continue to fill up my "love tank" again and again. My love language was WORDS. He would always comfort me, tell me he loved me, tell me I was pretty/sexy/whatever would make me feel validated.... along with lots of hugs and kisses. And yet, all that ego-boosting (bola) would only appease me a little bit!!! 

Well, this post is not about Crazy Nikka. Haha. I just wanted to share with you about my former self so that you would have a glimpse into what Dong had to put up with. ;)

I am just extremely glad and grateful though, that the Lord had freed me from my numerous bondages when I gave up my life to Him last year, and when I submitted to my husband as unto the Lord. Yahoo!!! :) Praise the Lord! :)

* * *
Anyway, today's post is about LOVE LANGUAGES. :)

I felt led to write about it because so many commenters on my mentor's April Cassidy's, The Peaceful Wife Blog, kept on mentioning this book by Dr. Gary Chapman. Early this year, my sister Erica sent me a link to its website, and so I took the love test in January.

Before I reveal to you the results of my test, here first are the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES. 
Find out which one is yours. :)

Dr. Gary Chapman is a renowned marriage counselor, and director of marriage seminars. The 5 Love Languages, is one of Chapman’s most popular titles, topping various bestseller charts for years, selling upwards of seven million copies and landing on the #1 spot of the New York Times best-seller list. Chapman has been directly involved in real-life family counseling for more than 35 years.

What are the 5 Love Languages?
1. Words of Affirmation: 
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
2. Quality Time: 
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
3. Receiving Gifts: 
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
 4. Acts of Service: 
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
5. Physical Touch:
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
* * * * *

Even before I took the test, I already knew what my love language was. 
It was really words. 
My career was based on my ability to speak many, many words. ;)
I am a very wordy person. (This blog cannot make that any more obvious ;) You hurt me with words, it will take a long time for me to get over it, although I may have forgiven you already. You love me with words, I will cherish you greatly and will recall to my mind your sweet words spoken. (Of course, it goes without saying, that words, for them to have a great impact on me have to be heartfelt and sincere, and not flattering or deceiving.) 
Hosting a Philips function in 2009

The saying,
 "Sticks and stones will break my bones

But words will never harm me."

does not apply to me. I would rather you break my bones! (or better yet, do not do that too!) because...

I also am very touchy-feely. :)
I love it when my husband puts his arm over my shoulder, kisses me or hugs me (even in public), or just holds my hand for no reason at all. It's a good thing, Dong really is very generous with his words and gestures. I am blessed that he "gets" me. I was just too selfish before, to actually "get" him! I was content flooding him with my flowery words, even if that didn't do much for him as actions did!

Anyway, here were my LOVE LANGUAGE RESULTS:
           1. Words of Affirmation
2. Physical Touch
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service
Dong shows us he loves us with all sorts of actions, including
inflating a lifesaver with his own air, because the pump is not working!
He inflates one more...
... and one more!
5. Receiving Gifts

And, here were Dong's LOVE LANGUAGE RESULTS:
1. Acts of Service
My husband, waiting to assist me in giving birth via lamaze - VRPMC hospital
May 20, 2010
And there he is, coaching me and holding my hand when Reuben came out!
Belated happy 4th birthday Reuben!
2. Quality Time
3. Physical Touch
4. Receiving Gifts
         5. Words of Affirmation

We laughed at this actually! My Top language was his Least Important one!!! Hahaha! Dong said, "Nice! Opposites attract!" Then he said, "I LOVE YOU!" :)
No wonder he still felt unloved even if I was sooooooo sappy in my love letters and cards, in my texts and emails, and would constantly tell him I loved him! Why? Because I had NO ACTIONS to show for them! :P I would text him the sweetest love note when he was at the office but he would find me sulking in bed, not even rising up to greet him when he came home. In Dong's mind, I was not loving him at all. I was probably even "lying" or just "plastic" (fake) about my love for him!
Says Dr. Chapman,
"Every child is born with a love tank and I compare it to a gas tank in a car.  When the love tank is full the world looks beautiful and we feel loved.  When the love tank is empty we feel discouraged and uncertain about ourselves and our relationships.
Rarely do couples share the same love language. I don’t recommend giving up on a relationship because of this difference, however, it can create an atmosphere of frustration when you think you are doing a good job at expressing your love and yet the other person is not feeling loved.  If you don’t understand the love language concept, then you really “don’t know what else to do.”  If however, you understand that they speak a different language, then you can learn to speak that language."
After I let go and let God and totally died to myself on September 1, 2013, I submitted to God, then to my husband (Ephesians 5:22-33). When God showed me my mountains of sins, I couldn't speak for days. I was very quiet and sort of in a state of shock to have found out that I was not the "good wife" that I thought myself to be, but was actually quite the opposite! :( 

I was an ungodly wife -- condescending, judgmental, envious of other wives' more commanding husbands, prideful, bitter, resentful, etc. etc. I had NO WORDS to say to Dong for days until I mustered up the courage to ask for forgiveness from him for being disrespectful and unloving. This was after I repented to God for grieving His Heart for my many sins. Dong was so gracious in accepting the apology, although I believe he was also confused by it all!

With NO WORDS sufficient to capture what the Lord was teaching me, I turned to His Word. I read the Bible voraciously, so hungry for His Promises! I kept still and silent, and read and read and read. I did not trust myself to speak! I deactivated from Facebook, withdrew from friends and family, only talked to Dong about what I was going through in spurts, but I could not really fully grasp just what the Lord was doing to my heart at that time. I was just so ashamed of my sins and so repentant for them. I did not want to open my mouth, lest I sin again!

I still continue to read God's Word till now, and it continues to encourage me and give me hope. It was also through the daily reading of His Word that I got to know Who our Sovereign God really was/is/and ever will be. In knowing Who God truly is, I got to know too who I truly was -- a wretched sinner, in need of His Mercy -- and yet He loves me, He sent His Son to die for me, and He sent His Holy Spirit to help me live a righteous life. I was floored and even more humbled.

Though my Number 1 LOVE LANGUAGE still was WORDS...       At that time, for the first time ever, I kept still and was very silent.

I practiced 1 Peter 3: 1-5 and applied it to Dong. I wanted to win him over WITHOUT A WORD with my respectful conduct and behavior. I really went all-out in my biblical submission to my husband. So much so, that Dong was a bit taken aback. He even said early on in my submission journey, "Honey, you don't need to go all-out. You have done so much already. You don't need to do this, you know.." To which I said, "But I want to. I am convinced this is what God wants me to do."

This was even before I knew about the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES. I did know that to my husband "Actions spoke louder than words." And since he had so many of my empty words in the past, I really made it a point to shush myself up and just, you know, do it! 

I loved him, so I submitted to him.
I loved him, so I respected him.
I loved him, so I served him.

And that is how I intend to live my life till the day I die, as Dong's help meet. Yes, there will still be sweet words (I am not Nikka anymore, if I don't say my thoughts), but more than those, I really intend to SHOW him that I love him through my actions, my gestures, my facial expressions, my going out of my way to do something to bless him, etc. every day of our lives.

For someone who nearly put at the bottomest part of her list, ACTIVE SERVICE, as her love language, know that this is really HUGE for me! 

These are not my own doings, I would like to point out though. No merit should be given to me. It is Christ Who lives in me, Who allows me to love and respect my husband in the way God wants me to. All sins are mine, but all goodness comes from the Grace of God.

In ending, here are some Bible quotes to make our love languages even more godly. When we are doing our best to show our spouses we love them based on their own love languages, we "speak" the "language of God". Because God is LOVE. The language of God is LOVE in its entirety - words, touch, time, treasure and talent (actions). When we love God above all, we not only become recipients of His Boundless Love but we are also able to get from His Unlimited Supply of Love. 
The Love that we receive from God is what we can also give to our husbands. On our own, the love well will run dry. But with our eyes focused on God, the Wellspring of life and love is endless and overflowing!!! 

1. Words of Affirmation
Ephesians 4:29

29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

2. Physical Touch

1 Corinthians 7:4

For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
Kissing our third baby, Reuben - 2010

3. Quality Time
Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

4. Acts of Service

James 2:14-17

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

5. Receiving Gifts
 2 Corinthians 9:7
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

* * * * * * *
With our youngest, Isabelle Veronica - Aug 2013
Do you know what your husband's love language is? Maybe if you are having some difficulties right now and cannot see eye to eye, it is because you are speaking Chinese to him while he is speaking French to you. It's the Tower of Babel in a microcosm. You just don't speak the same language. But you can learn to start speaking his language now. Your love is best received when it is in a language understandable to the recipient, not the giver. 

As Dr. Chapman encourages us, 
"I highly recommend taking the love languages profile in the back of the book or at the website,  After taking the profile then share your results with your loved one(s) so they can know specifically what makes you feel loved and I recommend you encourage them to do the same."


May we all be richly blessed! :)

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