Psalm 127:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

If I said my love language is “words of affirmation,” would you know what I am talking about? God designed many of you the same way. Others of you love giving and receiving gifts. Still others feel and give love through acts of service. The huggers in the crowd live for heart-felt moments of physical touch. And many people think that love is spelled T.I.M.E. and desire quality time with those dearest to them.

Collectively, these 5 ways of expressing and receiving love are known as the five love languages, developed by well-known Christian author Gary Chapman. People who have discovered their love languages have learned how to be better spouses, parents, and friends. Not only can adults find out how God has designed them to show and receive love, Chapman has also written quizzes for teens and children (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/).  I recently encouraged my kids to take the assessments, and there were a few surprises in the results.

My oldest, Allison, shows and receives love primarily through quality time. As a teenager, she loves to spend time with her friends, but she also invests time in the lives of her siblings. She will invite her younger sister to hang out in her room, or to grab fast food with her brother. One thing I need to do is intentionally invest more one on one time with her.

Nathan, my middle child, also desires quality time. Many times, he has asked me to shoot baskets with him and challenged me to a game of around the world. He is not just driven by competition. He also enjoys the one on one time with his dad. He would rather play with someone else, no matter the activity, than spend time alone.

Audrey, our youngest, is the one who surprised us with her results. My family thought her primary love language would be physical touch. She loves to give hugs. I mean lots of hugs. But more than that, she loves to give and receive words of affirmation. She writes notes and draws pictures on sticky notes and leaves them for others to see. She is a nurturer who lets those she cares about know it.

One of the surprises is that, for all three of my kids, receiving gifts and physical touch were the least desired ways for expressing and receiving love. I would have thought otherwise, but it is not surprising that children raised in the same home would have similarities in their preferences. Now as a dad, it’s my responsibility to show love to them in ways that speak to their hearts, and fortunately for me, the current coronavirus crisis has given us lots of quality time together. What an unexpected blessing!

PARENT CHALLENGE – take the quizzes at https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/ and see how you can better love your family!

Leonard Prater
Associate Pastor of Adults