[Book Review] The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have a book review for you of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I have read this book a few times now, and each time I learn something new! Believe me, the concept works!
“He sends you flowers when what you really want is time to talk. She gives you a hug when what you really need is a home-cooked meal. The problem isn’t your love–it’s your language! In this international best seller, Dr. Gary Chapman reveals how different people express love in different ways. In fact, there are five specific languages of love: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. What speaks volumes to you may be meaningless to your spouse. But here, at last, is the key to understanding each other’s unique needs. Apply the right principles, learn the right language, and soon you’ll know the profound satisfaction and joy of being able to express your love–and feeling truly loved in return.”
I love this book! I’ve read it several times, and each time I read it I get something new out of it. The first time I read it, I couldn’t believe how accurate it was, and I tried to put the principles into practice. I thought I was. But then my husband kept getting upset about a certain situation every time it happened. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. So, I went back and reread this book. Then it clicked! Oh my. Yes, I’m a little slow. But, once I figured out how to speak his love language, it has been so much better. I knew his love language before; it hadn’t changed, but it took me awhile to figure out how to speak it in his way. It’s so simple, yet so complex. Loving someone should be easy, right? Well, it’s even easier if you know how to do it according to what that person wants and needs.
There is a quiz that you and your spouse can take to determine your love languages, and then there is a whole chapter devoted to each love language. It’s well written, and is easy to understand. He uses lots of real life examples of people that he has worked with, and they are very helpful. What’s great is that it takes things that our spouses might “nag” us with, and it puts them into perspective. So, if your wife keeps nagging you to do things around the house, then her love language may be acts of service. Maybe you’ve been bringing her home flowers often and you can’t figure out why she’s still upset; it’s because gifts is not her love language, acts of service is. Does that make sense? I love it.
Several years ago my church had this Valentine’s Day activity for all the adults. There was a dance, but if you needed a break or weren’t into dancing, they had a bunch of classes you could attend. The person in charge knew that I had read this book and asked me to teach a class on it. I felt super nervous (my throat was so dry that a nice guy went and got me a drink of water), but I’ve seen so much success using the five love languages in my own life that I said yes. It turned out great, and I treasure that experience because I was able to help people improve the way they loved each other.
It’s also great because the same principles apply to our children. You don’t need to give the children the quiz; once you know the languages it’s pretty easy to spot them in your children. For example, I have one child that needs words of affirmation constantly, while another constantly wants hugs. Do you see how that works? That way you can make sure you’re speaking your spouse’s love language and also your kids’ so everyone feels loved in his or her own way. If you are married or in a dating relationship I highly recommend this book.
Rating: R (There isn’t any language or violence, but it does talk a lot about “intimacy” between husband and wife.)
Rated 4/5 Stars
Book Review first published 11/6/14, updated on 2/13/18