Every Wednesday for five weeks I'm doing a little series on the five love languages (based on Gary Chapman's book). Last Wednesday I wrote about my primary love language: quality time.
Just to review, the love languages are: quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts.
Today I want to talk about words of affirmation, and I'm going to start out with a little story about how I failed in the area of speaking affirming words of Luke. A few weeks ago, we were out with friends. I was talking about how I have trouble with deadlines sometimes, and I can honestly tend to be a little irresponsible. I guess I was feeling insecure after saying that, and the way I made myself better was to speak negatively of Luke as well. I'm not even going to write what I said, because it already made him feel bad once, and I would hate to do that again!
Anyway, my comment was made jokingly, and selfishly to take the focus off of my own faults. After the words were out of my mouth, I wished desperately to be able to swallow them back up! I don't even know why I said what I did, and Luke just pretended to be offended but sort of laughed it off. But I know my words probably bruised his ego a little bit, and I still feel guilty about them!
I guess that is an example of exactly what not to do if your spouse's love language is affirming words.
I'm going to make a bit of a generalization about men. After reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, I believe that affirming words are probably a strong love language for most men. According to that book, women can show their respect to men by building them up with encouraging words in public. And respect extremely important to most men...even more important than love. The book also states that one of the easiest ways to hurt a man is to put him down in front of others. I have tried to make it a rule in our marriage that I don't put Luke down, especially in front of others. But I know I (obviously) still slip, and I'm still a work in progress.
All that to say that if there's a man in your life, chances are, one way to show him you love him is to build him up with spoken or written words, especially in front of others.
Make it a goal this week to speak more affirming words to the people in your life! It may feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will become.