“The Link” – March 2019: Words of Affirmation

Dear MPC Family,

Last month I wrote briefly about The 5 Love Languages, “Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.” These languages each express love in a way that different people best understand love. One of these speaks to you in a way nothing else does, making you feel loved. The love languages are not just for a spouse, but include friends, children, teenagers, and really pretty much anybody in your life.

The Bible is clear that we are to love. So, it’s good to know how to best do it. 1 Jn 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Appropriately, each of the love languages requires effort and sacrificing a bit of self for the other.

Now, if you don’t know what your loved one’s love language is, ask them what things people do towards them make them feel loved. Ask what you have done that makes them feel most loved by you. Odds are, their answer falls into the category of one of the five languages. If you want to look further into this, get ahold of Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. He’s got it in a regular edition, one for men, one for teenagers, one for children, one for the workplace, and a military edition. The book has a questionnaire in the back consisting of 30 questions, the answers to which help you identifying yours and others love languages.

This month we are looking at the love language “Words of Affirmation.” Prv 18:21 tells us “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Then 1 Thes 5:11 exhorts us to “encourage one another and build one another up.” Words can build up or tear down. Love is often expressed in encouragement, compliments, appreciation, and affirmation. Hence, “Words of Affirmation” is a way people express and receive love.

This involves saying to our loved ones things like: “Hey, you look sharp today!” or, “You’re cooking is always so wonderful!” or, “I really appreciate your washing the dishes tonight,” or, simply, “You are doing a great job!” Look for your loved one’s strengths and compliment them. Make a list. Be genuine in your expression of love. Then keep the words of affirmation flowing, not only in private, but also with compliments given in front of significant others—children, coworkers, parents, etc.

So, if the one you love expresses and receives love by words of affirmation, regularly remind yourself that words are important! Be deliberate. Try setting a goal to compliment your loved one each and every day for a month. And here’s a good one: write a love letter.

In Christ’s love,