THE 5 LIFE LANGUAGES TITLE IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK .
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BY AUTHOR DAVID RALSTON, PHD.
Life Languages. Love Languages. What’s the Difference?
In his best-selling book,The 5 Love Languages, best-selling author Gary Chapman summarizes what he referred to as the 5 Love Languages like this:
“Words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, physical touching – learning these love languages will get your marriage off to a great start or enhance a long-standing one! Chapman explains the purpose of each “language” and shows you how to identify the one that’s meaningful to your spouse now. “Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages
Bravo, Dr. Chapman
I have enormous respect for Dr. Gary Chapman’s work in the area of marriage relationships and how to create meaningful, lasting fulfillment between a husbands and wife. In my Christian counseling practice over the past decade-and-a-half, I think I’ve heard clients refer to these staples at least a million times: Words of affirmation, Quality time, Gifts, Acts of service, and Physical touching. The principles of these 5 Love Languages has saved, revitalized, and transformed an unfathomable number of marriages across the globe.
But What About Our Other Relationships?
According to new research (https://www.her.ie/life/prepare-to-lose-some-friends-new-study-shows-only-six-will-last-the-distance-177276), we make just 29 real friends in our lifetime and only six of them last the distance. Multiple sites that surfaced in my Google search of “how many people do we meet in a lifetime?”, all seemed to come up with a very similar estimate:
WE MEET 80,000 PEOPLE IN OUR LIFETIME
Whether accurate or way off base, the point is, we meet a lot of people throughout our lives. Those like us. Those nothing like us. Those with similar backgrounds. Those whom we have nothing in common. Those we’re related to. Those we’re glad that we’re not. You get the idea…
In the professional world there are seminars and vlogs and blogs and podcasts to teach us how to best communicate in order to grow our sales, or widen our influence, or further our message, or position ourselves for a promotion. In the sports world, athletes are taught specific signs and signals to use in order to communicate with teammates and to allude their opponent. An Air Traffic Controller certainly must know how to communicate in certain ways with pilots and staff on the ground in order to keep airline traffic safe and moving. So, learning a certain means of communicating — a language — is not at all foreign to us.
But how about everyday conversations with our neighbor or people at church or in the community. Do we differentiate how to communicate with them based on anything particular about them? Or do we just communicate in hopes it will be effective?
We Often Speak, Then Just Hope For The Best
If I’m entirely honest, there were many years and probably thousands of encounters where I didn’t think twice about the needs of the person I was speaking to. My only awareness was about what I wanted them to hear from me. I wonder how many times my words were misunderstood, or hurtful, or even worse detrimental to the listener?
As Christ-followers it would seem to make a lot of sense that Jesus wants us to speak to others we encounter in ways that connect with what they are needing to receive from us. Jesus did that every day in His life here on earth.
- He spoke the the woman at the well’s need for hope and life, not her search for water.
- He spoke to Martha’s need for permission to rest, not her frustration with Mary.
- He spoke to Peter’s need for reconciliation, not his anticipation of disappointment and condemnation.
This list could go on endlessly. What might He be modeling to you and me in this?
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