The Five Languages of Love

Henry works very hard for his family because he loves them. He works up to late at night in the office and does overtime during Sundays and holidays. When someone tells his son how much Henry loves the family, the son says that “My father loves his office more than us. He is always there and he has no time for us.” When Henry hears this comment, he feels very hurt because he has been doing all this hard work because he cares for the family. But the son did not feel the love.

What went wrong? Why did his son misunderstand him?

Henry did not realize that his way of expressing his love for the family is something that may not be understood by his son because they speak different languages of love.

An American psychologist, Dr. Gary Chapman, in his more than 20 years of counseling families, found that people express and understand love in five different ways. He calls these the “five languages of love.” If a father shows his love by working hard, his children may not feel that love because they speak a different language of love. Many of us have read of cases when teenagers tell their parents: “I don’t need your money! I need your presence!”

Here, according to Dr. Chapman, are the five languages of love:

1. Words of affirmation – these are words that affirm the worth and importance of another person. It may be “I love you,” “Thank you,” “I am so glad that you are here,” “You are so skillful, how did you do that?” “I like your t-shirt,” etc.

2. Quality time – this is one on one conversation or interaction with the person in a way that is meaningful or enjoyable for them. It is to give someone your undivided caring attention.

3. Touching – If you tell babies that you love them, it does not mean anything to them. But if you cuddle and hug them, they will feel it. Many adults feel the same way. When they are hugged, or you hold their hands or put your arms on their shoulders, then they feel that you care for them.

4. Acts of Service – this is to do something for them, such as helping them in finish something. To them, “action speaks louder than words.”

5. Gift-giving – Some people appreciate receiving gifts from others as a sign of caring. Some children may come home from school with a small gift to a mother. It can even be a flower. Their love language may be gift-giving and receiving. It is not they are greedy or selfish. It is just that this is how they understand how people care.

In the example given at the beginning of this article, Henry’s language of love was acts of service, while his son’s love language was quality time. Thus Henry’s way of expressing love is not appreciated by the son.

Dr. Chapman says that some people may express love in two languages but may not appreciate the other languages. Some people will go out of their way to look for a nice gift to a special person, but that person may just put it aside and not feel the love that is expressed in that gift. It is thus helpful for a person to understand the languages of love of other members of his family, so that he can better express love in their languages. Dr. Chapman designed a survey with 50 questions which can reveal which are the primary love languages of an individual. This questionnaire can be downloaded from the internet.

It is best that parents should be able to express their love to the members of the family in more languages than what they are used to. Then their relationships will become deeper and happier.

Effects of Words and Thoughts

A Japanese scientist, Dr. Masao Emoto, found that words and thoughts can affect the molecular structure of water. His findings led to other experiments on organic matters which have important implications in the way we should live our lives.

Dr. Emoto put water in test tubes and put different labels on them, such as “I love you,” or “I’ll kill you.” Then he froze the water in minus 25 degrees centigrade freezers. The results were startling. The test tubes with positive labels such as “I love you” formed into ice crystals which had hexagonal shapes like beautiful snow flakes. On the other hand, the test tubes with negative words looked like mud. This experiment was repeated thousands of times with similar results.

IMG_2721

Many people then experimented not with water but with living things, such as fruits or cooked rice. I did it myself. I put two bunches of cooked rice into two clean and dry bottles and sealed them tight. On the first one I put the label “Beautiful” while on the other one I wrote “Ugly.” I kept it on our bedroom shelf and I forgot about it for an entire week. Then I when I was looking for a book, I accidentally saw the bottles. I took them down, and saw that in the “Beautiful” bottle, the rice was still the same white clump of rice, but in the “Ugly” bottle, the rice was already half black with mold. After another week, the rice in “Ugly” bottle was almost all black, but the one in the “Beautiful” bottle was still entirely white although it had become pasty. I kept these bottles for a year, and the rice in the “Beautiful” bottle remained white, while the one in the “Ugly” became entirely black.

C6D69D71-F6D0-4516-9B8E-8F5F29028A9F

I asked students in our school, Golden Link College, to do the same experiment, and they got the same results.

Many years ago, I showed the photo of these bottles during a lecture in Davao, and a young man from Leyte saw it and repeated the experiment but with a twist. He put the label called “Gwapo” or handsome/beautiful, but he sent negative, angry and violent thoughts to it. The other bottle he labeled “Pangit” or ugly, but sent loving, kind and peaceful thoughts. What was the result?

After six months, he happened to be the speaker in a conference in Leyte where I attended. He spoke about his experiment and brought the bottles. The rice in the bottle with “ugly” label was still white. But the one with “beautiful” label was entirely black.

5FA61C77-8617-4BC1-B32F-37AA3DC9CE13

What does this tell us?

Words and thoughts have powerful effects not only on water but on organic matter, such as rice and fruits. It means that when we constantly think positive thoughts within ourselves, we are affecting not just our feelings but our entire body and our health. A baby’s body is 78% water, while adults have 60%. When we are angry or hateful we are harming ourselves and perhaps people around us.

An American woman was breastfeeding her baby at home when her husband came and talked with her. After a while they started to argue. They became angry and started to shout at each other. They quarreled intensely and the husband walked out and banged the door. The wife felt very furious and bitter. All the while, she was breastfeeding her baby. That evening, the baby turned blue and died.

The mother, while in a state of intense anger, probably produced toxins within her body that went into the milk that the baby was drinking. The baby could not take it.

So we ask ourselves: In our home, do we give negative labels to our children, like “you are lazy,” “irresponsible,” “liar,” etc.? We should realize that those negative words are affecting our children more than we realize. On the other hand, whenever we constantly use positive words towards them, then something is happening to them that nurtures wholesome growth and health.

Whenever we get angry, then, let us remember the experiments of Dr. Emoto. Let us change the way we treat ourselves and people around us. Make the world a better place by thinking and saying positive and affirming words.