The 5 Love Languages: Full Review

How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate is becoming a part of our marriage culture.  Almost everyone who comes to marriage counseling has heard of it.  This book has been around for 25 years, it has proven staying power.  For the most part this is a “communication skills” book.  Here are the main points that make this book useful.

Love is Defined

  • Love is a choice.  Love cannot be coerced.  One cannot say, “tell me you love me” and be satisfied by the answer.
  • Love is an act you engage in.
  • Love is a language you speak in words, deeds, and spirit.
  • There are 5 primary love languages
  • Each love language has a nuanced dialect
  • You have a love language that is native and natural for you to express love

The 5 Love Languages

  • Words of Affirmation: These are kind and gentle words that build others up, inspire, and encourage them by drawing out their latent potential.
  • Quality Time: Giving of your life and undivided attention in close proximity in which you seek to deeply understand your spouse and share experiences together.
  • Receiving of Gifts: A gift is a visual symbol of love.  It is a representation of your spouses thinking about you.
  • Acts of Service: Fulfilling requests your spouse has asked of you without prompting.
  • Physical Touch: Creating feelings of security, intimacy, and love from holding hands, hugging, kissing, foreplay, and sex.

This book is simple and straightforward.  The ideas are powerful but many people are not changed by them.  Most people will choose to give according to their natural language.  Only the most motivated and mature will choose to give the gift their lover wants.  Imagine that the only way to be with the one you love is to learn their language and use it everyday.

Power Behind the Techniques

There were some minor points that I believe warranted more time.  These points were not sufficiently unpacked.  The emphasis of the 5 Love Languages centered on techniques rather than the source of love or the process of loving.  They contain the richest vein of trans-formative power in the book.  These ideas are the true power behind love and why this book has staying power. Unfortunately, Gary Chapman talks about language dialects rather than the source of love and the power of sacrifice to change hearts.

  • Love is an over used word.  I suggest that you increase the value of the word and stop using it for anything other than God and family.
  • Feeling infatuation or falling in love lasts approximately 18 months to 2 years.  After that life creeps in and takes over.  At this point you have to make love a choice.  You have to be loving on purpose, with intentionality and personal sacrifice.
  • Money and Gifts. Why are money and emotions so deeply connected.  If you are a spend thrift you will experience emotional resistance to the idea of spending money as an expression of love.
  • “What we do before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage.”  Date honestly.
  • We tend to be poor lovers when we are consumed by pain, resentment, and our own expectations.  From these difficult places it is hard to express heartfelt love.  You must become increasingly mindful if you are going to be a better lover.
  • God is love.  God is exceedingly generous.  At the heart of love is giving.  If you want to love better you must know Jesus, and develop the heart of sacrificial giving.

If you found The 5 Love Languages helpful but they aren’t producing the traction you need to move things forward then maybe we can help.  Visit our Services Page to learn more about our coaching and counseling services.