The previous notes in this series,
WHEN YOUR WORDS MEAN LOVE TO YOUR SPOUSE
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut out. – Proverbs 10:21
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. – Proverbs 12:18
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. – Proverbs 15:14
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21
In Dr. Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages he relates a story between a husband and wife, “Bill” and “Betty Jo”. Bill and Betty Jo were having trouble in their marriage and they had not yet come to a resolution. As an experiment Dr. Chapman had Bill and Betty Jo make a list of everything that each other did for one another that was positive.
Bill’s list looked like this:
-She cooks dinner 3 days a week
-She vacuums the house every week
-She makes the bed everyday
Betty Jo’s list looked like this:
-He has not missed a day of work in twelve years
-He makes the house payment each month
-He carries the garbage out at least once a month
After Bill and Betty Jo made their lists, Dr. Chapman told the two to make a conscious effort to praise their spouse verbally everyday, referring back to their lists. (pgs 50-53) He also encouraged them to add to the lists whenever they could. He instructed them to simply say “Thank you”, and receive the compliments, not giving one in return. Several months went by, and when he checked back in with the couple, Bill was ecstatic at the results but Betty Jo was still not feeling loved. As it turned out Betty Jo still wished that Bill would spend more time with her. Her love language was Quality Time, and his was “Words of Affirmation”. It was from this experiment Dr. Chapman deduced everyone speaks love differently, and Bill and Betty Jo, were no exception.
WORD’S OF AFFIRMATION
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, by Gary Chapman pgs 49 & 50
“Words of Affirmation are one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects. We have discussed a few already, and there are many more. Entire volumes and numerous articles have been written on these dialects. All of the dialects have in common the use of words to affirm one’s spouse.Psycologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of Affirmation will meet that need in many individuals. If you are not a man or a woman of words, if it is not your primary love language but you think it may be the love language of your spouse, let me suggest that you keep a notebook titles “Words of Affirmation.” When you read an article or book on love, record the words of affirmation you find. When you hear a lecture on love or you overhear a friend saying something positive about another person, write it down. In time, you will collect quite a list of words to use in communicating love to your spouse.
You may also want to try giving indirect words of affirmation, that is, saying positive things about your spouse when he or she is not present. Eventually, someone will tell your spouse, and you will get full credit for love. Tell your wife’s mother how great your wife is. When her mother tells her what you said, it will be amplified, and you will get even more credit. Also affirm your spouse in front of others when he or she is present. When you are given public honor for an accomplishment, be sure to share the credit with your spouse. You may also try your hand at writing words of affirmation. Written words have the benefit of being read over and over again.”
WARNING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
This is my one and only warning. be careful WHAT you say! Since Jeff is a WoA’er, (Words of Affirmationier) I have to be very, very, careful with what I say to him when we are in the heat of an argument. It is amazing how doubly harmful words can be to WofA’ers, and months, even years later, they can bring up something you said in the heat of an argument that you will not even remember ever saying! Thankfully, Jeff and I have an easy enough time forgiving each other, but I have often said to myself “Whoa, did I really say that? Shame on me!”
My prayer today would be that you would consider the words of your mouth, and begin to rebuild and encourage those loved ones around you that are hunting, fishing, and poking for compliments or verbal praise. Understand that it is the love and desire for words of affirmation that drives their compulsive need to be praised. Compliment and encourage them often, and when in doubt if you can’t say something nice… don’t say anything at all!
May God bless you today as you give and receive praise! You can do this! You can love in a way ALL can understand!
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