Posted by: Mike Willoughby | August 10, 2011

How do you say Love? (Part 1)

A few weeks ago, I taught a lesson on marriage as part of a Wednesday night summer series at our church called “Lord of your Rings.”  Our preacher, James put this series together and it has been an excellent source of encouragement for me to remember to continue to invest in my marriage even (or perhaps especially) after 25 years.  As part of preparing for my lesson, I reread a book that I had first picked up over ten years ago called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

Dr. Chapman’s book is an excellent tool to help married people invest in their marriages by learning the “primary love language” their spouse speaks.  Dr. Chapman believes that every person speaks one of the following love languages as their primary way of expressing love:

  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

In his book, Dr. Chapman uses real-life examples from his counseling practice to illustrate how marriages in serious trouble were rescued when husbands and wives learned to speak the right love language to each other.  Since writing that book, Dr. Chapman has extended the love language concept to apply to other relationships such as parent and child.  It was my privilege to use some of his material in my class and now I’d like to share some thoughts with you on this subject over the next few weeks.

The first and most important conclusion I came to after reading The Five Love Languages was that I needed to work to become multi-lingual in order to make the most of my close relationships.  I needed to understand my own primary love language first so that I would know where I was starting my journey.  From that point of reference I needed to consider the people with whom I have loving relationships, pay attention to the ways in which they expressed love and then decide what their primary love language might be.  After reading the book, I found it surprisingly easy to figure out the love languages of those closest to me.  I also found it surprisingly difficult to speak their language without great effort.  Candidly, I even found it difficult to speak my own language to others.

This bit of self-realization led me to my first epiphany in this whole love language exploration.  True love is selfless and until I stopped thinking primarily about how I was hearing others speak love to me and started prioritizing how I was speaking love to others, I would continue to struggle in my relationships.  Before considering the five unique love languages, I would like you to join me this week in intentionally working on an attitude of relationship selflessness.  Only with this attitude of selflessness can you become multi-lingual in the language of love   

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!


Copyright © 2011 Michael Willoughby. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to author and/or owner with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Mike,

    Thank you brother for your insight. I will be buying Dr. Chapman’s book. I have been struggling with selflessness attude in all of my relationships. Thanks for making me aware of where I am. I have a lot of work to do.

    Love you brother,

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