This is lesson 1 of 6 in the 5 Love Languages series for couples.
In Ephesians 5, Paul compares the love Christ has for the church to that between a husband and wife. We know how Jesus loved. He was selfless and sacrificial toward us when He chose to go to the cross to die for our sin, not His. This same kind of love should be evident in our marriages. It doesn’t mean you have to literally die for your spouse. But, it does mean you might have to “die” to some of your own wants, needs, or expectations for the sake of your spouse.
Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages that puts this concept of sacrificial love into practical terms. Here’s the premise: every person has a primary way they show and receive love. There are five main categories from which to choose.
1. Words of affirmation: Showing love with your words. Things like: “I love you”, “You’re so amazing because…”, “You’re beautiful/handsome.”
2. Physical touch: Showing love through affection. Things like: holding hands, cuddling on the couch and sex
3. Acts of service: Showing love by doing practical things for them. Things like: cleaning the house, laundry, fixing things around the house.
4. Giving gifts: Showing love by giving gifts, big or small. Things like: flowers, jewelry, favorite candy.
5. Quality time: Showing love by spending time together. This is more than just sitting in the room watching TV. It’s spending meaningful time together. Thing like: date night, take a walk, sit on the porch and talk about your day.
Here’s the challenge. The point isn’t to discover your own language and then love your spouse in that language. The challenge is finding out what your spouse’s language is and choosing to love them in that language. This is a difficult task. It is always more natural to speak our own language. It takes effort to love in a language not your own.
Ephesians 5:31-33 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Try to guess your spouse’s primary love language. (Need help? Visit 5lovelanguages.com to take a quick love language survey.) Were you surprised to find out what your language was? Explain.
- What insights have you gained into your spouse based on their love language?
- What is the most natural way for you to love your spouse? Does it match up with their love language?
- What are some practical things you can do to start speaking the language of your spouse? Make a list. Do you think it will be challenging for you to do this? Explain.
- How will understanding the love languages improve your marriage?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.