With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is the time for planning Thanksgiving activities and gatherings. But because of the pandemic, the usual festive atmosphere of Thanksgiving has not been as strong in the last two years. Basically, travelling and big gatherings have been out of the question. The essence of Thanksgiving, however, is not activities, but to express your gratitude to your loved ones.
Just as there are different ways to express gratitude, different people also have different preferences for the kinds of gifts they like to receive. For some people, simply a warm, caring word can make them feel good. A couple of years ago, I learned from a seminar that every family member has their own love language. A love language is the way one wants to be loved – it can be receiving gifts, a word of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, or acts of service.
After the seminar, I came to realize that the love language for my oldest daughter is “gifts”. No matter what happens or the circumstances, any kind of gift, big or small, can make her day. As for my oldest son, I think his love language is “words of affirmation”. A compliment at the right moment can give him the momentum to cross the finish line. Back then, my younger daughter was so little that she couldn’t even talk yet, but she enjoyed being held, so I guessed that her love language must be “physical touch”. Now she is nine and still likes to be hugged and hugging others. Indeed, one’s personality is formed at a young age.
As for me, because I like sweet words and praise, I assumed my only love language was “words of affirmation”. However, I’ve discovered that I also like the company of my spouse. On a busy day, I can find fulfillment and security even amidst the day’s hustle and bustle when my spouse is around. I am adventurous and like to test new recipes, try out new things, or learn new information. However, I feel afraid to do these things by myself, as the excitement always comes with some sort of fear. It makes me feel more secure if someone can keep me company.
I am thankful that I have Jesus in my heart, and He is a friend who is always there for a fearful person like me. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” (John 15:5) Although I cannot ignore my love language of spending quality time with others, I can remember that the Lord is with me.
We all have our own love language, and so do our children, spouses, and parents. If we can understand their preferences and speak their love language accordingly, it can bolster our relationships with warm feelings and joy. For this Thanksgiving season, try to discover the love languages of the people around you and respond with their preference to show your gratitude towards them. Surely, they will deeply feel your love and gratitude!
As for you, do you know your own love language?
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