LANGUAGE OF LOVE

LANGUAGE OF LOVE

Sibling connection is important, yet without tools, language, or empowerment to create a peaceful environment, sibling conflict can be a great source of chaos in many homes.

ACTS OF SERVICE

When children have the love language of acts of service and are told, “No, you can do it yourself,” it hurts their heart. They know their hands can do it alone, but their heart wants you to do it with them. This can be quite annoying for a parent who has intentionally taught their child to be independent and self-sufficient. Yes, we want our children to take responsibility for their world and manage themselves well. No, we do not want to coddle them, stifle their growth, or baby them forever. But we do want to hear their heart cry to be loved, and these children hear it loudest when you do things that they are capable of doing on their own together. Do you have one of these kids? Has this happened to you?

SPEAK UP

Of all the languages in the world, the most confusing is silence. Silence shouldn’t be a language we are communicating to our children as it opens them up to the enemy to fill in the blanks for them (and he will, it just won’t be something that brings life). Make it a point TODAY to intentionally tell your child how you feel about them!

BIRTH ORDER

This is in response to the many questions I get about toddlers who are regressing or acting out when the new baby comes home. I had 14-month-old twins when their brother was born, so I went after making sure they felt secure. It is a big deal for a child to have their birth order changed. Think about it – they are the only ones who get Mom’s attention; she leaves for a few days and comes back with a new baby she is with all the time. Often, Mom is recovering physically, and others intentionally keep the older child away from Mom so she can rest. This is confusing to a child, and they can surely build up resentment toward their new sibling. One thing that was super helpful was the ‘5-minute dates’ with the twins when I knew Hudson would need me for feedings and such. I would bring them to the floor with me, and we would spend quality time together. If Hudson started to cry, I would say out loud, “Oh no, not now, Hudson. Lauren and Emma are very special to me, and I am spending time with them now. You will have to wait.” Of course, you don’t make a newborn wait long, but they have no concept of time. I was communicating to them that the baby has not replaced them, and they are still so valued and important to me. But then I would tell them it was Hudson’s turn and that they needed to play by my feet, watch a movie, read a book, etc. If they wanted juice or help when I was feeding Hudson, I reminded them it was his turn, and they had to wait. I intentionally filled them up like this for many days after we brought him home, and the transition was smooth for all.

THE GIFT OF GIFTS

From the time Ellie was itty-bitty, she would ask me to buy her stuff. I am not a materialistic girl, and the best way to get me to save money is to give it to me because I won’t spend it. I am frugal to the core. Her requests bothered me, and I began to view her as materialistic. I spent countless hours training her to stop asking for things as I saw it as a character issue. One day I realized, oh my goodness, gifts were her love language. All those times, I pushed her away and scolded her when she was not really asking for the toy but wanting to feel loved. I came to her in tears and repented. She smiled the biggest smile, finally feeling understood. Now when she asks, I see it as my clue that she needs some lovin’. If I have to say “No” to her, I assure her of my love and that she means the world to me, though I am not able to buy her that item right now. I handle the request with much more sensitivity than I did before. I also proactively look for ways that I can give her little gifts. It is never the price tag that matters to her; it is the love through it. I am often leaving little things on her bed with a note attached. The other children only have a problem with it when their tanks are low. When their tanks are full to overflowing, they have no jealousy or sense of injustice that their sister is getting more gifts than they are.

WEEPING FATHER

I will never forget the father who took our online Kingdom parenting class and wrote to me weeping as he told me how all these years, his daughter had annoyed him with her constant chatter. Holy Spirit revealed to him that that was her way of trying to connect with him and her love language. He was weeping for all the times he had become annoyed with her and told her to be quiet. He never saw her heart until that day, and it broke him. Love languages matter!

LANGUAGE OF LOVE

We each have a language of love that we speak and understand. It is vital we understand not only our own language but those around us. Love causes offenses to roll off our backs. Love pulls in during conflict. Love empowers others to become their fullest self. Love protects. Love is safe. Love is contagious. We can teach our children to know their language and how to intentionally put themselves in the path to get their tanks filled. Have you taken the quiz to discover your language? Has your family taken it too?

The Love Language™ Quiz (5lovelanguages.com)

LOOKING BACK

I want you to look back for a moment. Do you have siblings? How was your connection with them as a child? Were you taught to respect and love each other? Were strife, conflict, and physical violence tolerated? Did you feel like you belonged? Were you accepted? What things did your parents do that cultivated your relationship with them? Looking back, what things do you wish your parents would have done to help with your relationships with your siblings? This is important because you are deciding what things you want to keep in your generational line and what things you want to change. Siblings matter because they are part of God’s plan for family. God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are ONE, yet they all have different characteristics to them. Such as, my son is one human, but he is a son, brother, and friend. He relates differently as a son than he does as a friend. Family is so dear to God because the earthly family mimics the nature of Himself, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Our earthly father is where we get our sense of identity (who we are), being provided for, and protection, which is a reflection of the character of God, our Provider, and Father. Our earthly mother is whom we get our comfort, nurture, and learn about life from, which is a reflection of the character of Holy Spirit, our Helper, Teacher, and Comforter. It is through siblings that we get our sense of BELONGING, which is a reflection of the character of Jesus, our Companion, and Friend. When siblings are not taught, trained, and expected to get along, it affects their deep sense of belonging in the world. There is great insecurity inside of them when those closest to them are allowed to reject them. The fact that there is conflict isn’t the issue (and is not a reflection of you being a bad parent). The conflict in itself is actually quite normal. Children have flesh that is selfish and self-seeking. Part of parenting is equipping our children with the tools to GROW. The conflict isn’t a reflection of anything ‘wrong’ but rather highlighting areas in which you, the parent, have some work to do to teach and equip them.

LOVE LANGUAGES

Your child’s language of love is one of your biggest parenting tools for your tool belt because love conquers ALL.

LOVE MATTERS

It is so important that we understand this reality: Every person speaks a language, but that does not mean that he or she is communicating. We often assume that children should know we love them because we express it in a variety of ways. The reality is, however, that children are living in homes where parents are fluent in a language they know nothing about. Just because you work hard, provide a big home, clean, cook, do laundry, wipe snotty noses, change diapers, travel to Disney, and then repeat, does not mean that you are speaking their language. It means that you are an incredible parent who loves your children so much that you are willing to sacrifice your time and finances for them but have perhaps missed how to make sure all your hard work is actually being received. 

Have you ever had those days when you feel like you are constantly butting heads with a child or when they seem to be going out of their way to be a bully to their siblings, yet nothing you do seems to work? Children with empty tanks, even with siblings, will often fight to get it filled. Disconnected kids act out like kids starving for attention! We are sending our children out into the world where they will encounter a wide variety of situations. They are growing and learning spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and physically at a rapid rate. Sending them out with a heart tank full of love helps them process, weather, endure, overcome and succeed far greater than the child who is on empty. The more they experience love at home, the more they will be able to handle what comes their way. Isn’t that true for you?

Picture an airport full of people wanting to board a particular flight going overseas that is only made once a month. It is a crucial connection for many people. There isn’t an option of getting there by another airline. People need THIS flight. An announcement is made that the plane has moved to a different gate, but it is in Arabic. How many people would miss their flight simply because THEIR language was not spoken? All the components to make the connection are there: the plane, pilot, purchased ticket, and even the announcement, but the communication was not received. How many kids miss that their parents love them simply because THEIR language isn’t spoken? These parents have given them everything, worked hard, and have a heart full of love, yet their kids wander through life not experiencing it. I find it interesting that CONNECTION is one of the words used to describe communication and that the opposite of communication is defined as WITHHOLDING. This is where understanding our individual love languages is such a vital key. I look at effectively speaking someone’s love language like an umbilical cord connecting two people. When you accurately speak another person’s language, what you release actually enters into their heart and soul. Knowing their language is like hitting the bull’s eye!

Homework – Go to The Love Language™ Quiz (5lovelanguages.com) and have YOUR CHILD take the quiz. Print them out and talk about them as a family (even Mom and Dad’s language). At the end of the quiz, there is an option to sign up for the weekly email, which is a short and sweet list of creative ways to speak love each week. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter, and they will send you short, quick, easy weekly reminders and creative suggestions for how to speak each language. A child’s heart is smaller, so they leak quickly. But the good news is that they fill fast! We owe it to our children to do our part in giving them what they need each day to succeed. Be intentional. Fill the tank. Reap the results!!