How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!


Hearing the words “I love you” delights the heart and soul. Unfortunately, many are inhibited to verbalize it. However, we can still say “I love you” in many  ways. Here are five love languages according to Gary Chapman which can convey the words “I love you”.

1.  Affirmation. Showing our appreciation and praises to people we love, especially to our children, establishes our love for them. Comments like:  “Wow, that is something! ” or “ I am proud of you, I know you can do it.”, lift up the spirit and encourage  a child to do more. It is sad that many  parents, utter humiliating words when they get angry, even in the hearing of other people. Words  like : “You are so hard-headed.”  or “ You are good for nothing.” etc.  Even wives sometimes make public statement about their husbands’ weaknesses – “ My husband is lazy, that is why we can’t get our our poverty.” These words only  crush the spirit and paint dark clouds in a relationship,

2. Touch. A hug, a kiss or a pat in the back, are expressions of care and love. A child that is often hugged or kissed is a happy child. A wife feels happy  when she is often greeted with a kiss by her husband. It is also healthy for children to see physical gesture of love in the family because it signals marital security and love in the home.

3. Giving of gifts.  Giving of gifts is a thoughtful gesture that connotes: “ I am thinking of you” . Gifts need not be expensive and can be given anytime, not just during special occasions.  It is always the thought that matters most.  When we bring home something that our husband or children love, we make them feel special. When we give a pack of homemade cookies to an elderly church mate , she will  feel loved.

4. Giving our time. Time is the best gift we can give to our loved ones. Time is precious to us, especially to those who are working full time. But the gift of time is an investment for a loving relationship.  If we love our children, we should give our time to attend school meetings, answer their questions, tell them bedtime stories, or just talk with them  about school happenings, etc. Likewise, if we love our  wife/husband we should set aside some time to go out on a date or just do things together. The gift of time is the fuel that keeps the flame of love burning.

5. Acts of Service. Doing things for our loved ones is another expression of love. This can take many forms.  A husband who helps the wife in doing household  works  not only eases the work load but also sends a strong love signal to the wife. The wife who runs errands for the husband is likewise sending the same message: “I am doing this for you because I love you”.

For this month of love, we can try to practice one or more of these love languages. Soon we will be receiving signals of love as well…  because love begets love!

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