The Facets of Generosity: Why Our Love Languages Matter

By Craig Borlase | 22 February 2016 | Comments (2)

Why Our Love Languages Matter - a Stewardship blog

Love. Language.

Nineteen years into my marriage and I'm starting to wonder whether my wife’s got such a good deal.


If I want to make her happy, I know exactly what to do. She likes plenty of words of affirmation and a few nice gifts thrown in and some physical touch that doesn’t necessarily have to lead on to the kind of thing that left us with four kids, if you know what I mean. All I need to do is buy her flowers, give lots of hugs and tell her how great she is as a mum, wife, professional, Christian, friend, animal-whisperer and all round human being. Honestly, it really couldn’t be easier.


The trouble is, I’m wired a little differently. I’ll hoover the house and something inside of me will be chalking it up as a gift. I’ll invite her out for a run and think of it as a date. One day I would like nothing better than for the two of us to get delayed for 16 hours in an airport and spend the whole time mooching around wondering what everyone else is up to.


I think I missed the Romance gene.


With me, it’s all about quality time and acts of service. I like a cup of tea when I’m in the midst of a hectic work blitz and I want the long walks and the early morning conversations before the kids get up when I upchuck all the things that are fizzing in my head. And I want her to look intently at whatever screen I’m pointing at and let me outline my latest plan for how we can reconfigure the lounge/solve the problem with the dog/make better use of our time when we drive down south for our summer holiday.


If you’re not familiar with the concept of the five love languages, you’ll want to remedy that pretty soon. Whether you’re married with kids or living on your own, it’s a great and simple way of learning to think about how the people we live and work with like to be treated.


Of course there’s a danger that we treat this more as science than art. Formulas and spreadsheets don’t work for relationships. But learning to think about how the people we love see the world, increasing our empathy and downgrading our selfishness has to be a good and generous thing to do.


Giving comes in so many forms. Once you’ve started to think about the degrees to which someone that you love appreciates words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time or physical touch, you’ll find yourself with a whole new range of opportunities to be generous.

Three Steps To Becoming A Better Love Linguist…

  1. Familiarize yourself with the idea of Love Languages by reading up on Even if you think you already know about it, reading it again won’t hurt.
  2. Empathy is not a competitive sport. Don’t try to keep score or point out the fumbles that other people make. You’re in it to give it, not win it.
  3. Don’t get upset if someone defies your categorisation. We’re humans, not algorithms, and sometimes we all break convention. Allow the people you love to change and sometimes surprise you.



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February 22, 2016 11:39 AM
We're 38 years in and because I have faith and she totally rejects it, life is challenging! I care for my son too (not very well, according to my wife who has a challenging job! I worked hard for 36 years and I still have some jobs on the side + my caring role + my witnessing role (mentoring a homeless guy whose moved into a flat after 8 years on the street; working with three other guys on benefits with their own chalenges and health issues) Times at home are hard and one mistake on my part leads to a few days or longer of tension and silence! For example, I left a trusted church friend (who my wife had never met, or wanted to) in my house paiting for half an hour while I took my son out. My wife freaked and we haven't communicated effectively for 4 or 5 days. She said that her rriends were shocked by my carelessness! I am constantly helping out my wife with expenses etc because she is not very good with money, but she (basically) despises me (fails to respect me) because of my faith! So, as you can see, love is hard to give or receive!!

Anne Miles

March 3, 2016 10:38 AM
Ian after reading your story I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 13 verse 4 about Love . Love is patient and kind. God knows what you are going through so trust in him.

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