How can we show those around us that they are loved?
How do we express and receive love? How do the people around us know that they are appreciated? How do we respond when people try to show that they care?
At the Family House, we had the opportunity to think about questions like these last week when Samantha Allred with North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry spoke to guests during a dinner presentation called “The 5 Love Languages for Caregivers,” based on the bestselling work of Winston-Salem resident Dr. Gary Chapman.
In the context of caregiving, understanding The 5 Love Languages can make a big difference in how caregivers and care receivers feel loved.
Personally, in the context of caregiving, I am one who often thinks about doing. Can I bring you food? Do you need a blanket? Can I go to the pharmacy for you? These are Acts of Service, and all of these are understandably helpful and important. But, my care receiver may especially resonate with another love language, like Quality Time. She may truly feel loved when I intentionally stop, sit down with her, and talk about the birds outside the window.
Samantha shared about a coworker who discovered that her mother-in-law really resonated with Receiving Gifts. Her mother-in-law would always bring little do-dads whenever she visited, and she loved birthdays and holidays. She was hurt when her family didn’t put a lot of thought into her birthday gift one year. Her family members realized that they hadn’t been speaking her love language, and they began to be more deliberate about bringing her flowers or picking up her favorite tea at the grocery store.
I know someone who really appreciates Words of Affirmation. I try to call her and send her notes saying “I love you and I’m thinking about you.” And I know others whose spirits are really lifted when they receive a hug or a soft touch on the hand. They feel loved when someone shows them that they care through Physical Touch.
And I know others whose spirits are really lifted when they receive a hug or a soft touch on the hand.
One of the lovely things about The 5 Languages is that these concepts bring awareness about ourselves and about those people around us, whether they are our romantic partners, our children, our care receivers, or our friends.
How can we show those around us that they are loved? What if we challenge ourselves to learn another person’s love language then speak to them that way this week?
What is your love language? Take this online quiz: http://www.5lovelanguages.com
About the author:
Lindley has coordinated support services for guests since 2016. With experience in ministry and social work, she has worked in churches and non-profit settings with caregivers and older adults. Lindley started volunteering at the Family House after moving to Winston-Salem, and she instantly realized what a special place it is. Originally from Boone, Lindley loves the mountains, arts and crafts, and playing with her husband, two young children, and Boxer dog.