The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a worldwide bestseller. In his book, the five love languages, or the ways people show and receive love, are Time, Words of Affirmation, Touch, Gifts, and Acts of Service. The love languages aren’t just for spouses. Knowing your friends’ love languages can deepen your friendships, whether you are at the same base or stationed across the sea.
Words of Affirmation
Words of Affirmation is all about encouragement and support. A great way to show this language is to drop a handwritten note in the mail! Noticing when your friend is doing something hard or brave and encouraging them can be the boost they need on a stressful day.
As military spouses, we are aware of how fast time can fly. If you have a friend who speaks the QualityTime Love Language, make sure to spend deliberate time together. Presence is vital here. Ensure when you are with your friend, you are engaged with them to convey their importance to you.
Deployments make the lack of contact for those who speak this language glaringly obvious. Good hugs and big ‘family’ dinners can feel like a haven. Two spouses I know watch movies and braid each other’s hair for the extra touch. We all need human contact, and for Physical Touch people, they feel this truth acutely.
Acts of Service
When my husband deployed, I was exhausted working the sunrise shift at a coffee shop. A friend dropped by one day and surprise-cleaned my entire kitchen, and I was awash in gratitude. Acts of Service for your friends can look like watching the kids, an airport drop-off, or anything that feels like you went out of the way for them.
Do you know a spouse who always shows up with the perfect gift? They most likely speak the Gifts love language. Gifts don’t have to mean an expensive present. It could be cookies with a note, cucumbers from your garden, or a fun necklace you found at a thrift store you thought they’d like. You can also take a picture, send it to them, and say you were thinking of them!
Spread the love to your friends! Ask them what their love language is, and write it down, so you remember! Let’s be intentional with how we show love in our friendships.