The book “The 5 Love Languages,” is probably one of the best selling marriage books of all time. By Christian Law, you can’t go through pre-marital counseling without reading this book. In it, Gary Chapman writes that we all express and receive love in one of five ways, “Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.” For example, I like to receive words of affirmation. My wife likes to receive acts of service. I like when she tells me I’m awesome. She likes when I mop the kitchen floor. This one insight took us approximately 3 years of marriage to figure out.
Love Languages is a great book, but recently I realized I was doing my own remix of it. My wife and I have started to add our own love languages to Chapman’s list. In fact I’ve come up with 5 new ones. And I promise you’ll never guess the first one…
“Playing New Super Mario Brothers Wii”
Our kids got a Wii for Christmas. When they go to bed, my wife, who grew up playing Super Mario Brothers and old school Excite Bike, loves to play the Wii. I enjoy it, but it’s not my favorite thing to do. Two nights ago, while playing it with Jenny, I wanted to do something else. I was bored of it, but I thought to myself, “Playing Wii is one of the ways Jenny receives love. This is one of her love languages. You’re such a great husband.” (My inner dialogue only has two speeds, incredible flattery and incredible criticism.)
Stumbling upon this insight, I decided to list out four other love languages I thought were true of my life:
This love language goes both ways for me. I love to both give and receive the frisbee. Frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, just throwing it on the beach. Playing frisbee is clearly one of my love languages and since it’s also God’s favorite sport I feel pretty good about that.
2. Cadbury Crème Eggs
This is a love language I only like to receive. That is, if you give me a box of three, I probably will not give any of them to anyone else. I don’t give out Cadbury Crème Eggs. Since I don’t live in England where they have access to them all year and brag about it to me on Twitter, I can’t be wasting this love language on random strangers. This is a limited resource.
Is this a spiritual gift or a love language? Probably both. And before you get all judgy mcjudgerton and try to Jesus Juke me, God knew how to lovingly wield sarcasm. In Job 38, he asks Job, “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!”
When I read that last verse, I feel like God probably wanted to drag out the o and say, ‘sooooooooo many years!” But regardless, kind sarcasm is a love language I like to express and receive. The other night when I told my wife I had a great meeting with the web team at Dave Ramsey she said, “Did you tell them you’re dumb at technology?” I instantly started laughing, because that is exactly what I had done in the meeting. Although I’ve learned a lot about social media in the last four years, I am dumb at backend technology. And I loved joking about that sarcastically with my wife.
In the third grade I took a breakdancing class at Doyon Elementary School in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Why in the world was an elementary school in a New England beach town offering pop n’ lock lessons? I have no idea. You don’t question the gifts you’re given, but I’m pretty sure breakin’ became a love language for me that year. It’s been an electric boogaloo kind of life ever since.
It’s entirely possible that I’m the only one that has created my own love languages. (Gary Chapman, feel free to use those five in an updated version of your book.)
But maybe you’ve done that too. Have you read The 5 Love Languages?
Have you ever created your own? What would you add to the list?