Read three chapters in a day. I was going to take it a chapter a day but I couldn’t drop it till I got to the 4th language (you would know the reason when I discuss it), so kept reading.
Gifts….. Uhmmmmmm…. Something a lot of us love to receive but don’t give.
A gift is a tangible object that says, “I was thinking about you. I want you to have this. I love you.”– Gary Chapman
All through the years and in all cultures, gifts giving has always occurred. Even in the Bible, we see a lot of instances where gifts were given to people. No wonder a lot of us crave gifts. Giving gifts is one of the fundamental universal languages of love. Some gifts only last a few hours or a couple of days, but their memories linger in the hearts of those who received them. With gift giving, the important thing is not the gift itself but the emotional love that was communicated by the gift.
A gift is by its very nature not a payment for services rendered or a means of smoothing ruffled feathers to offset harsh words spoken to others. Gifts are a visual symbol of love. And what greater gift can anyone give than what our God gave in sending His only son to die for us. In marriages, the most visual symbol is the ring. Symbols have an emotional value.
A lot of people then to think a gift has to be expensive before it can be called a gift. No, it doesn’t have to be. As stated over and over again, for those who find gift giving hard and happen to have people they hold dear who speak this language, it would be hard. BUT not impossible to learn to speak this language. Love requires effort. It requires learning a language you have never spoken. For example, we see people learn the languages of their spouses or friends because they love them. Same applies to this.
Begin by learning their interests. Listen to the people you care about. Pick up on their interests or those of their children. Listen. Listen. Listen. It takes time and a conscious choice to listen. If you want your gifts to communicate love, it is best to discover the interests of the other person.
Also, be sensitive to the nature of some gifts. In a relationship, you must be sensitive to the way the other party responds to gifts. Because of the perceived cost or meaning, certain gifts may not be readily accepted by the ones you love. If your gift isn’t accepted, do not despair. You cannot force someone to accept an expression of love. You can only offer it. If it is not accepted, you must respect the other person’s decision.
A key factor/issue with giving gifts is the issue of money. For a born saver, giving gifts would be difficult. However, if your partner speak this language, you need to learn it. When you save money, it is a means of investing in yourself. By having money saved, you are “purchasing” self-worth and emotional security. Therefore, see purchasing gifts for your loved ones as an investment in the ones you love. Invest in your relationship and fill the other person’s emotional love tank. Change your attitude about money.
Chapman advised most especially dads not to just give gifts to their children. If they don’t need it, don’t give it. Also don’t give it as a means of making up for your absence.
Watch out and listen to those around you to discover their love language.
All of us blossom when we feel loved and wither when we do not feel loved– Gary Chapman.