Learn Your Love Language

Have you ever visited a foreign country? Chances were you had no idea what the natives were saying in their home language. But then suddenly from across the street, you heard someone speaking in English. You could understand it!

In his classic book The 5 Love Languages, long-time relationship counselor and pastor, Gary Chapman, claims there are 5 primary “languages” that people express love through:

[list type=icon extra=]
[list_item icon=”fa-heart” type=”icon”]Words of Affirmation: Expressing affection through spoken or written praise or appreciation.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-heart” type=”icon”]Acts of Service: When actions speak louder than words.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-heart” type=”icon”]Receiving Gifts: Giving and receiving gifts shouts “I love you!”[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-heart” type=”icon”]Quality Time: This isn’t just “quantity;” it is expressing affection through undivided, undistracted attention.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-heart” type=”icon”]Physical Touch: This can be holding hands, a hug, or even a shoulder massage. With this love language, the speaker feels affection through physical touch.[/list_item]

Just like someone in a foreign country, you might not fully comprehend someone’s attempt to communicate “I love you,” if they aren’t speaking your “language.” For instance, if you are a Quality Time person, you may not fully understand when someone is saying, “I love you” through their Acts of Service. He’s doing the dishes for you, but you just wish he’d sit down and talk.

So to help your relationship, learn your love language through a simple 30-question assessment on Gary Chapman’s website, then share your findings with your spouse or significant other. (And invite them to take the quiz as well.)

If you take the quiz and discover Quality Time is in your top two (or you are married to a Quality Time person), then download our “7 Super-Cheap Date Nights” Local Life Hack resource that gives you some creative ideas to spend some time together. (And even if you aren’t a Quality Time person, you can still download it! 😉


Four Simple Ways to Honor Marriage

Hello, this is Erin writing. Today is my 21st wedding anniversary. On June 4, 1994, the amazing, beautiful, multi-talented LeAnn Wojakowski took on a far shorter last name when she exchanged wedding vows with this nerdy little Iowa boy. We had no idea the adventures that lie ahead of us. We’ve experienced poverty, 2 years in Venezuela, 3 years church planting in Colorado, having 4 kids, and now leading a church plant (which we hope will be the last church staff we ever work on!).

I am so grateful for LeAnn’s faithfulness, her loyalty to me and our marriage, her grace toward my faults, her leadership skills, her sacrificial servant’s heart, her love for so many people, and her organizational skills which help our family operate far smoother than if I was in charge of the home and calendar.

Hebrews 13:4 tells us:

“Marriage must be honored among all…”

It’s easy to obey Hebrews 13:4 when you are married to someone as awesome as LeAnn. But for many people, it’s difficult to honor marriage. Maybe it’s because of their parents’ divorce, or their own divorce, or the struggle of difficult financial times, or infertility issues, or just plain selfishness. It’s hard in our day and age to honor marriage.

But why does God tell us to honor marriage? Several reasons:
[list type=ordered extra=]
[list_item]He created it. (Genesis 2:24)[/list_item]
[list_item]He is the one who joins a man and woman together. (Matthew 19:6)[/list_item]
[list_item]It is a reflection of Jesus’ committed love for His people. (Ephesians 5:25-27)[/list_item]

This is why EVERYONE should honor marriage. Whether you are single, divorced, married 1 year, or married 100 years, honoring marriage is really honoring God.

So here are 4 simple ways you can help honor marriage:

  1. Pray for marriages.

    Sure, you can pray for marriage in general, but why not pray for a specific marriage? Perhaps a co-worker or neighbor is going through a tough time in their marriage. Pray for them. Pray for their marriage to last. Because when you pray for a marriage to survive and thrive, you are confessing that it is God who created marriage, and that God will be honored through the survival of that relationship.

  2. Read a book about marriage.

    Reading a good book about marriage will either help your current marriage, your future marriage, or give you ideas of how you can honor marriage even if you never marry. Two books I highly recommend are Tim & Kathy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage and Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage.

  3. Give a creative gift to a newly married couple.

    Most people give the bride and groom something off their bridal registry. That’s always nice (and it does honor their marriage). But why not go a step further?

    Perhaps you could create something by hand. Or write them a song. Or give them tickets to a marriage conference a year away. Or give them an envelope with a piece of advice for each month of their first year of marriage. The more creative, the more you honor their marriage.

  4. Be part of a babysitting cooperative.

    Join or start a babysitting cooperative. If a group of 4 or 5 couples would commit to watching each other’s kids, they would help each other remember they have a marriage inside the chaos of parenting. At Riverwood, we are calling this 13:4 Dating. If you are married and part of the Riverwood family, then let me encourage you to take advantage of our monthly 13:4 Dating events. And if you are single or find your spouse out of town when we are holding a 13:4 Dating event, then sign-up to help watch the kids of the couples who could use a date.


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