The 5 love languages for farmers
A few years ago, my husband and I read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This well-known book explains that people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways.
Personalities fall into five main categories, and these are linked to the love languages.
Learning your love language and that of your partner, children, and other family and friends can help you connect better and grow closer, Chapman says. You may be communicating love in your language, but if your loved one doesn’t speak that language, that person probably isn’t receiving the message.
Here’s a brief rundown of each love language and ideas for how farm families can use them to express love to each other.
Acts of Service: Just Because
People who speak this language appreciate having things done for them without asking, and with nothing being expected in return.
This is actually my love language, and after reading the book, my husband started bringing me coffee in bed each morning. He knows my secondary love language is coffee. It only takes a few minutes of his time, but it lets me wake up feeling loved, appreciated, and ready to take on the day.
Other ideas include making a parts run to town so your partner doesn’t have to stop in the middle of a task, fixing the gate latch that adds aggravation to the day, making your partner’s favorite dinner, or washing the car. If you have children who fall into this category, try baking an after-school treat or doing their chores if they have a particularly busy day.
Gifts: The Misunderstood Language
Sometimes people with this love language get a bad rap as being materialistic, but that’s not the case. These are folks who give extremely thoughtful gifts, and who sincerely appreciate when someone puts effort into finding the right gift for them.
A gift isn’t limited to actual presents to unwrap, although those are nice, too. It may be something as simple as picking up your child’s favorite cereal that you usually don’t buy or stopping at the gas station on the way home and bringing your partner a favorite soda or candy bar. Some of the best gifts are free. If you find a heart-shape rock, bring it to your partner. Pick wildflowers when walking from the barn to the house. Make a barbed-wire heart like the one pictured above, hang it where they’ll see it often, and tell them to remember you love them when they see it.
Physical Touch: Get Closer
There’s a lot more to this love language than you might think.
If your partner speaks this language, slide over next to them in the pickup, always hug them when one of you leaves or comes home, or put a fuzzy blanket on them if they fall asleep in their chair. Hold hands on your evening walk, rub their shoulders after a hard day, and put your arm around them in church.
If your children respond to touch, give extra hugs, brush their hair, and tuck them into bed for as long as they will let you. Show teenagers love with high fives and fist bumps.
Quality Time: Being Busy Is No Excuse
Farmers are busy people, but they should never be too busy to make time for the ones they love.
When planning your week, think about things you can do with your partner. Maybe it’s riding together in the tractor once in a while, walking with them to check fence, or getting up 15 minutes earlier every day to just sit at the table together and have coffee before chores.
If your children speak this language, surprise them by picking them up from school and taking them for ice cream, playing games with them, and having one-on-one days or “date nights” with each child.
Family vacations provide some of the best quality time away from the distractions of home. If it’s too difficult to arrange for an entire week away from the farm, plan several short overnight trips throughout the year.
Words of Affirmation: Just Say It
Direct communication doesn’t come easy for everyone, but if this is what your loved one needs and they aren’t getting it, they will feel frustrated and unappreciated.
If your partner or child speaks this language, thank them for helping you with chores and tell them you love them and are proud of them. Say the words.
Technology is a big help with this love language. Text your partner just to say, “I love you,” or send a photo of a beautiful sunset or cute calf. Forward funny memes to your kids or write a joke on a note card and stick it in their sack lunch. Teenagers may find it easier to say what they need to say via text, especially if something is bothering them. If they want to talk, you need to listen.
Since the first edition of The 5 Love Languages was printed in 1992, it has sold more than 20 million copies.
Find more information, order Chapman’s books, and take an online love language quiz at 5lovelanguages.com.