It has happened to all of us at one time or another. We have every intention of giving a special gift that will create happiness for our loved one, yet the reality of the outcome falls far from that goal.
Dr. Gary D. Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages,” believes this occurs because people speak different languages of love. Even with the best of intentions, disappointment may result because individuals express their love in a manner that their loved ones do not understand. This can be rectified, however, with: (a) an awareness of what types of behaviors express love to you; (b) an understanding of how you express love to others as a result; (c) eliciting from your loved ones those behaviors that express love to them; and, (d) modifying your behaviors when expressing love to them so that your behaviors correspond with their love language.
Chapman identified the following five love languages:
- Words of affirmation (positive words that build confidence and self-image)
- Quality time (being together and focusing on each other)
- Gifts (expense is not the goal)
- Acts of service (joyfully vacuuming or hanging a painting)
- Physical touch (kissing or holding hands)
It is critical that, when initially communicating what love language we prefer, we take responsibility for being specific in communicating what we desire. We also, however, need to take responsibility in providing loving feedback regarding the efforts of our loved ones in fulfilling our desires. It is easy to positively reinforce efforts that are successful. We also need to be grateful for efforts that fall short, while making additional detailed suggestions for future attempts at expressing love.
In the same manner, we are responsible for actively listening to what our loved ones are communicating as their preferences and to their feedback of how well our efforts fulfilled their desires. We then need to modify our behaviors accordingly based on their feedback.
For residents of Columbus, Georgia, who seek a spiritual community that encourages creative and effective methods for enhancing interpersonal communication, the following five Unity churches are within driving distance:
- Unity of Albany (GA) – approximately 75 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 178 Hugh Road, Leesburg, GA. Phone: (229) 435-1001.
- Unity of Montgomery (AL) Spiritual Center – approximately 77 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 1922 Walnut Street, Montgomery, AL 36106. Phone: (334) 263-1225.
- Unity Spiritual Life Center of Central Georgia - formerly Unity in the Heart of Georgia (Byron, GA) – approximately 78 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 127 Peachtree Parkway #701, Byron, GA. Phone: (478) 737-7537.
- Unity South Atlanta Church (Jonesboro, GA) – approximately 84 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 10 a.m. on Sundays is 7541 Mt. Zion Boulevard, Jonesboro, GA. Phone: (404) 578-3033.
- Unity of Dothan (AL) – approximately 90 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 942 South Oates, Dothan, AL 36301. Phone: (334) 794-2840.
Home Study Resources for Residents of Columbus, Georgia
The following texts are available on Amazon: (1) “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary D. Chapman ($7.24 in paperback; $6.88 on Kindle); (2) “The Five Love Languages – Men’s Edition: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary D. Chapman ($10.19 in paperback; $7.98 on Kindle); (3) “The Five Love Languages – Singles Edition: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary D. Chapman ($10.19 in paperback; $7.98 on Kindle); and (4) “The Heart of the Five Love Languages” by Gary D. Chapman ($5.99 in hardcover; $3.86 on Kindle).