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The thought of simply receiving love without having to ask for it is very appealing. This helps to affirm our worth and the genuineness of the expression when it’s free and spontaneous. But it’s a mistake to assume love is somehow diminished simply because we make a request for someone to speak our particular language of love. 

To be sure, part of the joy of childhood is freely receiving our parents’ love without anything being required of us. This is their job, as parents are charged with the responsibility to proactively consider and meet the needs of their kids. 

And there’s a part of us that still longs for this proactive love. But, as we grew, we soon realized even our parents were imperfect in their ability to anticipate and meet all our needs. And this was all the more true in our other relationships. 

People tend to love us in ways that make sense to them and not necessarily in the ways that speak to the deep desires of our hearts. But this is a difference in language and not in love itself. 

They have their language and we have ours. And often we have to teach each other the language that resonates most with our souls. 

All the same, teaching others our love language is not manipulating them or otherwise getting them to do something they don’t really want to do. A different language doesn’t mean a lack of love. And a willingness to learn our language is itself an act of love, even if it doesn’t come naturally to them. 

We shortchange and disrespect the love offered when we expect others to naturally and spontaneously love us without having to be taught our particular language.  

In the end, a request to be loved in specific ways is a chance to teach others our own unique love language. And love is not diminished simply because it has to be taught. In fact, this willingness to be taught is often a sign of true love. 

Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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