Some Spell Love G-I-F-T
The next love language we will look at is getting gifts. This isn’t to be confused with materialism or greed. This is an actual time when the receiver of the gifts experiences love based on the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift being given. If this is your love language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you.
G is for Grace
Grace is one of those words that we say at a variety of times, often without fully understanding what we’re saying. Literally grace is giving something that is not deserved. What this means is that we don’t give these “love gifts” based on merit or performance, but just because we love. My wife doesn’t have to earn these gifts, and I’m not giving them as a reward for certain behaviors. If that is the case then it’s not really a gift, it’s more like a wage or reward.
If you are married or in a relationship with someone who’s love language is receiving gifts it is important that those gifts not be tied to anything except your love, admiration, and appreciation of them. Anything else will come across as shallow and self-serving.
I is for Informed
If your sweetheart’s love language is gifts then you want to be very careful not to just throw gifts together haphazardly. One of the things we need to note is that these gift don’t have to be costly. It’s more important that they are inventive rather than expensive. Being aware of what your spouse appreciates is a good idea. Here’s another example of blowing it big time:
We had been married for a short time when we celebrated our first Christmas together. I thought I knew Andie pretty well and what she liked. One time we had seen a nice aquarium in someone’s house and she commented on how nice it was. I filed that away in my brain. Come Christmas time I bought a complete aquarium kit and wrapped it up for her. I figured I had really scored a goal. I can’t really describe the look on her face when she opened my prize present to her. It was a mixture of confusion, disappointment, and curiosity. She had liked the aquarium we had seen, mostly because it was in someone else’s home and someone else had the responsibility of cleaning and caring for it. She wanted no part of having an aquarium ourselves.
Get informed by listening, watching, and asking. Learn what the other person in your relationship really likes. For example, now I know that Andie really likes a certain genre of books, so I know I’m pretty safe picking up a book by one of her favorite authors. I know that she likes a certain style of clothing, so again, I’m pretty safe picking something like that out for her. I know that she’s not really big on jewelry, so I don’t often get anything like that (and I’m grateful).
F is for Frequent
How often do you want to express your love for her? Hopefully your answer is quite often. If she is a gift person then look for ways to give gifts frequently. Remember, they don’t have to cost much. Really, the don’t have to cost anything. They just need to express your love. One of the simplest of gifts could be a hand written note—or get a little more creative and write a poem or short story.
A few years ago I was pleasantly surprised to open up my lunch and find a note on a post-it from my wife. It simply said, “Peanut Butter and Jelly is good for your Belly.” I felt incredibly loved and appreciated—and this isn’t even my primary love language. I really think that was the best PB&J sandwich I have ever eaten.
Because they don’t have to break the bank these gifts can be given daily, just be creative and sincere with them.
T is for Thought
It’s often been said that “it’s the thought that counts.” There is much more truth in that simple slogan than we often afford it. I have always found that the times I put more thought into the gift the better the gift fits. Like being informed, it’s important to think the gift through. There is more to think about than the gift itself. For example, handing a gift to a sweetheart in the middle of a messy diaper change might not be the best timing. Think about it, when can the gift be given and most appreciated.
Another thing is to think about gifts that really express the amount of thought you have put into them. Let your gift speak for you. Here’s something I did that was the reverse of the aquarium fiasco of decades past.
A few Valentine’s Days back I bought a couple packs of 3×5 index cards, two binder rings, and some markers. I spent several days prior to February 14th writing on the cards reasons I’m thankful that Andie is my Valentine. On that day I gave her a stack of index cards clipped together with binder rings that contained 100 reasons why I love being hers. That little stack of cards is still on her dresser.
So….like all the other Love Languages…there is a primary each person has, but all of these can be an expression of love for our beloved. So make them a practice.