I’ve been taking our adult Sunday School through Tim Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage. We’ve been camped out in chapter five for a few weeks, and yesterday we looked at Keller’s teaching on “Love Currencies” or “Love Languages.” His basic point was we must give the love-currency to our spouse that they value most and speak the love-language that best communicates love to them.

He then has a practical section on the three main currencies or languages—Affection, Friendship, Service—which I’ve arranged into a checklist. Keller recommends that husbands and wives regularly review a list such as this to identify the best way to give love to one another and then “concretely give love to each other in deliberate ways every week.”

AFFECTION

  • Eye contact
  • Caresses
  • Sitting closely together
  • Holding hands
  • Finding situations that make focused attention easier
    • Walks
    • Sitting before fireplaces
    • Scenic drives
    • Picnics
  • Personal appearance
  • Playfulness/fun
  • Verbal expressions of love (direct, personal, specific, ever-fresh ways)
  • Honest praise, appreciation, thankfulness (refraining from harsh critical words)
  • Written expressions of love (notes, cards, letters, reflections on special occasions)
  • Gifts (thoughtful, personal, useful, beautiful)

FRIENDSHIP

  • Doing something that at least one of you loves doing and that enables you to communicate while doing it
    • Recreation
    • Entertainment
    • Gardening
    • Chores
  • Show that time with your spouse has priority in your life
  • Take interest and pride in your spouse’s work at home and outside the home
  • Share each other’s mental world
    • Reading books together
    • Discussing changes in your thinking
    • Studying a book together
  • Listening and opening up to each other
    • Sharing fears, hurts, weaknesses
  • Follow through on commitments and be reliable

SERVICE

  • Serving each other begins with the most practical and menial of tasks
  • Showing him/her great respect
  • Give your spouse the confidence that you will speak up and stand up for him/her
  • Show you are committed to his/her well-being and flourishing
  • Help your spouse to develop gifts and pursue aspirations for growth
  • One of the greatest expressions of love is he willingness to change
    • Make a commitment to change attitudes and behaviors in yourself that trouble/hurt your spouse
    • Ability to take correction and be accountable for real concrete changes
  • Help each other to grow spiritually
    • Encourage each other to participate together actively in church
    • Reading and digesting Christian books together
    • Studying the Bible together
    • Daily joint prayer
  • Allowing your spouse privacy

Regarding prayer he says:

“Praying daily with and for each other is a love language that in many ways brings the other love languages together. It means being tenderly affectionate and transparent with each other…If you do that every day, or most days, it seasons your entire relationship with the love of God and of one another.”