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Love is a Verb: Words of Affirmation
This is the 2nd installment of the Love Languages Series, the first was Acts of Service. You can read about it here.
Words. Ahh. You know I love words. Words have power to create, to give life, and inspire. Funnily enough, when I took the quiz (Love Language Quiz) words of affirmation showed up a distant third to quality time and physical touch. Interesting. Well, maybe not to you. But it is to me.
I believe that love is an verb. It is something that is shown, not just felt.
We choose to love. It’s more than just saying those 3 little words. But those three little words are important, as are all the words that come from your mouth.
Your tongue has the power of life and death in it. Your words matter. And to those who’s love language is words of affirmation, your words are essential to their security in your love. We all want to hear that we’re loved and appreciated.
But to those with this love language, they NEED to hear that they are loved an appreciated. They need to not only notice that they look good today, but that you genuinely compliment them. It’s not vanity or pride, it’s just they way that they receive love.
Dr. Chapman defines Words of affirmation as using words to affirm other people. Not a super explanatory definition. Sooo being a word nerd, I looked up affirm.
Here are the definitions: 1. To offer emotional support and encouragement to someone. 2. To state as fact. 3. To assert strongly and publicly, to attest. 4. To declare one’s support for, uphold and defend.
Those definitions transfer into 4 ways of buoying up those in your sphere with your words.
4 ways to speak love into the ears of those you love.
1. Offering emotional support and encouragement. We all can use a cheerleader who believes in us, when we struggle to believe in ourselves. Everyone needs to be encouraged, but for the word of affirmation folks it is essential to hear that you have their back!
When they are down, a note in the mail, a text, a call, a chat over coffee changes EVERYthing for them.
2. Stating facts. To me this is about reminding people who they are. To cast down the lies that the world hurls at them. You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are intelligent. You have worth. You are kind. You are intelligent. Reminding people the truth, when they cannot see through the temporary drama they’re in.
3. To assert strongly, to attest.
This about standing up to them when they are having a pity party. Boldly and confidently calling BS when your people get all woe is me. I have people like this in my life and I couldn’t live my best life without them.
4. To declare one’s support for uphold and defend.
Having someone stand up for you and defend you is a wonderful way to show you love someone. I remember being in a long-term relationship where I always felt like I was defending myself. I felt unprotected, abandoned, and unloved as a result. This feeling caused countless fights. He didn’t understand that I needed to hear him defend me, as much as I needed to hear “I love you.”
He didn’t have to agree with my opinion, or take my side. He just needed to offer me some cover from one of his friends who enjoyed verbally attacking me. I didn’t need physical protection. I needed to hear the words, “Hey man, back off. Don’t talk to my girl like that.” But I never did. It hurts even now to think about it.
Take some time and ponder how you can use your words to encourage those around you. For some people in your circle it may be THE BEST way to show them they are indeed loved by you!
Point to ponder while you wander… “Let use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29 NLT