Heart of the Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman

Heart of the Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman

Author:Gary D. Chapman [Chapman, Gary]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 978-1-57567-384-4
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Published: 2007-08-14T16:00:00+00:00

The Gift of Self

There is an intangible gift that sometimes speaks more loudly than a gift that can be held in one’s hand. I call it the gift of self or the gift of presence. Being there when your spouse needs you speaks loudly to the one whose primary love language is receiving gifts. Jan once said to me, “My husband, Don, loves softball more than he loves me.”

“Why do you say that?” I inquired.

“On the day our baby was born, he played softball. I was lying in the hospital all afternoon while he played softball,” she said.

“Was he there when the baby was born?”

“Oh, yes. He stayed long enough for the baby to be born, but ten minutes afterward, he left to play softball. I was devastated. It was such an important moment in our lives. I wanted us to share it together. I wanted him to be there with me. Don deserted me to play.”

That husband may have sent her a dozen roses, but they would not have spoken as loudly as his presence in the hospital room beside her. The “baby” was now fifteen years old, and she was talking about the event with all the emotion as though it had happened yesterday. I probed further. “Have you based your conclusion that Don loves softball more than he loves you on this one experience?”

“Oh, no,” she said. “On the day of my mother’s funeral, he also played softball.”

“Did he go to the funeral?”

“Oh, yes. He went to the funeral, but as soon as it was over, he left to play softball. I couldn’t believe it. My brothers and sisters came to the house with me, but my husband was playing softball.”

Later, I asked Don about those two events. He knew exactly what I was talking about. “I knew she would bring that up,” he said. “I was there through all the labor and when the baby was born. I took pictures; I was so happy. I couldn’t wait to tell the guys on the team, but my bubble was burst when I got back to the hospital that evening. She was furious with me. I couldn’t believe what she was saying. I thought she would be proud of me for telling the team.

“And when her mother died? She probably did not tell you that I took off work a week before she died and spent the whole week at the hospital and at her mother’s house doing repairs and helping out. After she died and the funeral was over, I felt I had done all I could do. I needed a breather. I like to play softball, and I knew that would help me relax and relieve some of the stress I’d been under. I thought she would want me to take a break.

“I had done what I thought was important to her, but it wasn’t enough. She has never let me forget those two days. She says that I love softball more than I love her. That’s ridiculous.


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