Let’s shift or focus to giving, love and our wives and ourselves. Thinking about each other.
The connection between love and gifts is more deeply rooted than most people realize. How old were you the first time you picked a flower or dandelion and gave it to your mom as a present—a way of saying, “I love you”? How many knickknacks did you create for your parents at camp, in Sunday school, or in art class?
The instincts are there. Harnessing and perfecting those natural inclinations is the key to becoming fluent in the love language of Receiving Gifts.
The notion that delighted your parents all those years ago (and perhaps still does) runs strong in people whose primary love language is Receiving Gifts. A gift is something they can hold in their hands as they say, “Look, he was thinking of me.” Therein lies the appeal. You have to think of someone before you give her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money. What’s important is that you thought of her—that you took the time to consider what would make her happy and then followed through.
Gifts are visual symbols of love. The importance of such symbols may be lost on non-native speakers of the Receiving Gifts love language. The difference between the native and non-native mindsets can be seen in people’s attitudes toward the most common visual symbol of love in our culture: the wedding ring. Most wedding ceremonies include the giving and receiving of rings. The person performing the ceremony says something to the effect of, “These rings are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual bond that unites your two hearts in love that has no end.” That’s not meaningless rhetoric. Those words give power to the visual symbol of the union—especially where native speakers of Receiving Gifts are concerned.
That’s why some people never take their ring off after the wedding. If Receiving Gifts is your wife’s primary love language but not yours, she probably wears her ring more often—and spends more time thinking about it—than you do. She likely places great value on her ring—and wears it with tremendous pride—because you gave it to her as an enduring symbol of your love. She’s also probably been moved by other gifts you’ve given her through the years. She views them as expressions of your love.